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Ritter, Daschian Lead Cal Poly at Wisconsin Cross Country Invitational

Ritter, Daschian Lead Cal Poly at Wisconsin Cross Country Invitational

MADISON, Wis. — Jake Ritter took 74th place and Miranda Daschian came in 84th at the 11th annual Wisconsin Cross Country Invitational Presented by Under Armour on Friday, leading Cal Poly at Zimmer Championship Course in an environment simulating the NCAA Finals.

Combined between the two sides, 33 teams ranked in the Top 25 Poll attended the meet, as Cal Poly took 33rd in the Men's 8K standings with 778 points, and 36th in the Women's 6K scoring with 957 points.

Northern Arizona, three-time defending national champions and again the top-ranked team in the country, won the men's crown with a score of 59. No. 1-ranked Arkansas won the women's title tallying 62 points.

Ritter earned his top-75 finish with a time of 24 minutes, 27.5 seconds. The defending Big West champ & conference athlete of the week for Oct. 1, he held 45th overall in the stacked field through the 4k checkpoint (maintaining a pace of 12:04.3 halfway through prior to the field moving up).

Anthony Benitez came in 146th for the Mustangs, in 24:55.4, ahead of fellow redshirt freshman John Bennett, 153rd in 24:58.0. In addition, Justin Robison added a 204th-place time of 25:40.2 for Cal Poly, while Chas Cook took 222nd via 26:15.6 and Will Fallini-Haas was 224th in 26:20.7.

Edwin Kurgat of Iowa State claimed the individual win Friday at 23:29.4, besting Wisconsin's Oliver Hoarse by 9.7 seconds at the front.

Daschian's top-85 performance came in 21:11.6. Daschian, the 2018 conference medalist & Big West Athlete of the Week to start this month, climbed steadily as the race progressed, moving up 33 spots between the 2k & 4k markers, before vaulting up 60 more spots to close strongly during the final third of the course.

Sierra Brill was next for the Mustangs with a time of 22:03.5 to take 199th overall. She was followed by Angela DiPentino at 22:23.7 (good for 218th), Cate Ratliff in 22:28.7 (223rd), Misty Diaz at 22:57.9 (233rd), Abbey Fisk in 23:04.2 (235th) and Aimee Armstrong at 23:13.5 (239th).

Running on her home course, Badger senior Alicia Monson edged New Mexico's Weini Kelati (last season's NCAA runner-up) for the individual win, 19:39.3 to 19:48.6.

The Mustangs now turn their attention to training for the Big West Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 2 at UC Riverside. Cal Poly, defending conference champions on each side, looks to repeat beginning with the 6K at 8:45 a.m. before the 8K at 9:30.