TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Lauren Gregory, leading the 6,000m race during the late stages of Florida State’s Pre-National Invitational, finished as runner-up in 19 minutes, 47.7 seconds as No. 11 Arkansas placed sixth in team scoring.
The Razorbacks totaled 243 points in finishing behind the top five schools, which consisted of No. 5 Colorado 54, No. 10 Utah 149, No. 15 Florida State 163, No. 14 Mississippi 165, and North No. 12 Carolina 184.
“Knowing where the finish line is and where the course kind of dipped down for next time is good to know,” stated Gregory in regards to returning this site for the NCAA Championships in November. “I can’t complain, either first, second or third, it’s all right there. I know where I am and where I want to be. It’s all good.”
Colorado also claimed the individual title with Abby Nichols posting a winning time of 19:46.4. Florida’s State’s Lauren Ryan finished in third at 19:51.1 behind the stellar run by Gregory.
“I’m glad we saw the course,” said Gregory. “It was a fun course and really pretty, kind of similar to the areas we run on the roads for practice in Fayetteville. It was good to get everyone in a race again, since we haven’t had that in a while. It was good to get in the mix again.
“It’s good being able see where your feet are and at least know where the sandy parts are. Being able to see the back section of the course with the gravel section was good as well. Otherwise the footing was fantastic.”
Krissy Gear, who raced on this course six times in high school, finished in the top 10 as the next Razorback crossing the line, placing eighth in 20:07.9, while Isabel Van Camp finished 24th in 20:16.5.
“Our top three ran fantastic,” stated Arkansas women’s head coach Lance Harter. “Lauren, of course, is going to be threat to win any race she enters. Krissy and Isabel did fantastic today. This is kind of old home week for Krissy. Isabel kind of made an announcement today of how good she can be. I’m really proud of all three of them.”
Julia Paternain was the fourth Arkansas runner, placing 99th in 21:10.0, as Gracie Hyde completed the team score as the fifth runner, finishing 116th in 21:22.7. Corie Smith and Carmie Prinsloo completed the UA crew running in the primary race with Smith 140th (21:42.0) and Prinsloo 154th (21:49.2) in the field of 246 runners.
“We had to make a decision at the starting line about Meghan Underwood,” noted Harter. “She has real bad blisters that were killing her. Sometimes it’s a simple as a blister, but if you start favoring it then it can cause a hip problem or whatever. This is too early in the season to gamble. So, we pulled her out.”
Running in the Open race, which included 294 runners, Logan Jolly finished 11th with a time of 21:12.7 while London Culbreath placed 30th in 21:49.1 and Quinn Owen was 118th in 23:06.1.
Florida State | Pre-National Invitational
Teams: 1. Colorado 54, 2. Utah 149, 3. Florida State 163, 4. Mississippi 165, 5. North Carolina 184, 6. Arkansas 243, 7. Northern Arizona 279, 8. Liberty 279, 9. Illinois 302, 10. Georgetown 317, 11. Toledo 335, 12. Kentucky 342, 13. Weber State 365, 14. Ohio State 370, 15. Duke 379.