MEET RECAP: 2019 NAIA Cross Country Championships

Champions were crowned at the 2019 NAIA Cross Country Championships on Friday!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: National Championships Central

Oklahoma City won the men’s team title, while Madonna (Mich.) captured the women’s crown.

Mark Shaw of Oklahoma City earned the individual title in the Men’s 8K and Hannah Stoffel of Huntington (Ind.) crossed the finish line first in the Women’s 5K.

Keep scrolling below to read our recap of the meet.

2019 NAIA Cross Country Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
Oklahoma City
110
Madonna (Mich.)
111
Taylor (Ind.)
171
College of Idaho
147
Lewis-Clark (Idaho)
187
SCAD Atlanta (Ga.)
163
Embry Riddle (Ariz.)
195
St. Francis (Ill.)
238
College of Idaho
203
Aquinas (Mich.)
240

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Men’s Story

Led by the triumphant return of 2017 individual champion Mark Shaw, Oklahoma City repeated as team champion with 110 points to outdistance the 171 of runner-up Taylor (Ind.). The Stars – which also enjoyed the fifth-place finish of Oscar KipKoros – now have won five national titles, all since 2013.

OCU opened up conservatively, compared to Taylor’s rocket start. The Trojans led by double digits at both the 2K and 4K splits, but the Stars blasted past them at the 6K split to take a 35-point lead over then-No. 2 College of Idaho. OCU continued to put its foot down as it would eventually win by 61 points over Taylor.

The Trojans posted their best result at the national meet since at least 2010. Daniel Gerber paced Taylor as he was one of three athletes in the top-30 in seventh place.

Lewis-Clark (Idaho) finished third with 187 points, just ahead of the 195 points amassed by Embry-Riddle (Ariz.) and the 204 points by College of Idaho.

Shaw sat in fourth place through 4K, some four seconds off the lead – but by the 6K split, he led by four seconds over eventual runner-up Tony Floyd of Madonna (Mich.). When Shaw broke the tape, he became the first man to win two national titles in cross country since Kennedy Kithuka of Wayland Baptist (Texas) in 2010 and 2011.

Women’s Story

Madonna (Mich.) proved why it had been ranked No. 1 in the National Coaches’ Poll for a majority of the season with its resounding victory on Friday.

The Crusaders, who fell to No. 2 in the final two national indexes of the regular season, left no doubt as to whom the true top team in the nation was in 2019 and won their first national title in program history.

Madonna (Mich.) surged into the lead at the 2K split and never looked back, holding at least a 30-point lead the rest of the way. If the Crusaders did look in the rear-view mirror, they would have seen eventual runner-up College of Idaho closing like a freight train.

Christina Murphy, Alison Shapic and Mackenzie Gurne led the way for Madonna (Mich.) as they finished 14th, 15th and 16th, respectively. Kathleen George and Caroline George rounded out the scoring lineup for the Crusaders in 39th and 47th place.

The aforementioned Coyotes earned their third runner-up finish since 2010, as they outdistanced third-place SCAD Atlanta (Ga.), fourth-place St. Francis (Ill.) and fifth-place Aquinas (Mich.). This was the best finish by both the Bees and the Illinois-based Saints this decade.

Hannah Stoffel of Huntington (Ind.) nabbed the individual title in 17:18.4, 16.4 seconds ahead of runner-up Emily Kearney of SCAD Atlanta (Ga.).