Oct. 15, 2011
HOUSTON - The University of Houston cross country men placed second at the Cal-State Northridge Invitational, while the women took seventh. Senior Wesley Ruttoh led the men's team as he took first overall in the men's 8K race. Ruttoh willed the Cougars to the second place victory as they surpassed Cal-State Fullerton by four points, falling to winner, UC Irvine by only two points.
"Going into the last mile I felt like our men were in solid third place," head coach Ryan Turner said. "But a long way from first place, it was great to see how well our men competed over the last mile and nearly pulled off the win."
Ruttoh finished the course in 24:38.18, edging second place finisher Sam Hyams by seven seconds. This marks the first cross country victory for Ruttoh as a Cougar. The Kenya native also won the 3,000M Steeplechase at the 2011 Texas Relays.
"Wesley, Yonas, and David put together a great race," Turner said. "They competed with a lot of pride today."
On the women's side, Megan Munoz and Kat Ducommun paced Houston. C-USA Athlete of the Week Munoz was the front-runner for the Cougars as she finished 12th with a time of 22:26. Ducommun took 17th, finishing the 6K course in 22:37.
"Our women get an A for effort today," Turner said. "They were excited and went out to fast, which affected their final results. Today was a learning opportunity for them and we'll get back to work tomorrow."
Houston sets its sights on the C-USA Championships. The conference meet will take place Oct. 31, in Houston.
MEN - 2nd
1. Wesley Ruttoh - 24:38.18
3. Yonas Tesfai - 24:51.95
7. David Smith - 24:58.96
21. Andres Santaolalla - 25:55:56
35. Nate Pineda - 26:38.38
50. Anthony Jordan - 27:25.96
59. John Cantu - 28:18.27
WOMEN - 7th
12. Megan Munoz - 22:26
17. Kat Ducommun - 22:37
48. Julie Reinwald - 23:31.13
59. Starla Garcia - 23:47.73
73. Eryn Barroso - 24:19.75
78. Alexis Vick - 24:33.77
81. Taylor Beer - 24:39.51