Nov. 15, 2012
STILLWATER - 2012 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP November 17, 2012 |E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park| Louisville, Ky.
The Oklahoma State men's and women's cross country teams travel to Louisville, Ky., Saturday to compete in the NCAA National Championships. The women's race will begin at 11 a.m. CST and the men's race will follow at 12:15 p.m. CST.
Potential runners for the top-ranked Cowboys will be Fabian Clarkson, Kirubel Erassa, Tom Farrell, Brian Gohlke, Shadrack Kipchirchir, Joseph Manilafasha, Girma Mecheso, Taylor Monaghan, Shane Moskowitz, Craig Nowak, Klaus Schmidt, Neal Smith and Zach Wills. Only seven athletes will run in the race.
For the Cowgirls, Savannah Camacho, Jackie Campos, Jenny Dyer, Caileigh Glenn, Victoria Hanna, Monika Juodeskaite, Kate Kujawa, Taylor Light, Janelle Martinez and Natalja Piliusina could take to the course. Just as on the men's side, only seven athletes will run in the race.
A live webcast of the championships will be broadcast on NCAA.com.
Possible OSU Competitors
Men- 10K race begins at 12:15 p.m.
Fabian Clarkson - Sophomore
Kirubel Erassa - Redshirt sophomore
Tom Farrell - Redshirt junior
Brian Gohlke - Redshirt freshman
Shadrack Kipchirchir - Junior
Joseph Manilafasha - Redshirt junior
Girma Mecheso - Redshirt senior
Taylor Monaghan - Redshirt junior
Shane Moskowitz - Redshirt sophomore
Craig Nowak - Freshman
Klaus Schmidt - Redshirt junior
Neal Smith - Redshirt sophomore
Zach Wills - Redshirt Freshman
Women-6K race begins at 11 a.m.
Savannah Camacho - Freshman
Jackie Campos - Senior
Jenny Dyer - Sophomore
Caileigh Glenn - Sophomore
Victoria Hanna - Junior
Monika Juodeskaite - Sophomore
Kate Kujawa - Senior
Taylor Light - Sophomore
Janelle Martinez - Redshirt freshman
Natalja Piliusina - Junior
North Carolina State
William & Mary
Last Time Out
Last week, both teams competed at the NCAA Midwest Regional in Springfield, Mo. The Cowboys tied Oklahoma for the title with 45 points and just held off Tulsa, which finished with 47 points, it is OSU's 19th trip to the national championships in the last 20 years. Mecheso led the Pokes once again by finishing in second place with a time of 30:26.39. Tom Farrell (30:29.06) and Moskowitz (30:30.21) finished in fourth and seventh place, respectively.
The Cowgirls earned 95 points and held off Minnesota for second place. They also overcame the loss of Victoria Hanna, who was unable to finish the race with three meters to go. They were able to do this in large part to Juodeskaite and Piliusina. Juodeskaite (20:51.34) finished in ninth place, and Piliusina (21:00.03) placed 11th. Campos (21:25.57) and Kujawa (21:30.37) also contributed to the team by finishing 23rd and 24th, respectively.
Last Year at Nationals
The Oklahoma State men's cross country team fell just short in its bid to win a third-straight national title, coming in second behind top-ranked Wisconsin. The Cowboys posted 139 team points, behind Wisconsin's 97 team points.
The women's team posted a 30th-place team finish with 701 points.
OSU in the Polls
The Oklahoma State men's cross country team remains the top ranked team in the country in the final regular season USTFCCCA national poll.
The Cowgirls remain in the No. 21 spot.
The Cowboys are looking to win their third national championship in the last four years and fourth title overall (`54, `09 and `10). This is the 19th time in the last 20 years they have earned a trip to the National Championships. This will also be the 26th time in team history that they have made an appearance.
For the first time in team history the Cowgirls are going to the NCAA National Championship for a third-consecutive year. Their best finish came in 1989 where they placed fifth.
Nine members of the Oklahoma State men's and women's cross country teams were named 2012 All-Region honorees by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
For the Cowboys, Farrell picked up honors for the third-consecutive year, and Manilafasha and Mecheso were honored for the second time. Moskowitz and Brian Gohlke were named All-Region for the first time in their careers.
For the Cowgirls, Piliusina was named All-Region for the third-consecutive year, while Juodeskaite was honored for the second time. This is the first time Campos and Kujawa have been named to the list.
From 2012 Big 12 Coach of the Year Dave Smith
On the men"On the men's side, if every one of our top seven runs equal to the best race they've had this year, we're going to be very hard to beat. I think we have a really good team. We have great up-front running with Girma, Shadrack and Farrell. At the same time, we've got great depth. I think we've got six guys with a 10-20 second spread. A lot of programs either have really good up-front power and are really hurting in the back or they don't have the up-front power but they have a real tight pack of guys. We've got both. We've got really good guys that can penetrate the top 10, and we've got a bunch of guys running 4, 5, 6 that could be All-American. To have five All-Americans, it's hard to lose."
Regarding the women's team
"On the women's side, we're just trying to improve. I think we're still in the growing stages. We were 17th two years ago and 30th last year. We hope we're better than those finishes. I hope we're in the top 15. I think if the stars really come together for us and we could have perfect days, then we could be in the top 10. That would take a near perfect day."
On the leadership of the upperclassmen
"Our teams have been really good at staying poised during races. It's up to those guys to put that attitude on the rest of the team. I think the younger guys like Kirubel, Shane and Brian Gohlke need the upper classmen who have been through it to kind of calm the waters a little bit. The national race is really high in intensity. Its 250 runners coming through the halfway point in about a 15-second spread. It's chaotic. I think if you're not ready for it and you don't have that senior leadership to lead you through it, then it can be a really stressful situation, and sometimes people can make mistakes. Those upperclassmen need to, more than anything, keep everybody calm and focused."