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Anzalone leads charge for Badgers on home course

2012 Wisconsin adidas Invitational
Zimmer Championship Course • Madison, Wis.

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• Distance: 6 Kilometers

 Team Results
1. Iowa State 109
2. Stanford 181
3. Arizona 242
4. Washington 252
5. Cornell 264
30. Wisconsin 726
 Individual Results
1. Laura Hollander CAL POL 19:33
2. Betsy Saina ISU 19:35
3. Amber Henry WEB ST 19:43
4. Meaghan Nelson ISU 19:45
5. Kathy Kroeger STAN 19:46
28. Gabrielle Anzalone WIS 20:11
58. Ashley Beutler WIS 20:34
160. Hanna Knurr WIS 21:09
229. Emma-Lisa Murphy WIS 21:35
251. Theresa Selestow WIS 21:43
275. Kiah Ehrke WIS 21:58
323. Caroline Bauer WIS 23:41
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MADISON, Wis. -- After a smooth start to the season, the competition stepped up for the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on Friday as the Badgers played host to one of the nation's premier competitions.

The No. 29-ranked Badgers welcomed 48 teams to the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course, including 20 of the 30 teams ranked in the latest USTFCCA national coaches' poll.

Wisconsin sophomore Gabrielle Anzalone ran a strong race and led the way for the Badgers with an impressive 27th-place finish against a stacked field. Anzalone kept a consistent pace throughout the race and finished the 6-kilometer course in a time of 20 minutes, 11 seconds.

"I tried to keep my pace. I am notorious for kind of dying in the middle, so I have just really been working hard on keeping my pace and focusing on continuing all through the race," Anzalone said.

Running at Wisconsin's home course was an advantage for Anzalone, who drew strength from the fans in attendance.

"After the four-kilometer mark I just felt kinda down, but all of the fans were here cheering. The home course advantage with the fans was really great to push me through those last two kilometers."

 Fast Facts
• Cal Poly's Laura Hollander ran course-record time of 19:33
• No. 5 Iowa State won team title
• Badgers continue action next Friday at Oshkosh Open

As a team, Wisconsin finished in 30th place with 726 points. After a strong start to the season, UW head coach Jim Stintzi was frustrated in his team's performance

"I am disappointed because we took a step back today as a team after running really well the last two weeks," Stintzi said. "Gabi ran well, but as a team we have a lot of work to do."

Senior Ashley Beutler was second for UW, clocking in at a time of 20:34 to take 58th place overall. 

Senior Hanna Knurr crossed the finish line in 160th place with a time of 21:09, while freshman Emma-Lisa Murphy finished the course in 229th place in a time of 21:35. Sophomore Theresa Selestow rounded out the Wisconsin's top five with a 251st-place finish in a time of 21:43.

"As a team we really want to continue to grow and stay together and pack up a little bit more," Anzalone said.  "We are doing really well and working on it a lot. We just want to keep improving every race."

The race belonged to Cal Poly's Laura Hollander, who bolted out to a lead at the start and never looked back. The true freshman dominated the field with a winning time of 19:33.

Hollander crushed both the meet record of 19:59.4, set by Villanova's Sheila Reid in 2011, and the previous Zimmer Course record of 19:53.8, which was set in 2010 by Emily McLeod of Michigan State.

Iowa State senior Betsy Saina crossed the line second in a time of 19:35 and helped the No. 5-ranked Cyclones bring home the championship trophy with a winning team score of 109 points.

The nation's top-ranked teams ran away with the competition, with No. 7 Stanford finishing in second with 181 points and No. 2 Arizona earning third place with 242 points. No. 3 Washington ran to a fourth-place finish with 252 points and Cornell rounded out the top five teams with 264 points.

The Badgers have the opportunity to improve next Friday, Oct. 19, when they head to the Oshkosh Open in Oshkosh, Wis. The race begins at 2 p.m. and is Wisconsin's last race before the Big Ten championship on Oct. 28.

"For us now, the focus is regrouping and getting back to running how we know we're capable of before we go to the Big Ten championship," Stintzi said.

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