Feb. 2, 2013
ST. LOUIS -
Cowboy freshman Craig nowak won the junior's 8K race at the U.S. Cross Country Championships at Forest Park in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday.
Both Nowak and Cowboy alum Ryan Vail earned spots on IAAF national teams after their strong runs.
OSU has now been represented on a cross country national team in every year since 2005.
The top-six finishers in each division earned spots on the national team. Nowak left no doubt, winning the junior's 8K with a time of 24:47, which was 4.2 seconds ahead of second place.
"Craig ran a really smart, poised, and controlled race," said OSU Coach Dave Smith. "He felt very comfortable the entire way, and with about 400 or 500 meters left I said `OK, it's time to run,' and he got good separation, got clear of the field and looked great coming down the home stretch. I'm really excited for him. That's great for our program."
Nowak said he knew exactly what he need to do, and was able to do it to perfection.
"I stuck to the exact strategy we had planned out, and executed it exactly the way we wanted to," Nowak said. "This was definitely a goal I was training for, and for it to play out perfectly like that was awesome."
Ryan Vail, a five-time All-American and three-time Big 12 Champion while at OSU, finished sixth in the men's open 12K with a time of 35:56.8. This marks the fourth time he has qualified for an IAAF national team.
"This was the deepest field I've seen for a senior race in 15 to 20 years," Smith said. "It's good for a guy like Ryan Vail to make that team. He was really the first highly sought after guy we recruited here, and he changed the shape of our program. He just continues to keep getting better each year since leaving here."
The IAAF World Championships will be March 24, 2013, in Bydgoszcz, Poland.
U.S. Cross Country Championships
Feb. 2, 2013/ Forest Park/ St. Louis, Mo.
Men's Individual Results
Junior Division 8K
1. Craig Nowak- 24:47
61. Korey Krotzer- 27:40.7
Open Division 12K
6. Ryan Vail- 35:56.8*
21. David Jankowski- 36:50.3*
47. Joseph Manilafasha- 38:39.3