Yonas Tesfai finished first in the UofH Johnny Morriss Invitational

Published 09/03/2011 – 11:09 a.m. CST

HOUSTON – The University of Houston cross country team's finish second in the Johnny Morriss Invitational at Buffalo Bayou Park. The men take second to Lamar, following a strong performance from freshman Yonas Tesfai, while the women placed second, behind No. 1 ranked Texas.

On the men's side, freshman Yonas Tesfai placed first, defeating 2010 NCAA qualifier Tom Wade. Tesfai completed the course in a time of 15:20.79, 10 seconds in front of Wade.


"Yonas (Tesfai) was awesome, I am really pleased with his performance," said head coach Ryan Turner. "I am excited to have him, in my opinion he is one of the top-30 runners in America."

Sophomore David Smith followed close behind as he finished third with a time of 15:34.58, while senior Nate Pineda finished ninth (16:16.70).

The trio helped land Houston a second-place finish as a team in front of Sam Houston State and Texas Southern.

Eastern Kentucky transfer Wesley Ruttoh did not compete as he rests a toe injury.

"We are resting Wesley Ruttoh until the Rice Invitational, once he gets going our team will be even better."

For the women, Kathryn Ducommun finished 15th with a 12:13 mark, leading the women to a second-place finish. Starla Garcia added another top-20 finish for the Cougars as she finished 18th (12:21). Megan Munoz and Eryn Barosso were soon to follow as Munoz placed 21st (12:35) and Barosso placed 23rd (12:42).

Freshmen Alexis Vick (12:50) and Taylor Beer (12:51) put the Cougars at six top-30 performers, as they placed 26th and 27th, respectively in their first collegiate meet.

"I thought our women ran tough tonight, finishing second to UT, the top-ranked team in our region. We are still anticipating the return of Jaime Johnson, our team will be even better once she returns to the lineup."


The Cougars have two weeks to prepare before they make the short trip to the Rice Invitational Friday, September 13.

Houston Men
1. Yonas Tesfai (15:20)
3. David Smith (15:34)
9. Nate Pineda (16:16)
11. Andres Santaolalla (16:23)
17. John Cantu (16:36)
20. Drevan Anderson-Kappa (16:45)
24. Anthony Jordan (16:53)
26. Anthony Coleman (16:58)
27. Mark Fernando (17:02)
33. Doug Kelly (17:35)
34. John Salazar (17:36)
35. Lexington Turner (17:51)

Houston Women
15. Kat Ducommun (12:13)
18. Starla Garcia (12:21)
21. Megan Munoz (12.35)
23. Eryn Barosso (12:42)
26. Alexis Vick (12:50)
27. Taylor Beer (12:51)