The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 18, 2012

Pokes win NCAA Cross Country title

(Continued)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —

Oklahoma State had three other runners finish in the top 25 of the race — to earn All-American honors — with Tom Farrell taking ninth (29:26.3), Shadrack Kipchirchir coming in 18th (29:43.0) and Joseph Manilafasha squeaking in with a 24th-place time of 29:48.8.

“Our top five guys all had their best personal finishes ever at this national championship. That wasn’t an accident,” Smith said. “It’s rare that I team accomplishes something like, probably no other team had that today. But we did and that’s why we won the championship.” 

Shane Moskowitz had a solid finish as OSU’s fifth runner to help clinch the team title by more than 60 points over defending champion Wisconsin. Moskowitz clocked a time of 30:22.6 to finish in 53rd place — just four team spots behind Wisconsin’s fourth runner and 44 spots ahead of their fifth.

“Shane did a great job. He’s come a long, long ways from where he was his freshman year and last year,” Smith said. “... I challenged him and Kirubel Erassa (OSU’s sixth runner, who also finished ahead of Wisconsin’s fifth runner) in the last year. I told those two guys that if we’re going to win a national championship, they were going to have to come through. And I think they both responded really well to that challenge.”

The men’s individual title also came to the Big 12 Conference, with Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka, a two-time NAIA national champion, winning the race with a course-record 28:31.3 — seven seconds ahead of the second-place runner.

The Oklahoma State women’s team finished better than last year, but still missed the top 15 finish that coach Smith was hoping for. Monika Juodeskaite led the Cowgirls with a 41st-place finish to lead the team to a 26th-place team finish. Nataljia Piliusina finished 50th.

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