2016 USTFCCCA All-Americans For NCAA DI Cross Country
NEW ORLEANS — The U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Monday the 80 student-athletes who earned All-America honors by finishing among the top-40 in the men’s and women’s races at the 2016 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships this past weekend in Terre Haute, Indiana.
There were only two teams with four All-Americans — the Colorado women and the Northern Arizona men. No team had five or more.
Only one of those two teams with four All-Americans won a national title at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course and that was the Lumberjacks. NAU rolled to the title by scoring 125 points, 33 fewer than runner-up Stanford. The Lumberjacks were led by 4th-place finisher Futsum Zienasellassie. Matthew Baxter (11th), Tyler Day (23rd) and Andy Trouard (37th) also finished in the top-40 for NAU.
Like the Lumberjacks, the Buffs entered the meet as the pre-race, unanimous favorite in the National Coaches’ Poll — but unlike their male counterpart, didn’t have a runner in the top-20, which was ultimately their undoing. Dani Jones led the charge for Colorado in 22nd place, while Kaitlyn Benner (26th), Mackenzie Caldwell (39th) and Sage Hurta (40th) finished close behind.
Four teams had three All-Americans, headlined by women’s national champion Oregon. Joining the Ducks with three All-America selections were women’s runner-up Michigan and the men of Syracuse and Colorado.
Oregon beat the Wolverines by a point in in turn, became the lowest ranked team (12th) to ever win an NCAA DI XC title. Freshman Katie Rainsberger led the way for the Ducks as she finished 4th. Alli Cash (14th) and Samantha Nadel (21st) weren’t too far behind the young standout.
Michigan saw Erin Finn take 2nd behind individual champion Karissa Schweizer of Missouri. Finn, Avery Evenson (18th) and Gina Sereno (30th) all ended up as All-Americans for the Wolverines with their finishes.
The Orange also had an individual runner-up and that was none other than Justyn Knight. Colin Bennie and Joel Hubbard finished 17th and 34th for Syracuse, respectively.
The Buffs were the last team with three All-Americans. Ben Saarel (21st), Joe Klecker (28th) and John Dressel (33rd) all finished in the top-40.
If you break the All-America honors down further, you’ll see that seniors led the way with 31 nods. Juniors were second with 27, while 15 sophomores and seven freshmen finished in the top-40 in Terre Haute.
On the conference level, the Pac-12 had the most All-Americans with 19. The Big Ten took home 11, while the SEC had 9, followed by the ACC with 8.
2016 USTFCCCA All-Americans: NCAA Division I Cross Country