Midshipmen Place Second in Navy Invitational
Sept. 15, 2007
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Navy men's cross country runner John Olsen (Sr./Staten Island, N.Y.) produced the ninth-fastest time in USNA Cross Country Course history and the third-best clocking on the day to lead the Midshipmen to a second-place finish out of 11 scoring teams in front of more than 1,000 fans at the Navy Invitational on Saturday morning.
Louisville, the 15th-ranked team in the nation, won the team title with a team score of 34 points, 23 fewer than Navy's tally. La Salle placed third with 95 points, followed by preseason Patriot League champion favorite American's 108 points and Richmond's 115 points to round out the top-five teams.
Louisville runner Wesley Korir shattered a 25-year course record in winning the race, finishing in 23:30.0. The time was 12.6 seconds better than the previous mark held by Syracuse's Jim O'Connell on Oct. 2, 1982. All told on Saturday, four times ranked among the 25-fastest in course history.
"(Wesley Korir) outran the golf cart at one point during the race," stated Navy head coach Al Cantello. "Most of the course's all-time top times have come later in the season, when the weather is cool and the teams are better conditioned. For John (Olsen) to do what he did today, with the numerous hairpins, was simply phenomenal. The conditions were ideal, as there was a nice breeze and the temperature was around 75 degrees at the start of the race."
Olsen, last week's Patriot League Runner of the Week, averaged 4:48.24 per mile and completed the course in 24:01.2, only 0.9-second off Louisville's Soimo Kiplagat's time for second place. Olsen's effort on Saturday represented the third-fastest showing by a Navy runner in course history, only 14.0 seconds shy of Ronnie Harris' 23:47.8 clocking in 1986.
Classmate and team captain John Kress (Sr./Colorado Springs, Colo.) also had a memorable race, placing fifth with a time of 24:14.9. Kress's performance ranks as the 14th-quickest time by a Navy runner on his home course in program history. Bill Prom (Jr./New Berlin, Wis.) finished 11th with a blistering time of 24:56.1, followed by Chris Horel's (So./Belford, N.J.) 25:02.7 clocking for 17th place and Ben Kozy's (Sr./Houston, Texas) 21st-place time of 25:14.5.
This year's invitational field of 12 teams was the fourth largest in course history, only behind the 2002 Navy Invitational (15 teams), 1989 Navy Invitational (17 teams) and 1989 NCAA Championships (22 teams).
Navy will return to action when it heads back to Bronx, N.Y., to partake in the Iona Meet of Champions on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 10:15 a.m.