Weekend Recap: Cowboy Jamboree & Roy Griak Invitational Headline Collegiate Ranks

EDITORS’ NOTE: We’ll continue to update this post throughout the weekend.

Here. We. Go.

The collegiate cross country season hit another gear this weekend as we saw some high-octane action across the nation. Teams toed the start line from Massachusetts to Oregon and everywhere in between.

From The USTFCCCA InfoZoneMeets This Weekend | USTFCCCA Scoreboard

With so many meets, we had to hone our focus on just a few.

Here are those that stood out to us the most from this weekend.

Cowboy Jamboree

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The Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course will be the site of some incredible racing over the next two months. After all, that’s why we call it the #RunToStillwater.

Well, Saturday was a great preview of what we could see on November 19 when the 2022 NCAA DI Cross Country Championships are held on the same course in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

No. 4 BYU and co-No. 3 Oklahoma State captured the men’s and women’s team titles, respectively, at the Cowboy Jamboree which had 14 nationally-ranked teams between two races.

The Women’s Featured 6k was first on the course and it was all Cowgirls all the time. Behind a 1-2 finish by Natalie Cook and Taylor Roe, Oklahoma State rolled to an 18-point victory over No. 22 Northern Arizona, 69-88. Cook, a true freshman in her first collegiate race, clocked the sixth fastest time in course history at 20:17.1, while Roe came through in 20:22.2. Two other Cowgirls finished in the top-15 as Dave Smith’s squad defended home tuft. The Lumberjacks put two in the top-6 – Elise Stearns (fifth, 20:29.5) and Annika Reiss (sixth, 20:32.5) – and upended five top-10 teams in the final standings. No. 7 BYU finished third with 111 points, followed by co-No. 3 Colorado (155) and No. 5 Stanford (171) in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Oklahoma State nearly pulled off the title sweep, as Alex Maeir captured the individual title in the Men’s Featured 8k, but No. 4 BYU imposed its will to capture top team honors with 75 points. The Cougars were the only squad with three top-15 athletes, as Casey Clinger (seventh, 23:30.0), Joey Nokes (tenth, 23:36.1) and Weber State transfer Christian Allen (11th, 23:39.2) led the way. BYU used its depth to hold off No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 3 Stanford, who both had multiple athletes in the top-5: Maier (first, 23:16.9) and Victor Shitsama (third, 23:20.5) were the breadwinners for the Cowboys; Charles Hicks (second, 23:20.0) and Cole Sprout (fourth, 23:20.8) paced the Cardinal. Top-ranked Northern Arizona finished between Stanford (second) and Oklahoma State (fourth) in the team standings. The Lumberjacks had two top-10 athletes in Nico Young (fifth, 23:24.4) and Drew Bosley (ninth, 23:35.5), but just one more in the top-20.

Roy Griak Invitational

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Four collegiate races highlighted the Roy Griak Invitational on Friday.

No. 7 Wisconsin rolled to the team title in the Merrill Fischbein Men’s Gold 8k with 39 points. The Badgers, who topped the meet’s podium for the first time since going back-to-back in 2003 and 2004, put all five of their scoring athletes in the top-15 and finished with a miniscule 8.3-second spread. California Baptist took runner-up honors behind Wisconsin with 70 points thanks to a sterling effort by individual runner-up Said Mechaal. No. 28 Michigan State placed third in the team standings with 72 points behind an ultimate low stick from Aden Smith, who broke the tape first in 24:13.4.

Six nationally ranked programs squared off in the Jack Johnson Women’s Gold 6k. No. 13 Wisconsin, No. 14 Colorado State, No. 19 Utah, No. 23 Michigan State, No. 25 Ohio State, No. 26 Iowa State and t-No. 29 California Baptist. Top honors – both individually and team – went to the Utes, who were led by a victory by Emily Venters and jumped three spots in the final 1k to beat the Lancers by 10 points, 85-95. Venters, who finished in 20:33.2, beat former National Athlete of the Week Addie Engel of Ohio State. The Spartans finished third with 102 points, followed by the Rams with 104 and the Engel-led Buckeyes with 124.

NCAA DII No. 15 Michigan Tech captured the team crown in the Jo Rider Men’s Maroon 8k with 62 points. The Huskies were paced by a 2-3 finish by Clayton Sayen (25:11.1) and Drew Kolodge (25:13.3) and placed all of their scoring runners within the top-28. NCAA DIII No. 4 UW-La Crosse placed second to Michigan Tech with 77 points as the Eagles were led by individual champion Ethan Gregg, who crossed the line in 25:01.4. Sioux Falls rounded out the top-3 teams with 96 points to finish ahead of NAIA No. 1 Indiana Wesleyan (104).

Minnesota Duluth, who is ranked No. 16 in NCAA DII, won the Suzy Wilson Women’s Maroon 6k title with 65 points. The Bulldogs placed four athletes in the top-12 and were led by Cailee Peterson’s fifth-place finish. No. 27 Winona State captured runner-up honors with 88 points behind an ultimate low stick from Lindsay Cunningham, who ran to an individual title in 21:05.6. NCAA DIII No. 9 UW-La Crosse placed third in the team standings with 144 points.

Other Meets Of Note

Here are some other meets that caught our attention.

Cougar Challenge

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Top NCAA DII teams did battle at the Cougar Challenge on Saturday.

No. 5 Chico State stormed to the team title in the Men’s 8k race at the Cougar Challenge with 32 points. The Wildcats placed all five scoring runners in the top-8 behind a runner-up finish from Jack Emanuel, who crossed the line in 24:19.8. Azusa Pacific, ranked No. 25 in the NCAA DII ranks, placed second with 70 points. Nixon Korir led the Cougars with his individual title in 24:16.6 and was one of three athletes that placed in the top-12. NCAA DIII No. 1 Pomona-Pitzer finished in third with 77 points, followed by No. 22 Cal Poly Pomona in fourth (88) and RV Cal State San Marcos in fifth (184).

No. 11 Cal State Stanislaus scored 28 points en route to its team title in the Women’s 6k race. The Warriors went 1-2-3-10-12 behind Kaela Dishion’s individual crown in 20:48.2. No. 17 Chico State earned runner-up honors with 47 points as Hannah Tiffany placed fifth to lead the Wildcat scoring contingent. RV Azusa Pacific finished third in the team standings (67), followed by NCAA DIII No. 10 Pomona-Pitzer and No. 27 Cal State San Marcos.

Firebird Invitational

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Lansing (Mich.) CC lived up to its double No. 1 NJCAA Division II ranking, sweeping both team titles in a meet with multiple other ranked squads from the Wolverine State Friday afternoon.

In the men’s 8K race, the Stars found all they could handle from No. 14 Grand Rapids (Mich.) as both squads placed all five scorers in the top-20. Lansing started off with the No. 4 and 6 finishers, but Grand Rapids responded with three in the top-10 (3-8-10). Lansing followed with the 13-17-18 finishers, just ahead of the Raiders’ final scorers in 19th and 20th to earn a hard-fought win, 58 to 60. No. 8 St. Clair County (Mich.) was third with 86 points.

There was no such drama in the women’s 5K contest as Lansing turned back six other ranked teams with a score of 35 as all five scorers were in the top-15. No. 6 Grand Rapids was second with 48, followed by No. 8 Southwestern Michigan (88). No. 15 Mott (Mich.) CC (99) was fourth, ahead of No. 11 St. Clair County (107), No. 24 Macomb (Mich.) CC (181), unranked North Central Michigan (196) and No. 19 Muskegon (Mich.) CC (197).

Individually, Kyler Dean of Muskegon (Mich.) CC won the men’s individual title by 29 seconds over Ethan Saylor of Southwestern Michigan in 26:29.71, while Amy Rowen of Oakland (Mich.) CC claimed the women’s race in 20:19.22, 27 seconds up on Kaylee Scott of Grand Rapids.

Coast-to-Coast Battle in Beantown

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Virginia swept the team titles in dominating fashion at Franklin Park in Boston. The Cavaliers went 2-3-4-5-6 for 20 points and the backdoor sweep in the men’s race, while the women took places 2-3-5-7-10 for 27 points and a 70-point victory. Individual titles went to Alexander Korczynski of Northeastern and Elizabeth Mancini of La Salle, respectively.