Barus, Magnani shine in cross-country debuts

Sylvester Barus

Sylvester Barus won the men's 8,000-meter at the Cowboy Jamboree on Saturday.

The sun shone bright on the grassy plains of Stillwater on a hot Saturday morning, but it wasn’t the only shining star.

Sylvester Barus and Michelle Magnani had breakout races in the Cowboy Jamboree.

Barus won the men’s 8,000-meter run in 24 minutes, 33.5 seconds. Oklahoma State won the men’s team competition with 24 points.

The other four scoring runners for OSU finished in the top 10. Josh Thompson finished the race in 25:18.0 in third place. Christian Liddell took fifth place in 25:30.0. Luis Martinez followed Liddell in 25:48.7. Anthoney Armstrong was the final scorer for OSU. He completed the race in ninth place in 26:17.8.

“It’s really hard to take too much information from today,” coach Dave Smith said. “The weather is a big factor, and it affects everybody differently.”

Coming into the weekend, Smith said the word of the day was “conservative.”

Barus won the race by 26.4 seconds with this race plan.

“I was planning to conserve my energy,” Barus said. “I was feeling good, that’s why I say, ‘let me run away from them’ because I know I don’t have a good kick.”

Smith’s plan didn’t work so well for the Cowgirls.

The OSU women came in second place behind Tulsa.

Tulsa’s Clara Langley won the women’s 5K race in 17:59.2.

OSU’s highest finisher was technically Savannah Camacho in eighth place, but Cowgirl freshman Michelle Magnani came in second place.

Magnani ran unattached because coaches did not want to immediately decide between redshirting her and having her use her first year of eligibility. Smith said she would not be redshirted after Saturday’s performance.

Magnani finished the race in 18:09.1, and Camacho completed the race in 18:39.0. Aurora Dybedokken also finished in the top 10. She crossed the line with a time of 18:39.7.

“We wanted to go out conservatively and pick people off at the end, which is what we normally do on this course,” Camacho said. “We might have started out a little slow for this race, but overall we did pretty good as a team.”

Smith took the blame for putting an overly conservative race plan into effect.

OSU’s next meet takes them across the country for the Penn State Invitational on Oct. 14, in State College, Pennsylvania.

Smith said it’ll be a deeper race than the Jamboree, but he also added he was looking for improvement.

“What I’d like to see is our one-to-five gap narrow,” Smith said. “I don’t want Sylvester to run slower, I want everyone else to run faster. We’ll be looking at our one-to-five gap to 35 or 40 seconds. If we get that done, we will be where we need to be.”