Haddonfield’s Seth Clevenger and Cherokee’s Nicole Clifford, two of New Jersey’s top distance runners last year, enjoyed successful college debuts Friday at the Mizzou XC Opener at Gans Creek XC Course in Columbia, Mo.
Clevenger, a freshman at Iowa State, placed 7th out of 48 runners in the men’s race, covering the 6,000-meter course in 18:15.0, which is 15:12 pace for a 5K course.
Clevenger was the first freshman across the line and was the 6th finisher for Iowa State, ranked 10th in the initial USTFCCA national poll. Iowa State went 1-3-4-5-6-7-8 and won the team title 19-56 over Oklahoma. Iowa State junior Ezekiel Rop of Eldoret, Kenya, was overall winner in 17:54.
Clifford, a freshman at Oklahoma, opened her college career by placing 24th in the women’s race and finishing 6th among freshman. She covered the 5,000-meter course in 18:44 and was Oklahoma’s 6th runner. Dana Feyen of Iowa State won the race in 17:.24. Iowa State won the team title 17-49 over Oklahoma.