Women Win 2nd Straight Big 12 Cross Country Title
AUSTIN, Texas - Iowa State seniors Betsy Saina and Meaghan Nelson ran to a 1-2 finish to pace the dominant second-ranked Cyclone women to a second straight Big 12 Championship team title Saturday on the Jimmy Clay Golf Course. The Iowa State men finished fifth. Oklahoma State won the men's title.
Iowa State repeated as women's conference champions for the first time since winning the first five Big Eight Conference titles from 1975-79. Saina, who covered the 6,000-meter course in 20:06.8, became Iowa State's first conference cross country individual champion since Dorthe Rassmussen won the Big Eight title in 1981. Nelson was right behind in 20:10.2. Iowa State's team score of 34 far out-distanced second place Oklahoma State's final tally of 81.
It was a team effort as the Cyclone women's top five all finished among the top 15 placers to earn all-conference honors. Freshman Crystal Nelson was eighth in 20:47.6 and junior Samantha Bluske was ninth in 20:52.3. Cyclone Katy Moen rounded out the top five with a 14th-place effort, finishing in 21:20.4.
Iowa State head cross country coach Corey Ihmels said it was a strong performance despite his team not being at their best form.
"There was not anybody on our team that felt really good going into the race and even afterward, everybody said they felt less than 100 percent," Ihmels said. "Still, I am out of adjectives to use for Betsy and Meghan, they are our leaders as they showed again today. Crystal Nelson did really well for a freshman today and I thought our depth was impressive today all the way through the team."
The Iowa State men, ranked 25th nationally, were led by 14th-place finisher (24:18.9) Mohamed Hrezi, a junior. Sophomores Alex Dillenbeck finished (24:45.5) and Edward Kemboi (24:52.9) placed 27th and 29th, respectively for the Cyclones. Junior Falko Zauber (25:04.4) was 37th, freshman Brian Llamas (25:06.3) was 38th and sophomore Edwin Sereum (25:06.4) was 39th for the Cyclones, who have placed at least fifth in the league for the past seven years.
"I was a little disappointed about the men today," Ihmels said. "We let Kansas get in their ahead of us but this is a day that we can build on heading into the Midwest Regional."
The Cyclone compete next at the NCAA Midwest Regional Nov. 9 in Springfield, Mo.
Women’s Team Scores
1. IOWA STATE, 34; 2. Oklahoma State, 81; 3. Texas, 87; 4. West Virginia, 115; 5. Texas Christian, 153; 6. Kansas State, 168; 7. Kansas, 173; 8. Baylor, 183; 9. Oklahoma, 229; 10. Texas Tech, 262
Womens Individual Results
1. Betsy Saina, IOWA STATE, 20:06.8; 2. Meaghan Nelson, IOWA STATE, 20:10.2; 8. Crystal Nelson, IOWA STATE, 20:47.6; 9. Samantha Bluske, IOWA STATE, 20:52.3; 14. Katy Moen, IOWA STATE, 21:20.4; 16. Taylor Petersen, IOWA STATE, 21:31.7; 18. Colleen Riley, IOWA STATE, 21:34.7; 33. Bethany Olson, IOWA STATE, 21:58.9; 38. Anna Buenneke, IOWA STATE, 22.11.2; 39. Maggie Gannon, IOWA STATE, 22:12.2
Men’s Team Scores
1. Oklahoma State, 24; 2. Texas, 56; 3. Oklahoma, 62; 4. Kansas, 121; 5. IOWA STATE, 137; 6. Texas Tech, 154; 7. Baylor, 216; 8. Kansas State, 233; 9. Texas Christian, 282
Men’s Individual Results
1. Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech, 22:52.8; 14. Mohamed Hrezi, IOWA STATE, 24:18.9; 29. Alex Dilenbeck, IOWA STATE, 24:45.5; 31. Edward Kemboi, IOWA STATE, 24:52.9; 37. Falko Zauber, IOWA STATE, 25:04.4; 38. Brian Llamas, IOWA STATE, 25:06.3; 39. Edwin Serem, IOWA STATE, 25:06.4; 46. Charlie Paul, IOWA STATE, 25:25.0; 55. Besu Shannon-Tamrat, IOWA STATE, 26.08.0; 60. Stephen Saylor, IOWA STATE, 26:32.4