Nemeth Becomes First Memphis Runner to Win C-USA Cross Country Championship
Oct. 30, 2004
Palos Hills, Ill.---University of Memphis senior Mate Nemeth became the first runner in school history to win the Conference USA Cross Country Championships as he took the victory in the men's race Saturday, October 30, in Palos Hills, Ill. On the women's side, sophomore Daniele Riendeau also set a new school mark as her 17th place finish made her the first Memphis women's runner to ever finish in the top 20 at the C-USA meet.
Nemeth, who has been a conference champion in track in the 3000m steeple chase and 5000m, posted a time of 24:47 for the 8K race. The time was good enough to out distance Houston's Tyler Stanfield, who finished second, by five seconds.
"Mate performed remarkably today," said Memphis coach Glenn Hays. "From his performances in track, we knew he had it in him to be the best in the conference. Today he had a great day and showed how good of a runner he is."
Nemeth, who was also named First Team All-C-USA because of his victory, had his win made all the more impressive by the fact that he has been slowed by injuries all fall and has only been able to run in two previous meets. This on top of dealing with a difficult course and extremely strong winds in Palos Hills made the feat even more remarkable.
For the remainder of the U of M men's team, Michael Mentz finished 42nd in a time of 26:49, Abraham Shaposhnik placed 66th in 28:22 with Gary Nemeth and Jason Morgan rounding out the scoring, finishing 76th and 77th respectively.
The men's squad finished 11th overall in the team competition, which was won by Houston, with Charlotte placing second.
In the women's 6K race, Riendeau, who has lead the Lady Tigers throughout the season, posted a time of 22:19, which kept her out of the top 15 by just one second and was only a minute behind repeat champion Mary Kinyanjui of TCU, who won the event in a time of 21:16.
Becca McMahon was Memphis' second highest finisher, placing 58th in a time of 24:30, while Mary Claire Dake was 59th in 24:31. Sarah Janecek and Nora Nemere rounded out the scoring for the U of M women, finishing 66th and 70th with times of 24:43 and 24:56 respectively. Kimberly McVeigh and Heather Woolls also ran in the meet, finishing 90th and 91st.
"I was really pleased with the way the girls ran," said Memphis women's coach Jonas Holdeman. "It was extremely windy, so the conditions were challenging. Given that I felt that everyone ran well."
The Memphis women's squad placed 11th in the 14 team meet, which was also the highest finish for a U of M women's team in the C-USA meet. Defending champion Marquette took home team the team title, with TCU garnering runner-up honors.
The Memphis cross country teams now turn their attention toward NCAA Regional Championships, which will be held Saturday, November 13, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.