Weekend Recap: NAU Men Escape UCLA Upset, Oregon Women Edge Stanford & Georgetown Beats FSU

Weekend Recap: NAU Men Escape UCLA Upset, Oregon Women Edge Stanford & Georgetown Beats FSU

NEW ORLEANS – Keep checking in on this page throughout the weekend to get the most up-to-date recaps of the weekend’s top college cross country action in the NCAA.

Click the links below to go to the recap for a specific meet (chronologically listed), or keep scrolling down from here to take it all in!

Notre Dame | UW-Eau Claire | Greater Louisville Classic | Arkansas | Paul Short | Washington

Washington Invitational

No. 2 NAU Escapes Upset Bid by No. 20 UCLA; Nova’s Tiernan Crushes the Field

No. 20 UCLA was really pushing for the upset win in the Saturday afternoon Washington Invitational – the best men’s race of the year to this point – but it was ultimately pre-meet favorite No. 2 Northern Arizona that came out on top with the win, 62-72.

Men’s Washington Results

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 2 Northern Arizona 62
2 No. 20 UCLA 72
3 No. 6 Stanford* 92
4 No. 13 Virginia 112
5 No. 26 Oklahoma 129
6 No. 25 Washington 152
7 No. 9 Villanova* 153
8 No. 7 Indiana 157
9 No. 5 Portland* 204
* split squad/B team
Full Results

Rounding out the top five in this race that featured nine nationally ranked teams were No. 6 Stanford (without the Rosa twins, Maksim Korolev or Sean McGorty) with 92 points, No. 13 Virginia with 112 and No. 26 Oklahoma with 129.

Virginia led for much of the first half of the race before NAU took command of the team standings in the second half. The Lumberjacks were nearly overtaken by the UCLA Bruins in the late stages of the race – officially as close as two points separated them at 7k – but NAU was able to rally.

Runner-up Futsum Zeinasellassie, fourth-place Matt McElroy and sixth-place Caleb Hoover made NAU the lone team with three top-10 finishers (the three were separated by just 16 seconds) but their Nos. 4 and 5 were back in the mid-20s, opening the door to UCLA.

The Bruins, led by former All-American Lane Werley in ninth, put a pack of four across the line within two seconds of one another, and likely could have taken the win had their No. 5 not finished 30th more than 30 seconds behind.

As close as the team race was, the individual race resolved itself much sooner.

Tiernan
Winner Patrick Tiernan of Villanova
(c) 2014, Paul Merca

Villanova’s Patrick Tiernan (ninth at NCAAs in 2013 as a frosh) put down the hammer on the season’s best field to this point and won by 20 seconds over Zeinasellassie, who was the fourth-place finisher at NCAAs a year ago. The Aussie sophomore made his move at the 5k mark – Futsum and McElroy were right on his shoulder – and never looked back. The gap widened to six seconds at 6k and 12 seconds with 1000m to go.

Abbbiya Simbassa of Oklahoma moved up into third place to give the Sooners a pair of top-10 finishers (seventh-place Brandon Doughty). The Sooners were fifth, taking down such squads as No. 7 Indiana and No. 28 Washington.

Washington’s All-American Aaron Nelson steadily moved up the ladder throughout the race to ultimately round out the individual top five.

Indiana’s eighth-place finish was particularly curious, as the Hoosiers appeared to have run all of their top men – meaning this result will likely count for NCAA at-large consideration. The Hoosiers are scheduled to split its squad between Wisconsin and Pre-Nationals in a couple of weeks, but this result may change that in order to accrue some head-to-head victories at one place or the other.

Neither No. 5 Portland (ninth) nor No. 9 Villanova (seventh) ran their top squads.

No. 3 Oregon Edges No. 4 Stanford; Cranny Wins in College Debut

Women’s Washington Results

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 3 Oregon 48
2 No. 4 Stanford 55
3 No. 15 Washington 119
4 UCLA 134
5 Portland 144
6 Wyoming 160
7 No. 13 Villanova* 195
8 Indiana 216
9 Northern Arizona (RV) 216
* split squad/B team
Full Results

Though neither showed all of their cards in their first big meets of 2014, No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 Stanford still managed to come out on top at the inaugural Washington Invitational on Saturday morning in Seattle.  The Ducks won without Sarah Baxter or Waverly Neer, defeating the Aisling Cuffe/Cami Chapus-less Cardinal.

Oregon put up 48 points, 7 fewer than their bitter Pac-12 rivals.  They did so behind a fourth-place effort from a potentially rejuvenated Lindsay Crevoiserat.  She was 42nd at NCAAs for Connecticut in 2012, but just 234th on her new team last fall. 

Baxter had never lost a high school cross country race until last December’s Nike nationals, where she lost to Alexa Efraimson and Elise Cranny

The former has since turned professional; the latter made her NCAA debut on Saturday and did not disappoint.

Cranny
Winner Elise Cranny of Stanford
(c) 2014, Paul Merca

Cranny plus sophomores Melanie Townsend of Northern Arizona and Maddie Meyers of Washington broke way from the field after 3000 meters.  The trio was 17:02 at 5k before Cranny ran a scorching 3:09 last kilo for the victory. She crossed the line in 20:11, about seven seconds clear of Townsend.

Rounding out the top five individuals were Crevioserat of Oregon and Holly Page of Wyoming.

The Pac-12 took the top four team spots, and the brutal gauntlet that is going to the West region had the top five teams.   West Nos. 1-3 Oregon, Stanford, and Washington held to form, while West No. 12 UCLA beat No. 6 Portland for fourth. 

Washington is ranked No. 15 nationally; the next nationally ranked team at UW was No. 13 Villanova, who debuted Irish superstar Siofra Buttner but may have held back part of their A squad.  Villanova was 7th behind UCLA, Portland, and unranked Wyoming.  The latter team was originally scheduled to race at Notre Dame, but had its flight to Chicago cancelled.

Paul Short Run

Shorthanded No. 5 Georgetown Women take down No. 6 FSU; Both finish WAY behind Canada’s Guelph

Without the services of stalwarts Samantha Nadel and Katrina Coogan, No. 5 Georgetown still knocked off No. 6 Florida State, 127-145, to finish as the top NCAA teams in second and third, respectively.

Women’s Paul Short Results – Gold

Pos. Team Score
1 Guelph (Canada) 48
2 No.5 Georgetown 127
3 No.6 Florida State 145
4 Yale 202
5 Cornell 230
Full Results

As Scott Olberding told us earlier this week, all decent teams have pretty similar No. 1 and 2 runners; it’s the 3-5 slots where elite teams separate themselves.  It came all the way down to No. 5 for FSU and Georgetown, as the Seminoles were actually beating the Hoyas 68-93 through four spots.

FSU had the advantage in low sticks behind winner Colleen Quigley and 11th-place Pippa Woolven – who both came in before Georgetown’s No. 1 in 14th-place Madeline Chambers – but FSU was doomed by its one minute, 39-second spread between Quigley and its fifth scorer, while Georgetown posted a tidy 36-second difference between Chambers and its No. 5.

Georgetown put six among the top 60 individual finishers, while FSU only managed six in the top 100.

Before lingering too long on the NCAA action, we should note that the winning team was actually an extremely impressive University of Guelph, out of Ontario. Let’s see how Guelph’s points and top five average rank against comparable NCAA teams from recent Paul Shorts past, excluding the slow years of 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2009. (Conditions were either very humid or very muddy in those years).

Year

Team

Points/Avg. Time

NCAA Finish

2014

Guelph

48/20:16

NA

2010

Georgetown

34/20:26

4

2008

West Virginia

47/20:22

4

2008

Villanova

78/20:40

6

2007

Princeton

45/20:45

14

 

Individually, Florida State’s Colleen Quigley easily defeated a pack of Guelphians (Guelphites? Guelphadians?) to win by nine seconds, running just five second slower than 2013 NCAA Champ Abbey D’Agostino ran in significantly warmer conditions a year ago. Mississippi State’s Rhianwedd Price led early, but faded to tenth place.  Iona’s Rosie Clarke was the second NCAA finisher in fourth place.

Further down the team tables, two-time DIII national champ No. 1 Johns Hopkins beat DII No. 2 Adams State with an impressive tenth-place finish.

Navy Pulls the Upset in the Men’s Gold Race

With a tight 27-second spread between its first and last scorer, Navy did its patriotic duty and made up for Canadians Guelph winning the women’s race.  The Midshipmen picked up the surprise win with 95 points, 28 ahead of Guelph.

Men’s Paul Short Results – Gold

Pos. Team Score
1 Navy 95
2 Guelph (Canada) 123
3 No. 1 Adams State (D2) 130
4 Yale 132
5 No. 13 Iona (not full squad) 146
Full Results

Leading the way for Navy was ninth-place Stephen Schroeder, leading all five Midshipmen to top-25 individual finishes.

Third was Division II No. 1 Adams State  The two-time defending NCAA champion Grizzlies had by far the best score through four runners, with their top quartet totaling 50 points. (Second best was Navy with 71). They had the best No. 2, 3, and 4 harriers in the field, but then had just the 6th best No. 5 runner.

Reigning DII XC champion Tabor Stevens finished 13th overall and third on the Grizzlies.

Adams was without the services of Julian Florez, who was 12th at DII outdoor nationals in the 10k and 46th in cross country. 

Like Adams State, D1 No. 9 Villanova was powerful up front and then lacking.  The Wildcats had the top team score through three runners (fifth, sixth and 12th), but with the rest of their varsity racing in Seattle, their fourth runner took just 183rd place.

On the DIII side, No. 10 Williams knocked off No. 4 St. Lawrence, 471-552.  Both of those rankings were largely on the merits of SLU knocking off Williams in a 6k at Saratoga three weeks ago. Williams’s Colin Cotton was the top DIII finisher in 14th. Both were hundreds of points clear of No. 8 Johns Hopkins.

The individual race provided some in-the-moment drama to contrast with the anticipation of waiting for the agate team results to materialize on paper or on the internet.  Mike Biwott, Aaron Dinzeo, and Kevin Batt (all Division II runners) pulled well clear of the field by 5000 meters; shortly thereafter, Biwott of American International threw in some serious surges and strung out the pack.

As Biwott and Dinzeo (a senior at Cal U (Pa.)) headed down Lehigh’s brutally long homestretch, Biwott began to slightly fade; for a moment, it appeared that Dinzeo had significantly more left.  But it was just the effort of a historic performance by Biwott that had completely drained the tank.

Greater Louisville Classic

No. 16 Wisconsin Women Dominate Greater Louisville Classic Field

Women’s Louisville Results – Gold

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 16 Wisconsin 37
2 No. 23 West Virginia 64
3 No. 28 Virginia Tech 194
4 Lipscomb 197
5 Missouri 202
Full Results

Led by individual winner Sarah Disanza, third-place Molly Hanson and fourth-place Emma-Lisa Murphy, the No. 16 Wisconsin women ran away with the team title in the Gold Race at Louisville, 37-64-194 over No. 23 West Virginia and No. 28 Virginia Tech.

Much like their fellow Louisville champion men’s teammates (see below) the Badger women put all five scoring runners across the line among the top 20 finishers with a decent 51-second spread.

Runner-up WVU put all five of its scorers past the finish line in the top 25, led by a pair of top-10 finishers in fifth-place Jillian Forsey and 10th-place Kaitlyn Gillespie.

Pre-meet favorite and top returning All-American in this field Teghan Henderson of Chattanooga did not race

The top DII finisher by a long shot was ninth-place former National Athlete of the Week Emily Frith of Bellarmine, 18 seconds clear of 22nd-place Kristana Galat of No. 8 Hillsdale.

Hilsdale would have the best day of any of the top-25 teams in Division II, however, finishing 11th with 371 points – well clear of No. 16 Southern Indiana (16th, 469 points), No. 13 Cal Baptist (18th, 485), unranked Roberts Wesleyan (20th, 506) and No. 11 Winona State (26th, 643).

No. 11 Wisconsin Men Decimate the Competition at Louisville

Men’s Louisville Results – Gold

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 11 Wisconsin 56
2 Mississippi 111
3 Missouri 125
4 Virginia Tech (156) 157
5 Middle Tennesse St. 159
Full Results

There was no doubt which men’s team was the best at the Greater Louisville Classic, as No. 11 Wisconsin rolled to a decisive victory over runner-up Mississippi, 56-111. Led by individual runner-up Malacy Schrobilgen (All-American in 2013 as a freshman), the Badgers put all of their top five scorers in the top 20.

Taking the individual win over Schrobilgen was DII Shorter frosh Silos Too by three seconds in 23:45.77. Louisville put two in the top four with third-place Ernest Kibet and fourth-place Edwin Kibichiy, but finished sixth in the team standings.

Coming in right behind the Louisville duo was the duo of Johnnie Guy and Tyler Pence of DII No. 5 Southern Indiana. Guy, a returning top-10 NCAA XC finisher a year ago and the reigning NCAA 10k outdoor champ, finished 11 seconds behind winner Too of Shorter.

The Screaming Eagles only had one other top 100 finisher and ended up ninth with 277 points.

The next-best DII team in the field was 15th-place No. 11 Mount Olive with 399 points.

Arkansas Chile Pepper Festival

No. 17 Razorback Men Cruise as Kebenei Edges Rival Rotich

While not much happened at the Chile Pepper Festival that affects the national team landscape in Division I, the individual race proved very interesting, indeed. The Razorbacks’ Stanley Kebenei won a sprint to the finish over former teammate Kemoy Campbell (now unattached) and UTEP’s Anthony Rotich by just a second in 23:53.5 over the 8k course.

This is the second time in the past four months Kebenei – who finished sixth at NCAAs a year ago – has been in a sprint finish with two-time XC All-American Rotich. Kebenei lost out to Rotich with a stumble on the final stretch in the outdoor NCAA steeplechase final as Rotich claimed his second consecutive national title in the event.

Rotich was fourth in cross at NCAAs two years ago, and was 19th last season on the very muddy Terre Haute course.

Kebenei’s No. 17 Razorback men were the winners in the team standings with 51 points to Lamar (receiving votes) with 96. Rotich’s Miners with fourth in the Division I competition with 110 points.

On the DII front, No. 18 Sioux Falls finished second overall behind NAIA champ Oklahoma City, 61-71, and ahead of No. 15 Missouri Southern (3rd, 88 points) and No. 13 West Texas A&M (5th, 110).

MSSU’s Eric Schott was sixth overall as the top DII man about 20 seconds behind the Kebenei/Campbell/Rotich madness.

No. 7 Arkansas Women Dominate Again, This Time at Home

The No. 7 Arkansas women continued to impress against fields not up to par with their talent level, this time dispatching Lamar in the Division I 5k competition, 16-81. Former National Athlete of the Week Dominique Scott won the race – her third win of the season – in 16:01.0 by 11 seconds over teammate Grace Heymsfield and four other Razorbacks in the top 10.

Arkansas will get its first true test against the stacked field at the adidas Wisconsin Invitational in two weekends.

Notre Dame Invitational

No. 19 Michigan Upsets No. 10 BYU in Men’s Blue Race

Flotrack pegged Friday afternoon as a major Kolas fest, and with the Notre Dame results in the books, they’ll almost certainly be relevant in November. No. 19 Michigan knocked off favorite No. 10 BYU for the win, 97-112, and the madness didn’t stop there.

Men’s Notre Dame Results – Blue

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 19 Michigan 97
2 No. 10 BYU 112
3 No. 15 New Mexico 125
4 No. 24 Florida State 162
5 No. 23 Eastern Kentucky 209
6 No. 22 Southern Utah 209
7 No. 25 Colorado State 217
8 No. 16 NC State 276
9 No. 18 Tulsa 284
10 No. 20 Princeton 285
Full Results

Michigan and BYU were evenly matched for runners 2-3-4-5 (no more than four spots separated UofM’s No. 2 from BYU’s and so on), but individual winner Mason Ferlic made the difference for Michigan as BYU’s No. 1 Jon Nelson was 10th.

Six different teams beat at least three teams that were ranked ahead of them in the national poll, though all ten ranked teams composed the top ten.

Michigan’s win, led by individual champ Ferlic (who was the top American in the steeple at NCAAs), was impressive, but perhaps the most pleased teams are No. 24 Florida State and No. 22 Southern Utah

FSU came into the meet as the ninth-highest ranked team of the field’s 10 top-30 squads and led by ninth-place finisher Glen Yarham left with wins over five teams ranked higher than it.

The dark horse Thunderbirds (that would be quite a hybrid) backed up their shocking Roy Griak win with a sixth place finish here, beating No. 25 Colorado State, No. 16 NC State, No. 18 Tulsa, and No. 20 Princeton.

A couple of relative newcomers to the national scene who stuck their noses in with some established All-Americans. Butler junior Erik Peterson finished runner-up behind Ferlic and ahead of 2013 All-American/Great Lakes Region champ John Mascari of Indiana State. Just behind Mascari and ahead of 2013 Purdue All-American Matt McClintock was fourth-place Tommy Awad of Penn.

Reigning National Athlete of the Week Nate Jewkes of Southern Utah was seventh.

No. 12 New Mexico Dominates Women’s Blue Race

Befitting their No. 12 national ranking (18 better than any other team in the race), New Mexico absolutely dominated this year’s edition of the Notre Dame Invitational

Women’s Notre Dame Results – Blue

Pos. Team Score
1 No. 12 New Mexico 49
2 NC State (RV) 123
3 Notre Dame 147
4 BYU (RV) 157
5 No. 30 Penn State 181
Full Results

Unranked North Carolina StateNotre Dame, and BYU finished second, third, and fourth ahead of No. 30 Penn State. The champion Lobos put three runners in the top ten (no one else had more than one) and five in the top twenty (the only team with more than two).

Our previews and others neglected to mention Charlotte Arter of New Mexico, who was listed as a senior all of last school year. Arter was 18th at NCAAs last fall (making her the No. 7 returner) and ran 4:16 to qualify for outdoor nationals in June.  She won by eight seconds today; add her to what is suddenly a long list of women who have big dreams come November.

Second behind Arter, in a somewhat stunning performance, was Agnes Sjostrom of Southern Methodist.  Noted on the blog earlier: The small meet SMU runs before Notre Dame is the Ken Garland meet. Last year, Sjostrom was 5th at Garland in 18:16 and 67th at ND. This year, she was 6th at Garland in 18:00 and second at ND.

Behind the first two finishers were 2013 All-Americans Joanna Thompson of NC State and Katie Borchers of Ohio State. Molly Seidel of host Notre Dame rounded out the top five.

Grand Valley State Sweeps the Gold Division Races

One of the coolest things about our sport is its lack of rigid boundaries—we don’t have to have a water cooler debate about how, say, the best DII teams would fare against the best DIII teams, because they already race each other.

Women’s Notre Dame Results – Gold

Team Score Affiliation
Grand Valley St. 1st/56 D2 #1
Duquesne 2nd/121 D1 Mid-Atlantic #8
Minnesota-Duluth 3rd/150 D2 #4
Pitt 4th/156 D1 Mid-Atlantic #7
Richmond 5th/201 D1 Southeast #14
Northern Iowa 6th/204 NR
Iowa 7th/211 D1 Midwest #15
Full Results

On a cloudy but quick afternoon in South Bend, some of the best squads in DII and DIII, plus regionally ranked DI teams, faced off. 

Some minor generalizations from the team race: the very best DII men’s teams are slightly superior to the very best DIII men’s teams, and the best of both divisions would be ranked in the top five or so in most non-West DI regions. 

More specifically, the Grand Valley State women are outstanding.  Comparing times and points from different days can be specious and pointless, but the Lakers’s 2013 national champion squad scored seven more points at Notre Dame last year.  Their top five in 2013 went 17:42, 17:48, 17:51, 18:10, 18:20; this year, those times were 16:52, 16:58, 17:08, 17:18, 17:27.

With a 94-point blowout (relative to the smallish field) over No. 4 Minnesota-Duluth, GVSU has to be feeling good about their chances for a Division II title repeat.

Men’s Notre Dame Results – Gold

Team Score Affiliation
Grand Valley St. 1st/71 D2 #2
North Central (Ill.) 2nd/82 D3 #1
Southern Illinois 3rd/109 D1 Midwest #13
Windsor 4th/192 Canadian!
Duquesne 5th/199 D1 Mid-Atlantic #15
Saint Louis 6th/215 NR
Pitt 7th/220 D1 Mid-Atlantic #13
Full Results

The biggest individual story was GVSU the top-10 individual showdown between third-place Allyson Winchester of GVSU (16:52.0) and fourth-place Samantha Rivard of Minnesota Duluth (16:55.9). That was the order in which they finished at NCAAs a year ago, and GVSU teammate Kendra Foley was right on their tails today (16:58.3) in fifth..

On the men’s side, the No. 2 Lakers snuck by DIII No. 1 North Central for an 11-point win.   The DI teams in the field should take no shame in losing to the programs for which our national program of the year awards are named. If there were any doubt that NCC is the DIII title favorite this fall, the Cards’ domination of pre-nats followed by this performance should make their status clear.

Individually, men’s champ Luis Vargas must be itching for a few more chances to run with the big boys, as he was second in the White race at Pre-Nats field last year.

UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational

No. 3 Defending Champ St. Olaf Men Avenge Earlier Loss to No. 2 UW-Eau Claire

What the Washington Invitational was to Division I (read the recap at the top of the page if you haven’t already), the UW-Eau Claire Blugold Invitational was to Division III.

What it was to No. 3 St. Olaf was sweet redemption. The defending national champion Oles avenged their loss two weeks ago at their home invitational to No. 2 UW-Eau Claire by returning the favor and narrowly winning on the Blugold’s home turf, 48-52.

No. 5 Central (Iowa) finished a distant third with 107 points, just ahead of a surprising No. 26 UW-Stout squad with 108. Carleton (receiving votes) rounded out the top five with 207 points, while No. 7 UW-Platteville was seventh with 222 points.

Two-time national third-place finisher Grant Wintheiser led the way on the Oles’ run for revenge, winning the individual 8k title in 24:36.5 to lead Jake Campbell (3rd) and Paul Escher (9th) as top-10 St. Olaf finishers.

Though St. Olaf managed to get all five scorers in the top 20 (1:07 spread), but UWEC did them one better and got all five in the top 15 with a  40-second spread. Only Josh Thorson in fifth and 10th-place Christian Leitner managed top-10 finishes for the Blugolds, however.

Wintheiser ended up winning by five seconds over former National Athlete of the Week Hart Hornor of Carleton. Campbell, Ian LaMere of UW-Platteville and Thorson rounded out the top five finishers. Eli Horton, who led the 2013 NCAA XC Championships before ultimately finishing fourth, was seventh in this race.

No. 16 Carleton Women Crush Field at UW-Eau Claire

While the men’s race was exceedingly close, that was not the case in the women’s race. No. 16 Carleton thrashed the rest of the field by a margin of one-to-two as the Knights scored 49 points to the 105 put up by both No. 20 St. Olaf (without 2013 national runner-up Noelle Olson) and a squad from DI Minnesota.

Rounding out the top five were No. 35 St. Benedict with 122 points and unranked UW-Eau Claire with 134. No. 14 UW-La Crosse did not run its "A" squad and finished 11th.

Leading the Knights was individual winner Ruth Steinke, who crossed the line on the 6k course in 21:59.7 to edge out unattached Emily Castanias by less than a second. The next collegiate runner across to break the plane was Luther’s 2013 All-American Tricia Serres 10 seconds back.

Carleton also had two other top-15 finishers in fifth-place Colette Celichowski and 13th-place Dorrian Jaffe.