Owls place third in JK Gold Classic at first competition

Senior Kristian Jensen finished in fifth place overall in the men’s 6,000 meters.

Temple University men’s cross country placed third out of four teams in their 2020-21 season opener in Augusta, Kansas, today with a score of 59 and a combined time of 1:33:35. 

This was the first meet for the team since Nov. 15, 2019, when Temple placed fourth out of 25 universities competing at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional.

“It was nice, the guys have been itching to get back to competing,” said head coach James Snyder. “It was good to get the spikes on, hear the starters’ pistol go off, and get a chance to compete.” 

Cincinnati finished in first place with a score of 34, Wichita State finished in second place with a score of 58 and Oklahoma City finished in fourth place with a score of 79. 

Senior Kristian Jensen led the Owls, finishing in fifth place overall with a total time of 18:17:13 in the men’s 6,000 meters. 

“It was a good run for him, we haven’t raced in a little while, and Kristian is somebody that has high expectations for himself,” Snyder said. “We view him as somebody who is one of the best this sport has offered.”

The Owls added nine freshmen to the team this summer who left their mark in their first competition. Freshman Jeppe Risvig was the second-fastest runner for Temple and finished in eighth place overall with a total time of 18:34:29 in the men’s 6,000 meters. 

Freshman Christian Fitch finished in 14th place with a total time of 18:47.67 and freshman Erik Kain finished in 15th place with a total time of 18:54.59. 

“There’s typically an adjustment period that they’re all going through, but the way we approach training is to help prepare them for this change,” Snyder said. “We saw some things today that we’re pretty positive about, but there’s also some things that we need to work on.”

Junior Sean Egan, freshman Tyler Fauvelle and freshman Harry Norman all tied for 21st place alongside Cincinnati senior Ryan Guenthner. 

The Owls want to continue getting their younger runner experience in future events, Snyder said.

“It’s continuing to gain professional experience at the college level. For our older guys, like Kristian, who’s finishing up at the end of the season, it’s an opportunity to try to go out with a bang with every competition this season,” Snyder added.

The Owls’ next race is on Feb. 6 at 10:50 a.m. when they travel to Wichita, Kansas, for The American Athletic Conference Championships. 

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