QUICK RECAP: Penn State National Open

QUICK RECAP: Penn State National Open

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Frost delayed the start of the Penn State National Open on Friday morning, but once the races started, it heated up the course.

Penn State’s women captured the team title as Tessa Barrett took the individual win.

Oklahoma State Tops Ole Miss in Dramatic Top-10 Battle


The Penn State National Open served as the “opening act” of college cross country’s biggest weekend of the regular season, and the men’s race certainly did not disappoint.

Ranked Teams

#9 Oklahoma St – 47
#10 Ole Miss – 49
#19 Virginia – 78
#28 Virginia Tech – 125
Texas (RV) – 161

No. 9 Oklahoma State escaped State College with a two-point victory over No. 10 Ole Miss Friday afternoon, topping the Rebels, 47-49. No. 19 Virginia was third with 78 points, followed by No. 28 Virginia Tech (125), vote-receiving Texas (161) and unranked Penn State (206).

Coming off a big win at the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational two weeks ago, the Ole Miss Rebels appeared to be on their way to another team title as individual winner MJ Erb led a pack of four Ole Miss men across the line among the top-10 finishers.

Erb crossed the line on the 5.2 mile course in 24:49 to win by four seconds over Oklahoma State’s Hassan Abdi.

But that changed when the Cowboys, led by runner-up Abdi and third-place Joshua Thompson, put six guys across the line before Ole Miss’ fifth runner finally came through in 29th place.

Abdi and Thompson were at the head of an Oklahoma State top five – absent Cerake Geberkidane – that was separated by just 33 seconds. Sylvester Barus, who won the Cowboy Jamboree in his OSU debut a few weeks back, was just the Cowboys’ fifth runner.

Erb and the front of Ole Miss’ pack looked superb, with Robert Domanic in fourth, Wes Gallagher in fifth and Sean Tobin in 10th. Those four had a 24-seond spread, but it would be another 23 seconds before Taylor Caldwell came through in 29th.

Virginia had three top-10 finishers in Brent Demarest (6th), Lachlan Cook (7th) and Zach Herriott (9th), but ran without Henry Wynne.

Virginia Tech didn’t have anyone finish higher than 20th, but the Hokies posted an impressive 12-second spread between its top five runners – hinting that the best may be to come.


Penn State Rolls Behind Barrett’s Individual Win


No. 8 Penn State unleashed its three-headed monster on Friday and No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 25 Mississippi, No. 30 West Virginia and the other teams in the mix at the Penn State National didn’t know what hit them.

Ranked Teams

#8 Penn State – 47
#25 Mississippi – 94
#14 Oklahoma St – 114
#30 West Virginia – 145
NR Texas – 147
RV Cornell – 172
NR Wyoming – 199
RV William & Mary – 221

Tessa Barrett, Elizabeth Chikotas and Jillian Hunsberger went 1-2-3 to lead the Nittany Lions to a dominant win over the Rebels, Cowgirls and Mountaineers.

Penn State halved Mississippi’s runner-up score of 94 with 47 points. Oklahoma State finished a distant third with 114 and West Virginia further back with 145 points. The Nittany Lions had a spread of 45 seconds from first to fifth, which only trailed the Rebels’ 34-second delta.

By the last third of the race, Barrett began to string the lead pack out and Chikotas and Hunsberger went with her. William & Mary’s Regan Rome, the 25th-place finisher at NCAAs last year and meet champion at Panorama Farms earlier this season, lost contact and settled in with the chase pack.

Ultimately it was Barrett across the line first in 20:11 for her second win of the season. Chikotas finished runner-up, three seconds behind Barrett, with Hunsberger three seconds behind her in third.

Rome crossed the line fourth and was followed by Mississippi’s Mary Alex England (fifth) and Texas’ Sandie Raines (sixth). An unattached Kate Harrison finished seventh, Pittsburgh’s Gillian Schriever was eighth, Charlotte’s Caroline Sang took ninth and Oklahoma State’s Aurora Dybedokken rounded out the top-10 in 10th.