Peloquin Sixth, Men 19th at Nationals
Nov. 19, 2016
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Sophomore Brenna Peloquin (19:54.5) performed admirably in taking sixth place individually in the women’s race at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, and the men’s team took 19th led by Yusuke Uchikoshi’s (30:10.8) 18th-place day on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
The individual finishes for Peloquin and Uchikoshi secured the two Broncos All-America honors. It is the fourth such accolade for Peloquin between cross country and track and field, and the first for Uchikoshi. Uchikoshi’s finish was also good for the second-best individual finish on the men’s side in school history behind only Jose Uribe’s 12th-place performance in 1996.
“I was excited about the way she (Brenna) fought today,” head coach Corey Ihmels told FloTrack after the race. “Since Wisconsin we have battled a couple things, and she came out today and fought back, and tried to go for the win late in the race. Ninth as a freshman, sixth as a sophomore; a lot of positive things to build on.”
As for the men’s team, they exceeded their USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Poll pre-championship ranking by 10 spots after being selected to take 29th.
“They battled, and we were really good through three (finishers),” Ihmels said on the men’s team performance. “Yusuke was fantastic down the home stretch and passed a bunch of guys. And top 20, that’s awesome. We get everybody back for next year and I’m excited where we’re at.”
In what was an extremely windy day at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course, Peloquin started things off for the Blue and Orange in the 6-kilometer women’s race, and quickly found her way into the lead pack of roughly 25 runners at the outset of the first couple kilometers. She smartly tucked herself away behind other runners throughout the first half of the race, using different pockets to shield herself from the wind.
The 4K mark saw Peloquin breakaway along with Sharon Lokedi (Kansas), Erin Finn (Michigan), Anna Rohrer (Notre Dame) and Karissa Schweizer (Missouri). The Gig Harbor, Wash., native challenged for the lead position at 5K, but could not overtake Finn or Rohrer for the top spot.
She hung tough for the last kilometer, but it was a surge from Schweizer in the last 400 meters that earned the Missouri runner the national title. Peloquin faded slightly towards the end, crossing the line in sixth place for her second-straight top-10 finish at nationals (ninth in 2015).
Uchikoshi’s race was a model of consistency, as the junior essentially held a top-25 position throughout the entirety of the 10-kilometer course. He made up considerable ground in the last kilometer, and sprinted his way to a top-20 finish to lead the way for the men’s team.
Miler Haller was also exceptional in his first-career appearance at nationals, logging a top-100 finish after crossing the line in 30:50.6 for 96th place. Michael Vennard (30:57.7) was close behind in a gutty effort of his own, taking 111th. Vennard has now been a top-three scorer for the Broncos in back-to-back national championship appearances after being the No. 2 last year in 93rd place.
The entirety of the men’s lineup will return next year, with only Uchikoshi (junior) and Vennard (junior) as the two upperclassmen.
Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan won the men’s individual crown while the men’s team title went to Northern Arizona. Oregon won the team championship on the women’s side.
The Broncos will now take a few weeks off before they begin the indoor season on Saturday, Dec. 10 with the Jacksons Open at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, Idaho.
Men (19th/31 Teams | 478 points)
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