Meet Recap: 2022 NJCAA DIII Cross Country Championships

Champions were crowned on Saturday at the 2022 NJCAA DIII Cross Country Championships!

The meet was held at Stanley Park in Westfield, Massachusetts.

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Both No. 1-ranked teams finished second, although the women’s race was just about as close as possible in the 32nd edition of these championships.

2022 NJCAA DIII Cross Country Championships – Final Results

Men’s Team
Score
Women’s Team
Score
No. 2 DuPage (Ill.)
42
No. 4 Harper (Ill.)
52
No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.) CC
83
No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.) CC
53
No. 3 Joliet (Ill.) JC
103
No. 2 Oxford (Ga.)
55
No. 7 SUNY Broome CC
141
No. 3 Joliet (Ill.) JC
89
No. 4 Harper (Ill.)
212
DuPage (Ill.)
153

Men’s 8k Race

No. 2 College of DuPage – led by individual winner Nicholas Keeling – packed all five scorers in the top-15 in racing to its first national title, scoring 42 points. The Chaps – third last year – also had all seven in the top-20 for good measure.

No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.) – runner-up last year after winning in 2019 and 2020 – was second with 83 points, followed by defending champion No. 3 Joliet (Ill.) JC (103), No. 7 SUNY Broome CC (141) and No. 4 Harper (Ill.) (212).

Keeling roared to a large victory, covering the 8k course in 25:36.2 to win by 1:16.8 over Brad Ahrens of Mineral Area (26:53.0). Keeling is the first individual champ from DuPage since 2006.

Women’s 5k Race

An extremely close team finish saw No. 4 Harper (Ill.) soar above three teams ranked higher to win the Hawks’ first title since 2018. Harper tallied 52 points, just one digit ahead of No. 1 Mineral Area (Mo.) CC with defending champion No. 2 Oxford (Ga.) right in the mix with 55 points. Harper’s top-3 went 1-4-6 in team scoring, staking the Hawks to a big lead, but Mineral Area fought back and was the first team with all five scorers to finish. Harper’s final two scorers were 20-21 in team scoring as the Hawks outdid both Mineral Area (3-7-13-14-16) and Oxford (5-8-9-11-22) in a thrilling team battle.

No. 3 Joliet (Ill.) JC – last year’s runner-up and the 2020 team champions – was fourth with 89 points, while unranked College of DuPage (Ill.) was fifth with 153 points.

The individual race was won by Lydia Smith of SUNY Erie CC. Smith – SUNY Erie’s first-ever national champ – covered the 5k course in 19:14.3 to win by 9.8 seconds over Payden Pietrusinski of St. Charles (Mo.) CC (19:24.1). Lilly Alberts was Harper’s top runner, taking third in 19:33.3.