WEEKEND RECAP: NCAA DI Conference Championships Friday

Conference Championships Friday is upon us in NCAA Division I Cross Country!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: Cross Country Scoreboard

There were 11 conference championship meets across the nation as teams made their final bid to be included in the rescheduled 2020 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships next Monday, March 15, at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Remember: You can watch all of the action LIVE on ESPN U & the ESPN App beginning at 12:30 pm ET.

Allow us to highlight some of the biggest action from the day.

Pac-12 Cross Country Championships

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Stanford swept the proceedings at the Pac-12 Championships.

The fourth-ranked Cardinal men dominated their race, taking five of the top-10 spots as Charles Hicks (second), Cole Sprout (fourth) and Alek Parsons (fifth) all finished in the top-5. It ended up being a 32-point win for Stanford over No. 9 Colorado, 28-60. The Buffs were paced by individual champion Eduardo Herrera, who covered the 8K tract in 22:30.9. Eighth-ranked Washington ended up third (66), followed by No. 12 Oregon (139).

Stanford won its second women’s title in a row, taking down three other nationally-ranked programs along the way. The fifth-ranked Cardinal put three runners in the top-5 – five in the top-12 – as they rolled to a 20-point victory over sixth-ranked Colorado. Stanford sat third after 2K, but quickly made up ground, going up eight points at 4K and extending its lead from there thanks to Ella Donaghu and Zofia Dudek holding steady in the top-3 and Julia Heymach moving up to fourth. Haley Herberg led wire-to-wire and captured the individual title in 19:02.5 to lead No. 12 Washington a third-place finish.

Mountain West Cross Country Championships

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No. 3 New Mexico earned its second convincing victory in a row at Craig Ranch Regional Park. Two weeks ago, it was at the Battle Born Collegiate Challenge. This week it was in the women’s race at the Mountain West Championships, where they put five runners in the top-10 to beat No. 11 Boise State, 29-52. Adva Cohen led the Lady Lobos with an individual runner-up effort behind individual champion Mahala Norris of Air Force, who covered the 6K tract in 19:57.7. The Broncos were a clear second, as they were 32 points ahead of RV Colorado State in third.

With two teams ranked as closely as No. 19 Utah State and No. 23 Air Force, you’d expect a thrilling race for the men’s team title. That’s exactly what happened as the Falcons beat the Aggies by just four points, 29-33. Caleb Garnica of Utah State took home individual honors in 23:38.4, right in front of Sam Gilman of Air Force in 23:39.2 – but after that is where it got interesting. The Aggies went 3-4, but the Falcons answered with four of the next five finishers to soar to the conference title.

BIG EAST Cross Country Championships

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It couldn’t get much closer in the women’s race between No. 20 Georgetown and RV UConn. The Hoyas picked up the team title by just two points over the Huskies, 46-48. Individual champion Sami Corman and individual runner-up Maggie Donahue led Georgetown, but UConn raced well in a runner-up effort, putting four runners in the top-9 and recording a 22-second spread between its top-5 athletes. RV Providence ended up third as a team with 61 points.

The men’s race went to No. 28 Butler as the team put four runners in the top-10 and scored 35 points to beat unranked Georgetown by 17. The Hoyas turned in an impressive effort, using a 13-second spread between their top-5 runners. No. 30 Villanova, paced by individual champion Haftu Strintzos (23:05.2), finished third, two points behind Georgetown.

Patriot League Cross Country Championships

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A conference title coming down to a tiebreaker?

It happened in the Patriot League this morning.

Boston University and Army West Point both finished with 47 points, which meant officials had to compare the results of each team’s top-5 athletes. Well, the Terriers earned that edge thanks to Corrine Bastu finishing 16th overall, nearly seven seconds ahead of Jordan Jones, who was the Black Knights’ fifth runner. Army ran well over the final mile, closing a 15-point gap BU had on it at the 2.8-mile split.

FSU Winter XC Last Chance Invitational

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Michigan’s nationally-ranked programs and Syracuse’s just-hanging-on men toed the starting line in Tallahassee, Florida, each with something to prove. The Wolverines couldn’t compete at the Big Ten Championships in late January, so this was their chance to impress the Selection Committee. The Orange needed a big result after a less-than-stellar season thus far.

Well, the eighth-ranked Michigan women dominated – sweeping the top-7 spots in their race – while Syracuse, owners of just one vote in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll, turned back 17th-ranked Michigan men. Ericka VanderLende of Michigan earned the women’s individual title in 20:31.3; Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State defended his home course to win the men’s individual title in 23:30.8.