STILLWATER, Okla. – The Oklahoma State cross country program won the men’s and women’s team championships at the Cowboy Jamboree Saturday for the second-consecutive season.
The men recorded a team score of 54, 35 points better than second-place Indiana. The Cowboys were led by a second-place finish from senior Colby Lowe, who completed the 8,000-meter race in 23:47.96.
“It’s wonderful,” Lowe said of running in his final Cowboy Jamboree. “It’s more than anything I could ask for from the guys, just coming out here and proving they’re working hard and their work is paying off. Everybody is ready to get back in there and get racing again and they’re really pushing hard.”
Three other Cowboys finished in the top 10, as sophomore transfer Shadrack Kipchirchir placed fourth in his first race as a Cowboy with a time of 23:57.76. Senior German Fernandez finished fifth, completing the race in 24:01.56, while sophomore Tom Farrell placed seventh with a time of 24:12.45.
Redshirt freshman Kirubel Erassa, who took first at the Hurricane Festival on Sept. 3, rounded out the Cowboys’ scoring five with a 36th-place finish.
“With those first four guys, I was thrilled,” coach Dave Smith said. “I think they did a great job. We had a strategy for the race that was run conservatively for the first half and finish strong, and I think they executed that to perfection. I’m excited for them.”
Diego Estrada of Northern Arizona took the top spot in the university men’s race with, clocking a 23:34.34.
The Cowgirls posted a team score of 73, defeating second-place Indiana’s score of 81. The Cowgirls were led by a fourth-place finish from sophomore Natalja Piliusina, as she completed the 6,000-meter race in 17:26.64.
“We won last year and I think it was important for all of us to win it again this year as a team, as well,” Piliusina said. “We’re ranked 23rd right now, so I think it’s a good push for all of the girls for motivation to keep going, keep winning and make our way to nationals.”
Lauren Kleppin of Western State took the individual title, recording a time of 17:09.90.
In the college men’s 8,000-meter race, Hillary Kirwa of Cameron College took first place with a time of 25:00.93, while New Mexico Highlands took the team title with 54 points, beating second-place Southwestern (Kan.) by 67 points.
Friends University won the team and individual championships in the college women’s 5,000-meter race. Friends’ team score of 33 beat second-place Iowa Central Community College by 59 points. Jordan Arnold took first in the race with a time 18:11.17.