Incredible Action Over NCAA DI Conference Championships Weekend

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

Conference Championships Weekend is underway!

That means the postseason is finally here.

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Competition was fierce as conference glory was on the line.

Here are some meets that stood out the most to us from the slate.

2022 ACC Cross Country Championships

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
No. 8 Wake Forest
44
No. 1 NC State
34
No. 16 Syracuse
86
No. 6 Notre Dame
38
No. 18 North Carolina
87
No. 25 Virginia
98
No. 6 Notre Dame
92
No. 8 North Carolina
109
No. 12 NC State
118
RV Florida State
148

Men’s 8k Race

Wake Forest commandeered the race halfway through the 8k distance and never looked back. The eighth-ranked Demon Deacons captured their fifth conference title in program history – first since going back-to-back in 1993 and 1994 – as they scored 44 points to nearly halve the score the runner-up No. 16 Syracuse (86) and third-place No. 18 North Carolina (87).

Through 3k, Wake Forest sat in third place, 42 points behind No. 6 Notre Dame. But then the Demon Deacons surged ahead at 4k, gapping the field by 56 points with their 29-point score thanks to owning the top-3 places in the race, as well as one more in the top-10. By the time anybody realized it, Wake Forest was well on its way to victory with four athletes in the top-10, led by a 3-4-5 finish by Aaron Las Heras (23:09.2), Luke Tewalt (23:09.4) and Thomas Vanoppen (23:12.4). Zach Facioni found his way into the top-10 in eighth place at 23:15.4.

Carter Solomon gave the sixth-ranked Irish an all-important low stick with his individual title – winning by 0.2 seconds over Parker Wolfe of North Carolina – but they ended up fourth with 92 points. Solomon is just the second Notre Dame male athlete to win an individual title in meet history (Yared Nuguse was the first in 2020).

Women’s 6k Race

Katelyn Tuohy and Kelsey Chmiel went 1-2 on Friday at the ACC Championships.

As it turns out, No. 1 NC State needed every single point it could to get past No. 6 Notre Dame.

The Wolfpack held off a game challenge by the Irish, as they scored 34 points to the opponent’s 38. NC State went 1-2-5-10-16, while Notre Dame took places 3-6-7-8-14.

Tuohy and Chmiel broke away from the pack between 3k and 5k as they put at least nine seconds between themselves and Olivia Markezich of Notre Dame, who was running third. Then, as she has done throughout the season, Tuohy dropped the hammer in the final 1k and left the competition in the dust. Tuohy crossed the finish line in 19:08.9, 11.1 seconds ahead of Chmiel, who was the defending individual champion at this meet.

The race for the team title only picked up from there. Notre Dame sent four finishes across before NC State had three. Brooke Rauber gave the Wolfpack their fourth scorer and put them ahead 18-24. Annasophia Keller closed out the Irish’s scoring lineup in 14th place, while Gionna Quarzo put the lid on NC State’s at 16th place.

No. 25 Virginia, which hosted the meet, sprung an upset, taking down No. 8 North Carolina for third place. The Cavaliers totaled 98 points, 11 fewer than the fourth-place Tar Heels. Florida State, which received votes in the most recent National Coaches’ Poll, ended up fifth.

2022 Big Ten Cross Country Championships

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
No. 9 Wisconsin
25
No. 23 Michigan State
78
No. 29 Michigan
57
No. 26 Michigan
86
Indiana
89
No. 17 Wisconsin
94
Michigan State
89
No. 22 Ohio State
104
Purdue
156
No. 29 Northwestern
116

Men’s 8k Race

Wisconsin ran like Wisconsin, winning the Big Ten for a 53rd time.

The ninth-ranked Badgers compiled a score of 25 points, the lowest in meet history since UW scored 17 to win the 2011 title. Bob Liking led the way for Wisconsin, defending his individual title by 0.1 seconds over team Jackson Sharp. Badgers were everywhere at the finish, as all five scorers were in the top-9 and runners No. 6 and 7 followed in tenth and 11th.

No. 29 Michigan was runner-up with 57 points, as the biggest tension came when a tiebreaker was needed to separate Indiana over Michigan State for third (both with 89 points). Purdue rounded out the top-5 with 156 points.

Women’s 6k Race

Michigan State won a close battle among five ranked squads as the Spartans claimed their first team title since 2019. The No. 23 Spartans tallied 78 points to beat rival No. 26 Michigan by eight points. In third was No. 17 Wisconsin with 94 points, followed by No. 22 Ohio State (104) and No. 29 Northwestern (116).

Ohio State had three scorers in the top-6, led by individual champ Addie Engel, who covered the 6k course in 20:00.0. Runner-up was MSU’s Katie Osika (20:04.6) as last year’s runner-up, Ericka VanderLende of Michigan, was third in 20:13.6.

2022 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
No. 1 Stanford
22
No. 11 Colorado
66
No. 10 Colorado
61
No. 10 Utah
66
No. 20 Washington
81
No. 12 Oregon
86
No. 15 Oregon
94
No. 9 Stanford
93
UCLA
142
No. 19 Washington
94

Men’s 8k Race

Newly-minted national No. 1 Stanford left no doubt in winning the Pac-12 Conference men’s title – its fourth in six years. The Cardinal stood above them all, scoring just 22 points – the fewest by a men’s team champion since 2002 (Stanford, 19) – with five in the top seven, six in the top 10, and seven in the top 20.

Charles Hicks won the event for the second-straight year, covering the 8k in 22:30.9. Hicks broke the course record by 28 seconds, previously held by 2012 The Bowerman winner and World Championship marathon medalist Cam Levins. Cole Sprout was third with Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau, Ky Robinson, and Thomas Boyden taking the 5-6-7 spots.

Oregon’s Aaron Bienfeld and Colorado’s Andrew Kent were the only to stand among the trees, taking second and fourth, respectively.

No. 10 Colorado was second with 61 points while No. 20 Washington (81) and No. 15 Oregon took third and fourth, respectively.

Women’s 6k Race

It came down to a tiebreaker to decide the women’s team champion at the Pac-12 Championships on Friday morning in Riverside, California.

When officials dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s, No. 11 Colorado topped No. 10 Utah for its second team title in a row. Both the Buffaloes and the Utes tallied 66 points, but Colorado ascended the podium thanks to its 3-2 head-to-head victory when comparing the top-5 finishers. The Buffs went 1-3-7-16-39 (led by individual champion Bailey Hertenstein in 19:11.3), while Utah covered scoring places 2-5-17-19-23 (led by individual runner-up Emily Venters).

Finishing behind Colorado and Utah were No. 12 Oregon (86), No. 9 Stanford (93) and No. 19 Washington (94).

Other Meets Of Interest

SEC Cross Country Championships

CLICK HERE FOR RESULTS FROM THE MEET

Men’s 8k Race

The SEC Cross Country Championships returned to Oxford for the first time since 2009 and No. 22 Alabama couldn’t have been more excited.

For the first time since that 2009 meet, the Crimson Tide captured the SEC crown in an incredibly close team race that saw the top-four teams separated by just six points.

Alabama tallied 59 points while No. 17 Tennessee and Arkansas came next with 64 apiece with the Vols getting the nod on the tiebreaker. Host Ole Miss was the only team with five in the top 20 and finished fourth with 65.

Victor Kiprop gave the Crimson Tide the ultimate low stick in 22:39.0, 3.8 seconds ahead of Tennessee transfers Dylan Jacobs and Yaseen Abdalla.

Kiprop and Jacobs were side-by-side with 500 meters to go.

Alabama took spots 1-4-7 with Hilary Cheruiyot and defending champ Eliud Kipsang rounding out the Tide’s top three.

Women’s 6k Race

No. 7 Alabama broke through in a huge way, winning its first team title since 1987. In doing so, the Crimson Tide ended the 9-year winning streak of No. 21 Arkansas. Bama led early and finished strong, putting five scorers in the top-10 with a score of 36 points compared to the Razorbacks’ 74. Host Ole Miss was third with 83 points, followed by Kentucky (122) and Florida (147).

The individual race was settled early as Florida’s Parker Valby pulled away from Alabama’s Mercy Chelengat – the two-time defending champ and former NCAA winner – after the halfway point to win 18:25.9, 9.8 seconds up on Chelangat (18:33.7).

Big 12 Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Race

No. 4 Oklahoma State wasted no time capturing its third-straight Big 12 title – and 12th overall.

The Cowboys placed all five scoring runners in the top-7 for 21 points – the second-lowest score in meet history. Alex Maier ran away from the field for his first individual conference title, completing the 8k course in 23:55.3 for a 15.3 second victory over teammate Rory Leonard (second, 24:10.6). Isai Rodriguez, Fouad Messaoudi and Ryan Schoppe rounded out the Cowboys’ scoring in fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively. Iowa State, behind Ezekiel Rop’s fourth-place finish, came in second with 57 points to edge No. 23 Texas by two points. Kansas State came in fourth (123) and Kansas finished fifth (123).

Women’s 6k Race

Oklahoma State successfully defended its Big 12 crown.

In doing so, the third-ranked Cowgirls also captured their fourth conference title in program history.

Oklahoma State set a meet record with 22 points after having their runners finish 2-3-4-5-8. Taylor Roe led the Cowgirls with her runner-up finish in 20:10.8, followed by Billah Jepkirui (third), Natalie Cook (fourth) and Gabby Hentemann (fifth). No. 28 West Virginia captured runner up honors with 49 points behind Ceili McCabe’s individual crown in 20:08.4. Rounding out the top-5 were third-place Iowa State (64) points, fourth-place Texas (13) and fifth-place Oklahoma (145).

Mountain West Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Race

Air Force soared at the Mountain West Cross Country Championships on Friday.

The fifth-ranked Falcons, who obtained the highest rank in program history after a strong showing at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, dominated their conference meet in Laramie, Wyoming, as they swept the top-3 spots on the podium and put two other runners in the top-8. Sean Maison captured the individual title in 23:37.8, exactly one second ahead of teammate Ryan Johnson (23:38.8), who was 2.1 seconds up on teammate Ethan Marshall (23:40.9).

No. 28 Colorado State took runner-up honors with 47 points with No. 22 Utah State in third with 74 points. Wyoming (122) and Boise State (139) rounded out the top-5 teams.

Women’s 6k Race

New Mexico made quick work of the Mountain West Cross Country Championships on Friday.

The second-ranked Lady Lobos rolled to the team title with 24 points, 37 fewer than runner-up Colorado State. This was New Mexico’s 15th consecutive conference crown.

Amelia Mazza-Downie gave the Lady Lobos the individual title when she crossed the finish line first in 19:39.3, 2.3 seconds ahead of Yasmin Marghini of Boise State. Mazza-Downie wasn’t alone in the top-5, as Emma Heckel and Gracelyn Larkin finished second and third, respectively, in 19:42.8 and 19:49.7. Elise Thorner (sixth, 19:57.6) and Abbe Goldstein (tenth, 20:13.2) rounded out the scoring line up for New Mexico.

Big Sky Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Race

Nico Young led the No. 3 Northern Arizona Lumberjacks to another Big Sky men’s cross country crown. Young captured the crown in 22:31.5, 26 seconds ahead of teammate and two-time conference cross country champion Drew Bosley.

Blasting to the crown in scoring just 19 points, Brodey Hasty, George Kusche, and Colin Shalman rounded out the team’s scoring, going 4-5-7. Ryan Raff and Theo Quax were the six-and-seven with top-10 finishes.

No. 21 Montana State filled the gaps, taking runner-up honors with 41 points. Duncan Hamilton, Ben Perrin, and Matthew Richtman all placed in the top 10.

Women’s 6k Race

Big Sky women Led by conference champion Elise Stearns and runner-up Annika Reiss, No. 4 Northern Arizona cruised to the league title with 22 points. Stearns covered the 6k grounds in 16:25.3, nearly 11 seconds ahead of Reiss.

NAU rallied eight of the top 12 finishing positions with two-time defending champion Taryn O’Neill, Bryn Morely, and Jesselyn Bries taking spots 4-7-8 as part of the team’s scoring lineup.

Idaho’s Maya Kobylanski and Kelsey Swenson took spots three and five in leading the Vandals to 69 points and the runner-up spot.

West Coast Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Race

No. 2 BYU sent all of their best to the front, but it wasn’t until about 3k when it was clear which runner on this deep stable wanted to win. It was Casey Clinger, who had been 3rd three times previously. Clinger took off with 5k remaining, battling only wind and raindrops the rest of the way. He came through in 21:59.4, winning by 9.5 seconds over teammate Brandon Garnica (22:08.9).

Cougars dominated the finish, as only Gonzaga’s Wil Smith in third kept them from a perfect score. Their 18 points was the lowest in meet history since BYU scored that in 2019. This was BYU’s ninth-straight team crown.

A close battle for second went to RV Gonzaga with 69 points, ahead of No. 14 Portland (76), Santa Clara (81) and Loyola Marymount (160).

Women’s 6k Race

A rain-soaked course greeted runners at the Fernhill Park course in Portland, but No. 5 BYU sailed to a fifth-straight team title, scoring 30 points. San Francisco, moving up from fourth last year, was runner-up with 65 points ahead of Portland (77), Gonzaga (89) and Santa Clara (125). BYU packed three runners in the top-5 and all five scorers in the top-11.

Aubrey Frentheway won the individual title, covering 6K on the sloggy course in 19:47.2. A tight pack of three saw Laura Pelicoro of host Portland earn runner-up honors in 19:50.7. Frentheway was fourth in this meet last year after being runner-up in the 2020 race that was held in early 2021.

BIG EAST Cross Country Championships

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Men’s 8k Race

It’s tough to beat five athletes in the top-10.

That’s what the rest of the BIG EAST found out on Saturday when it comes to the race for the men’s team title.

No. 11 Villanova cruised to top team honors, as it scored 27 points behind a 2-3-5-7-10 finish. Haftu Strintzos finished runner-up to Butler’s Barry Keane, but Strintzos saw teammate Liam Murphy right behind him in third place. This was the Wildcats’ first conference title since 2019.

Providence took runner-up in the team standings with 55 points, 13 fewer than No. 26 Georgetown in third (68).

Women’s 6k Race

No. 12 Georgetown and No. 18 Providence entered the meet as the only two ranked teams. The Hoyas and the Friars ran like it on Saturday.

Top team honors went to Georgetown, as it scored 29 points to win its third consecutive conference title. The Hoyas put their entire scoring lineup in the top-5 as they went 2-3-5-9-10 with individual runner-up and defending champion Maggie Donahue leading the way in 20:08.

Jane Buckley gave Providence the ultimate low stick with her 20:06 victory. Buckley saw two other teammates finish in the top-10 and two others take up residence in the top-16.

UConn, Villanova and Butler rounded out the top-5 teams.