Oct. 30, 2010
STILLWATER, Okla. – The No. 5 ranked University of Oklahoma men’s cross country team placed third at the 2010 Big 12 Cross Country Championships for the second straight year as the women came in 12th in Stillwater, Okla.
Oklahoma’s top five runners finished in the top 16 to earn 61 points and claim third behind second place finisher Colorado and winner Oklahoma State. The Sooners improved by 14 points from 2009 when the team finished with 75 points.
Kevin Schwab paced Oklahoma, finishing eighth with a time of 24:32.65. Schwab ran half a minute faster than his time at the 2009 Big 12 Championships and was just 36 seconds off the winner, Girma Mechaso from Oklahoma State (23:56.94).
Rob Sorrell was the next Sooner across the line, running a time of 24:36.87 to come in 11th. He was followed by George Alex in 12th with a time of 24:37.28 and Kevin Williams in 14th a time of 24:44.11. Bill Kogel edged out a pack of runners at the finish line to claim 16th with a time of 24:53.36
“I think this race kind of typifies how the guys have done all season,” said OU head coach Martin Smith. “We had a very tight pack from one to five, just like at Pre-Nationals and our previous meet at Wisconsin. Our split was 20 seconds. I think they ran a really strong race. We let it get away from us a little early and we had to spend too much time trying to catch Colorado and in the end we couldn’t make up the ground we lost in the first two and a half to three miles of the course.”
Saturday’s results marked the second straight year that Schwab and Sorrell claimed All-Big 12 honors and the first time for Alex, a first-year OU runner, and Williams.
Also competing for the Sooners were Aaron Sherf who crossed the finish line at 25:14.28, Jacob Boone (25:24.47), Alex Muntefering (25:46.28) and Patrick Gomez (26:05.19).
Each runner ran a faster time than at the 2009 Big 12 Championships by at least half a minute.
A team that’s been dealing with injuries throughout the season, the OU women posted strong finishes with five runners setting personal bests at the 6,000 meter distance as the team finished with a total of 314 points. Along with the men, the OU women also improved their point total from 2009 with a 26-point increase from 2009’s 340.
Annie Martin set an OU personal best running a time of 21:40.24 to finish 38th, smashing her previous fastest time this year of 22:25.53 set on the same course at the Cowboy Jamboree. Molly Ferguson came in at 58th and also set a personal best with a time of 22:04.95 to best her previous best of 22:22.38 set at the Cowboy Jamboree.
Natalie Crain recorded a personal best time of 22:29.83, running two minutes faster than her previous best of 24:42.72. Hilary Krein followed with a personal best time of 22:25.53 surpassing her previous best of 23:16.22, Kelsey Brown recorded a personal best 22:37.53 beating her previous best of 23:59.55 and Kelly Waters rounded out the competition for the Sooners, crossing the line at 23:04.24.
Next up for the Sooners is the Midwest Regional meet on Nov. 13 in Peoria, Ill.