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SPRINGFIELD — Oregon State’s Emily Weber opened her senior season in impressive fashion on Friday by taking first place at the Bill Dellinger Invitational cross-country meet.

Weber covered the 5,000-meter course at the Springfield Country Club in 17 minutes, 26 seconds to edge the runner-up by two seconds in the 77-woman field. It was her first cross-country race since the 2014 NCAA West Regional; she redshirted last season while doing an internship that made it impossible for her to compete.

“She ran a tremendous race,” coach Kelly Sullivan said of Weber, who tied her lifetime cross-country best – the 11th-fastest time in school history – originally set in 2013. “She has worked very hard, she raced smart and it was a big, big win.

“One of our goals was to develop a front-runner on this team and we got that out of Emily today.”

The Beavers placed fourth in the eight-team field with 84 points. Oregon (39) defended its team title, followed by Northwest Christian (51) and UC Davis (75). Northwest Christian is the defending NAIA national champion and is a dominant program at that level.

Junior Kristiane Width was OSU’s No. 2 runner, as she placed 12th in 17:44. Lexi Reed continued her strong freshman season by taking 16th in 18:04; senior Morgan Anderson was 26th in 18:20 and senior Samantha Lewis was 29th in 18:29 to complete OSU’s team scoring.

The Beavers return to action on Sept. 30 at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.

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