By David Rogers. October 17, 2014. BOONE, NC — With seven runners in the top 25 and led by a second place finish by sophomore Mountaineer Tristin Van Ord (18:03.41 for the 5k Cross Country Run), Appalachian State’s women’s cross country team splashed to the team title on Friday in the Blue Ridge Open Cross Country Invitational at the Don Kennedy Cross Country Trails.
Blowing Rock News coverage of App State Sports is made possible by a sponsorship from Appalachian Regional Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine Center.
Photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
On the men’s side, former App State cross country and distance star Chris Moen — now a Blowing Rock resident training at ZAP Fitness — finished second overall, a little more than 12 seconds behind Northern Kentucky’s J.J. Weber. Moen’s time for the men’s 6400 meters run was 20:15.28, just ahead of a pair of High Point runners, Jeff LaCoste in third (20:17.01) and Chris Colo in fourth (20:19.88).
Weather conditions for Friday’s race were perfect. Temperatures hovered near 50. The sky was cloudless and crystal clear. The last remnants of a colorful autumn leaves adorned the sides of the course and hills above State Farm Fields, some fluttering to their final season resting places along the river thanks to a push from the gentlest of breezes.
But the runners still faced adversity on the margin. Early week rains left large puddles of water to splash through on the trails, especially on the extreme north end of State Farm and the backside of the course, out towards the municipal water treatment plant, runners said. One runner quipped to Blowing Rock News, “It was just ducky, splashing through all of that.” She quickly added, “But this is cross country. If you want to run on a dry, smooth surface, then you go run on the track. For me, this is more fun!”
The pre-race talk among coaches and onlookers had Wake Forest as the odds-on favorite in both the men’s and women’s races. Furman, which is building a top-drawer distance running program by reportedly allocating all of its track and field scholarships to distance runners, sent a “B” team to Boone with its top runners competing in the Terre Haute, Indiana-hosted Pre-Nationals meet. Similarly, North Carolina State sent its “B” team to Boone while fielding an “A” slate in Terre Haute.
At the Blue Ridge Invitational, High Point University captured the men’s team title, led by LaCoste’s and Colo’s 3rd and 4th place finishes. Each team scored with their top five runners.
Blue Ridge Invitational Men’s Team Results
- High Point (29 points)
- Wake Forest (51)
- Furman B (75)
- Northern Kentucky (106)
- Appalachian State (112)
- East Carolina (163)
- Coastal Carolina (197)
- Lenoir-Rhyne (229)
- Lees-McRae (267)
Blue Ridge Invitational Women’s Team Results
- Appalachian State (38)
- Wake Forest (44)
- Coastal Carolina (88)
- High Point (114)
- East Carolina (123)
- Northern Kentucky (173)
- Lenoir-Rhyne (190)
- Gardner-Webb (195)
- Winston-Salem State (284)
- Lees-McRae (291)