By Maja Mihalinec, Contributor
The UNO Women’s Cross Country team opened the season at the UNO/Creighton Classic on Saturday at the Chili Greens Complex. Though it’s only the first meet of the season, the results left the Mavs optimistic about the rest of the schedule.
Senior Amanda Vorthmann finished strong and won the 5 km race with a time of 19:23. Dating back to last season, it was the seventh time in the last eight races that Vorthmann was UNO’s top runner.
Overall, the Mavs placed third as a team, trailing fellow Summit League member South Dakota in first and Nebraska in second. Creighton, Peru State and Iowa Western also competed in the meet.
UNO entered 13 runners into the competition, led by winner Vorthmann, whose winning time improved her personal best by 56 seconds. Sophomore Kristin Rogers finished in ninth place (20:02), followed by Ashley Kildow in 10th (20:19).
After the race Vorthmann said she was excited about the win on a very warm Chili Greens course. This was Vorthmann’s third time competing in the meet and first time winning it.
UNO Cross Country assistant coach Marc Bierbaum was also satisfied with the outcome of the race.
“Every girl that ran in the meet last year improved her score today,” Bierbaum said.
Rogers had the team’s top finish a year ago with a time of 20:06. It was the only meet where someone other than Vorthmann finished with UNO’s best time.
At this year’s meet, Rogers improved her time by four seconds, and Kildow knocked 45 seconds off her finish from a year ago. Sophomore MiKayla Peck finished in 19th and dropped her time by 30 seconds, junior Kayla Fenske was 34th and had a time 1:15 better than last year and Kelsey Green was 57th with a time of 26:38.
UNO also had first-time contributions from freshmen Carolyn Newhouse, Kourtney Osentoski, Avery Schmidt, Karo Garcia and Jackie Mezick. Newhouse was 31st (21:55), Osentoski 32nd (22:00), Schmidt came in 38th (22:45), Garcia 41st (23:14) and Mezick was 51st (26:38).
Sophomore Katarina Zarudnaya, who redshirted last year, was 24th with a time of 21:18. Fellow sophomore Michelle Gatewood, a new member of the team, came in 47th after finishing with a time of 24:03.
The UNO/Creighton Classic was the only home meet for the Mavs in 2012. They will continue the season on Sept. 15 at the Woody Greeno/Nebraska Invitational in Lincoln, followed by three more meets before the Summit League Championship on Oct. 27. UNO will wrap up the season at the St. John’s Fall Invite on Nov. 2.