MEET RECAP: 2019 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships

Champions were crowned at the 2019 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships on Saturday!

From The USTFCCCA InfoZone: National Championships Central

Keep scrolling below to read our recap of the meet.

Check back next week as we’ll hand out our end-of-season awards.

2019 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships – Final Standings

Men’s Teams
Women’s Teams
No. 3 BYU
No. 1 Arkansas
No. 1 Northern Arizona
No. 3 BYU
No. 2 Colorado
No. 2 Stanford
No. 7 Iowa State
No. 7 New Mexico
No. 6 Tulsa
No. 6 NC State


Men’s Story

BYU wasn’t going to be denied again.

The third-ranked Cougars, who had been a trendy pick to end top-ranked Northern Arizona’s reign over the past four years, finally did so on Saturday as they won their first national title in program history and put a halt to their rival’s three-year run.

It wasn’t even close as BYU imposed its will from the start. The Cougars led by 57 points at 3K, 36 points at 5K, 46 points at 8K and pushed it back to 54 points by the end.

In leading his alma mater to the national title today, Ed Eyestone became the only coach in NCAA DI meet history to win an individual title as an athlete and then guide his charges to the team title. Eyestone won the individual title at the 1984 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships.

BYU left NAU and No. 2 Colorado to duke it out for runner-up honors and it turned out to be a close race between the fellow foes from the Mountain Region. The Lumberjacks eventually won that battle as they finished with 163 points to the Buffaloes’ total of 164. NAU was looking to become just the third program in NCAA DI history to win four consecutive national titles in cross country.

No. 7 Iowa State, led by individual champion Edwin Kurgat, took the final podium spot with 211 points. Kurgat became the first Cyclone male athlete to win an individual title at the meet since Jonah Koech did so 29 years ago.

Alabama and Colorado were the only two teams with multiple athletes in the top-10. Joe Klecker finished runner-up for the Buffs, while John Dressel ended up seventh overall. Vincent Kiprop led the way for the Crimson Tide in fifth with Gilbert Kigen not too far behind in ninth.

Women’s Story

Arkansas won its first-ever women’s team title, eking out the top trophy by six points over BYU, 96-102, in the closest finish since 2016, when just one point determined the winner on this same LaVern Gibson course.

The top-ranked Razorbacks were led by graduate transfer Katie Izzo and fellow senior Taylor Werner, whose 3-4 finish was followed by Devin Clark (21st), Carina Viljoen (28th) and Lauren Gregory (72nd).

The third-ranked Cougars were led by an incredible 5-6-7 of Courtney Wayment, Erica Birk and Whittni Orton to finish as runner-up, their first podium finish since 2003, when they were also runner-up. BYU started strong and held an 83-108 lead over Arkansas at 2k. The Razorbacks took control by the 4k split (89-98), but the Cougars finished strong to close the gap to six points.

Stanford finished third with 123 points for the program’s best finish since 2012, when it was also third. New Mexico – runner-up last year and champs in 2017 – followed in fourth with 168 points, and NC State (190) rounded out the top-5.

Weini Kelati of New Mexico avenged her only loss of the year in winning the individual title in 19:47.5, 10 seconds ahead of Wisconsin’s Alicia Monson (19:57.1). Monson delivered the only setback for Kelati when she won the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational last month.

Kelati, who was second last year by less than a second, was among the leaders but took sole control just past the 3K point and by 4K had a five-second lead over Monson.