Oct. 29, 2011
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The fifth-ranked University of Oklahoma men's cross country team finished second at the 2011 Big 12 Cross Country Championships, a best for the Sooners at the meet. OU's women also improved on their finish from last year, placing eighth.
Oklahoma's top five scorers crossed the line in the top 11, earning 43 points to finish just behind winner Oklahoma State (30). The finish snapped a two-year third-place streak for the Sooners. OU improved by 18 points from 2010 when the team finished with 61 points.
The Sooners were led by Bill Kogel, who finished in sixth place with a time of 23 minutes, 36.7 seconds. Kogel finished 10 spots ahead of where he placed in last year's competition.
Jeremy Sudbury finished in seventh, just 12 seconds behind Kogel with a time of 23:48.9. He was followed by Kevin Schwab in ninth with a time of 23:57.8, George Alex placed 10th with a time of 24:00.1, Kevin Williams placed 11th with a time of 24:04.9 and Eric Harasyn rounded out the squad placing 13th with a time of 24:08.4.
Kogel, Sudbury and Schwab all finished in the top 10; marking the first time in program history the Sooners have had more than one runner finish inside the top 10. The trio moves OU's total of top-10 finishers to seven.
Six OU runners claimed All-Big 12 honors with Kogel, Sudbury, Alex and Harasyn earning the honor for the first time in their careers. Schwab claimed the honor for the third time and Williams for the second time.
Also competing for the Sooners was Aaron Sherf who placed 20th with a time of 24:19.1, Frezer Legesse tied for 30th with a time of 24:37.2, Ryan Poland tied for 36th with a time of 24:56.3 and Daniel Nicolls tied for 43rd with a time of 25:09.8.
The Oklahoma women recorded their highest finish since taking sixth in 2007, earning 189 points. Jessica Engel paced the Sooners on the 6,000-meter course, finishing fifth with a time of 19:47.1.
Engel earned the first All-Big 12 honor of her career and became just the fifth All-Big 12 performer for the Sooners. Jessica Eldridge was a four-time honoree.
Natalie Crain was the second Sooner to cross the finish line, placing 32nd with a time of 20:54.9, followed by Hilary Krein at 34th (20:56.2), Kelsey Brown tied for 55th (21:36.2), and Kelly Waters rounding out the women tied for 63rd with a time of 22:01.5. Iowa State won the women's team title with 68 points.
Next up for the Sooners is the NCAA Midwest Regional on November 12th, at DeKalb, Ill.