NCAA & NJCAA XC National Athletes of the Week (October 10)
NEW ORLEANS — It might have been a down week in collegiate cross country across all three NCAA divisions and both subsets of the NJCAA, but that didn’t slow down the athletes.
Men and women made sure to leave their mark on the season as 10 of them stood out from among the rest and were named National Athletes of the Week by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Monday.
Male winners are Illinois-Chicago’s Kyle Hauser (NCAA Division I), American International’s Leakey Kipkosgei (NCAA Division II), Amherst’s Mohamed Hussein (NCAA Division III), Cloud County CC’s Moses Dirane (NJCAA Division I) and Harper College’s Scott Williams (NJCAA Division III).
Female winners are UCF’s Anne-Marie Blaney (NCAA Division I), Minnesota-Duluth’s Emi Trost (NCAA Division II), St. Norbert’s Erin Artz (NCAA Division III), Monroe College’s Susan Ejore (NJCAA Division I) and Harper College’s Ali Gutt (NJCAA Division III).
Find out more about each of these runners by clicking their names or scrolling below.
National Athlete of the Week is an award selected and presented by the USTFCCCA Communications Staff at the beginning of each week to six collegiate cross country athletes (male and female for each of the three NCAA divisions).
Nominations are open to the public. Coaches and sports information directors are encouraged to nominate their student-athletes; as are student-athletes, their families and friends, and fans of their programs.
The award seeks to highlight not only the very best times, marks and scores on a week-to-week basis, but also performances that were significant on the national landscape and/or the latest in a series of strong outings. Quality of competition, suspenseful finishes and other factors will also play a role in the decision.
Senior | Palos Heights, Illinois
A kick sent Illinois-Chicago’s Kyle Hauser to his second win of the season.
Hauser and UW-Parkside’s Armando Torres were neck and neck down the stretch at the UW-Parkside Lucian Rosa Invitational. Then Hauser dug a bit deeper and pulled ahead of Torres for the narrow win.
Hauser crossed the finish line in 25:04.3 compared to Torres’ 25:04.7. The first win of the season for Hauser came back in September at the Flyers/Flames Challenge.
Senior | Ocala, Florida
Ever since mid-September, UCF’s Anne-Marie Blaney has been on a winning rampage.
Blaney continued her winning ways this past weekend at the Florida State Invitational.
In a meet with several other DI programs from Florida, including the host Seminoles, Blaney made it look easy. Blaney led from the gun and won by 33 seconds. Her finishing time was 17:14.6, nine seconds than her mark the last time she competed at that race.
Blaney, who finished 108th at NCAAs last year after a fourth place finish at regionals, showed signs of breaking out this past track season. She finished 14th in the NCAA Outdoor 10000.
Sophomore | Kapsabet, Kenya
Two hundred and twenty-one runners took off from the starting line for the Men’s Varsity 8K race at the NEICAAA Championship at historic Franklin Park. By the end, 220 of them were chasing down American International’s Leakey Kipkosgei.
Using a strong late surge, Kipkosgei pulled away from Brown’s Matt Mahoney and won by three seconds. Kipkosgei crossed the finish line in 24:21.6, a time that would have finished second at the Coast to Coast Battle in Beantown earlier this season.
This was Kipkosgei’s second win of the season as he captured first at the Stonehill Skyhawk Invitational in early September.
Junior | Goodhue, Minnesota
Minnesota-Duluth’s Emi Trost has made a name for herself on the national stage.
Two weeks ago, she went head to head with defending NCAA DII individual XC champ Alexis Zeis at the Roy Griak Invitational. While Trost came up short, she let the rest of the division know that she means business.
This past weekend at the Lewis Conference Crossover, Trost posted an individual victory in 21:00.6 and a six-second margin over Southern Indiana’s Emily Roberts, who finished fifth at NCAAs last year.
It marked the second win of the season for Trost as she also won the St. Olaf Invitational in mid-September.
Junior | Hargeisa, Somalialand
For the second year in a row, Amherst’s Mohamed Hussein stood out at the NEICAAA Championships held at historic Franklin Park in Boston.
This past weekend, Hussein was the top NCAA DIII finisher in a race packed with teams from across all three NCAA divisions. Hussein took fifth place, 22 seconds ahead of the next best NCAA DIII runner.
Hussein and his teammates return to action this weekend at the Little III Championship.
Senior | Omaha, Nebraska
Erin Artz made history twice this past weekend — once for herself and once for her team.
It was at the Gene Davis Invitational where Artz won the 6K race in 21:48.4. Artz was never challenged, won by more than one minute and set a course record in the process.
The first-place finish also gave St. Norbert the lowest of low sticks and that propelled the team to a perfect score of 15 points. This was the first time in program history that the Green Knights swept a meet and topped their previous low of 21 set 14 years ago.
Freshman | Pretoria, South Africa
Running against some of the top guys from top-ranked DII Adams State, Cloud County CC’s Moses Dirane didn’t back down at the Fort Hays State Tiger Open.
Dirane was the only runner from his team in the Gold Race and more than held his own. He finished third behind an unattached Joe Moore and West Texas A&M’s Geoffrey Kipchumba.
Sophomore | Nakuru, Kenya
Course records have a way of falling to Susan Ejore.
It happened again this past weekend at the NJIT Highlander Invitational. Ejore beat out 191 other runners and crossed the finish line in 16:28.81, which was 58 seconds faster than her time on that same course from one year ago.
Second place to Ejore was almost one minute behind her blistering pace.
Freshman | Barrington, Illinois
Harper College’s Scott Williams ran well this past weekend at the Eagle Invitational hosted by Benedictine.
Williams was the top NJCAA Division III finisher at the meet loaded with several DIII teams, including top-ranked North Central (Ill.). He crossed the finish line 10th in 27:06.7.
Sophomore | Schaumburg, Illinois
Harper College’s Ali Gutt added another win to her 2016 total this past weekend.
Running at the Eagle Invitational hosted by Benedictine and competing against several DIII runners, Gutt beat them all to the finish line by at least 21 seconds.
Gutt broke the tape in 22:45.06.