Cornerstone Women - Smith posts second place finish at Augustana
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Stifling heat stirred up the Brissman-Lundeen Invitational, but that didn't stop CU's Kelli Smith from a runner-up finish, leading the Golden Eagles to fourth. The meet featured a few NAIA schools and many NCAA DII and DII schools.
As forecasted all week, the temperature passed 90 degrees with a heat index of 95 at race time. Meet officials wisely changed the event from 6,000 meters to 5,000 and pushed back the starting time slightly. Four of the 21 scheduled teams opted not to participate.
The Cornerstone women took extra measures to endure the heat, taking electrolyte tablets before the race, draping themselves with towels soaked in ice water before the start and setting up two stations along the course to get bottles of ice water. "Our primary goal was for everyone to come home on the bus," said Coach Rod Wortley. "Conditions like these can be dangerous so we made adjustments to stay safe and still execute a good race plan."
Smith put herself in the lead pack from the start, reaching the mile mark in second place. By midrace she assumed the lead opening a gap on all but Emma Roberts of Benedictine. Roberts had a stronger finish with Smith second in 19:00. CU's next three were just fifteen seconds apart at the line, led by Ally Rabe who took eleventh in 19:48, Valerie Richter fourteenth in 19:50 and Sierra Albus sixteenth in 19:59. Amanda Sorokin was the final scorer, running 21:29 in 74th.
University of Wisconsin-Steven's Point won with 76 points, while just four points separated second from fourth. Wartburg took second with 113, edging Augustana at 116 and Cornerstone 117.