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Oregon cross country finishes 1st and 2nd at Pre-Nationals

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Cross Country: NCAA Championships Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Edward Cheserek’s winning performance along with a top-10 finish from freshman Katie Rainsberger helped lead the Oregon cross country teams to a 1-2 finish at the Pre-National Invitational in Terra Haute, Indiana.

Cheserek defeated Frankline Tonui of Arkansas by a 20-second margin after breaking away from the lead pack halfway through the race, winning the 8K (just under 5 miles) race in 23:34. After the race, Cheserek made quite the statement about his effort:

"I was out there doing a tempo." - Edward Cheserek, your 2016 adidas Pre-National Invite CHAMP! #PreNats Michael Scott

A photo posted by FloTrack (@flotrack_trackisback) on

For those of you not familiar with what a tempo effort is, it is essentially running at a 70-80 percent effort, not all out like you would in a race. Translation: He wasn’t even trying that hard, averaging a 4:44 mile over nearly five miles. I’m sure that made the rest of the field feel pretty good about themselves.

Sophomore Matthew Matton finished fourth in 24:07 while Tanner Anderson also finished in the top 20 (18th overall) in 24:22.

Oregon won the men’s team race with 85 points, while Arkansas finished second with 110 points. Colorado rounded out the podium with 124 points.

On the women’s side, the Ducks finished second with 154 points while Colorado won decisively with 93 points. Rainsberger was Oregon’s top runner of the day, finishing the 6K course in sixth place with a time of 20:19. Samantha Nadel also finished in the top 15, placing 13th overall with a time of 20:28.

The Ducks have three more races this season. The Pac-12 championships will take place on October 28 in Tucson. Then, the NCAA West Regional Championship will be on November 11 in Sacramento, followed by the NCAA Championship on November 19 in Terra Haute.