NAU Men, New Mexico Women Battle Tested at Battle Born Challenge
Northern Arizona’s men were impressive in winning the Battle Born Collegiate Challenge cross country meet in Las Vegas on Friday.
The No. 2 Lumberjacks – intent to regain the NCAA title it owned from 2016-18 – had a winning low score of 20 points, led by the 1-2 finish of Abdihamid Nur and freshman Nico Young. No. 5 Stanford followed with 48 points, with No. 10 Colorado taking third (70). Utah, which received votes in the latest USTFCCCA coaches poll, was fourth with 111 points in the nine-team race.
Nur (22:30.5) edged Young by just 2 tenths of a second over the 8K course at Craig Ranch Regional Park. NAU had five of the top eight finishers, with Luis Grijalva (fourth), Blaise Ferro (fifth) and Brodey Hasty (eighth) finishing within 52 seconds of the Nur.
The women’s race had a deeper collection of ranked programs – four in the top-10 – and a more exciting team finish.
Highest of all was the winning group from No. 4 New Mexico making is seasonal debut. The Lobos had the winning score of 60 points, placing all five of its scorers tightly within 16 seconds. Adva Cohen led the team with a sixth-place finish.
Finishing second was No. 6 Stanford with 85 points. Places 3-5 were really tight – No. 16 Northern Arizona (100) edged No. 11 Boise State (101) and No. 5 Colorado (102). Not far behind was No. 9 Washington with 132 points. Twelve teams sported full teams.
Individual honors in the 6k race went to Stanford’s Ella Donaghu at 19:44.0, leading a 1-2 Cardinal punch followed by freshman Zofia Dudek (19:48.9).