Sept. 29, 2012
STILLWATER - The Oklahoma State men's and women's cross country teams both won their third-straight Cowboy Jamboree this morning at the OSU Cross Country Course in Stillwater.
Junior Shadrack Kipchirchir led the way for the No. 2 Cowboys, sprinting away with the individual championship. Kipchirchir and UTEP's Anthony Rotich finished the race in a dead heat with Kipchirchir crossing the finish line at 24:29.17, .09 seconds ahead of Rotich.
"I knew he was right there with me, and I said it's not fair for him to take it at the finish line, so I made sure I sprinted to the end," Kipchirchir said.
"Shadrack is very talented and competitive," OSU head coach Dave Smith said. "Any time he sniffs a win, he goes for it. I felt the last 800-meters he really took off and went for it. He looked great finishing."
As a team, the Cowboys took five of the top 10 spots. Joseph Manilafasha (24:35.29) finished in third-place, crossing the finish line just ahead of teammate Girma Mecheso (24:42.25). Fabian Clarkson (24:55.42) finished in sixth-place, Kirubel Erassa (24:58.42) finished in ninth-place and Brian Gohlke (24:59.26) rounded out the top 10.
Running unattached, true freshman Craig Nowak finished in fifth-place with a time of 24:49.20.
"Cross country is not about times, it's about competition, racing, and beating the guys next to you and I think we did that really well today," Smith said. "If we just keep doing that and getting better each week we are going to be where we need to be at the end of the season."
For the No. 23 Cowgirls, sophomore Monika Juodeskaite finished in third-place with a time of 17:25.71, improving on her 22nd-place finish a year ago. Her time also put her 14th all-time for OSU women in the 5,000-meter.
"I started in about tenth place and then I started to catch some of the runners," Juodeskaite said. "Last season, it was probably the hardest race I have ever ran, but this year I felt that it was easy."
"Monika ran a very intelligent race and moved up all the way to third," Smith said, "She's light years ahead of where she was last year, and she was even the Big 12 freshman of the year at the end of the year."
"We came from way back and just went for it the last 1,000-meters, our whole team did really well with that today," Smith said. "I think as a team we are in very good shape."
"This is the toughest course that we will run all year," Smith said. "If you can perform well under duress on this course, you are going to do well the rest of the year."
Both teams return to the course on Oct. 13 when they travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete in the Chile Pepper Invitational.
OSU Individual Results-Men
OSU Individual Results-Women