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Sjolund and Wolfgram break school records at Bronco Invitational

Tierney Wolfgram during Bronco Invitational (Nevada athletics)

Three weeks since their last meet, the men’s and women’s cross country team did not slow down at the Bronco Invitational as there were 16 new personal bests and two new school records earned at Sunnyvale, Calif.

The meet concluded with the men’s team finishing in sixth and beating nine teams with a point total of 156. This finish improved significantly from when the men’s team competed at the Bronco Invitational in 2019 and finished in last. The women’s team also did better than nine other teams with their eight place placement. The team earned 234 points in this meet and would be better than their 2019 placement of 17th.

The top finisher for both the women’s and men’s teams would earn school records for their performance. Sophomore Tierney Wolfgram would finish in second with a time of 19:31.2. This time not only beating her old personal best, but beating the school record by 56 seconds. Junior Adam Sjolund would beat the school record by 29 seconds with his 15th place time of 24:08.6.

Coach Kirk Elias was very impressed by both placements and times by the top performers.

“What a fun day for the Wolf Pack,” Elias cheerfully explains. “Two school records, much better team performances than two years ago on the same course, and a plethora of PRs make for a good day. Tierney cut our school record by 56 seconds while Adam shaved 29.”

As Elias mentioned, there were plenty of personal bests to go around. In the invitational, there were five other men’s runners who earned personal bests. Junior Andrew Ribeiro would finish in 23rd with a time of 24:19.6. This beating his old personal best of 26:01. Sophomore Daniel Say finished the invitational in 30th with a time of 24:27.6. This time would beat his personal best by four seconds.

Three more veterans would earn personal bests, as junior Celime Garcia earned a time of 24:51.3. This time not only earning him a 50th place finish, but was also a whole minute better than his old personal best time of 26:06. Senior Alex Mendoza finished just behind Garcia in 56th with a time of 24:54.2. His time was also a minute higher than his old personal best of 26:00. Lastly, junior Brian Kipchumba finished in 68th with his time of 25:14.3. Beating his personal best by 13 seconds.

“Our men had only had one man under 25:00 in a race in the last two and a half years,” Elias said. “Today our fifth man ran 24:52.”

The women’s team also had five more personal bests after Wolfgram’s school record time. Senior Kate Rye finished in 44th with a time of 21:44.6. This moves Rye up to 18th in the Nevada all-time list. Sophomore Marena Middleton would finish the meet in 58th with a time of 22:04.2. Beating her personal best by almost a whole minute.

Junior Kalia Pfeffer finished the meet with a time of 22:12.6. Earning a 61st place finish, and beating her old personal best of 22:47.2 that she earned at the Bronco Invitational in 2019. Sophomore Carley Legenbauer finished in 84th with a time of 22:46.8. This time would be 50 seconds better than her old personal best. Lastly, freshman Claire Nelson finished in 105th place with her new personal best time of 23:11.9.

“Our women were 17th here two years ago,” says Elias. “Even though we sat four of our top seven due to illness, we finished 8th. We are making big progress!”

Finally, four other men’s athletes competed in the open competition at the meet. Three of the four earned personal bests. Freshman Alfonso Parsare earned a time of 26:00.6 and finished in 41st. This time being a minute and 30 seconds faster than his old personal best. Freshman Soma Baligad finished seven seconds behind Parsare in 49th. The last athlete to earn a personal best was Pierce Simpkins, who finished with an 89th place finish and time of 26:54.6.

With the momentum in their last regular season meet, Nevada men’s and women’s cross country teams will both travel to Albuquerque to compete in the Mountain West Championships on Friday Oct. 29.

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