Waco, Texas - The No. 28 nationally-ranked University of Oklahoma men's cross country team finished fourth at the 2013 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Saturday. OU's women matched their finish from last year, placing ninth.
The Sooners were led by the one-two-punch of Abbabiya Simbassa and Brandon Doughty who finished at eighth (23:27) and ninth (23:31) overall, respectively. Doughty finishes 17 spots ahead of where he placed in last year’s competition.
Patrick Gomez was the third finisher for the Sooners, and first to finish outside the top-10 at 29 with a time of 24:09.1. Finishing less than a second behind Gomez was Eric Graf who finished in 24:09.6 at No. 30. OU also occupied the next two positions with Kyle Polman at 31st (24:12) and Dan Schubert finishing 18 spots above last year’s competition at 32nd (24:!4).
Also competing for the Sooners was Alex Deir at 37th (24:23), Jacob Burcham at 42nd (24:34), Daniel Aldaba at 48th (24:56) and Allen Eke rounded out the day for the men finishing 57th (25:30).
“Simbassa looked really solid today and won Newcomer of the Year,” said Associate Head Coach Jason Dunn. “Doughty ran really well, also. We had a couple of guys run really well, we just weren’t ready to put it all together to reach the top two.”
The Oklahoma women finished ninth in the event. Senior Hilary Krein paced the Sooners on the 6,000-meter course, finishing 14th with a time of 21:07 in just her second race of the year.
“I was definitely happy with Hilary’s race today,” Dunn explained. “I look forward to seeing her continue to make progress as we approach regionals.”
The second Sooner to cross the finish line was Elena Arriaza at 30th with a time of 21:39. Behind Arriaza was Kesley McKee at 59th (22:32), Marissa Codispodi at 70th (23:15), Ashley Guidot at 74th (23:34), Lane Maguire at 76th (23:40), Bryce Perry at 77th (23:56) and Morgan Baulier at 81st with a time of 24:18.
Oklahoma State took first in the men’s event while Iowa State took home the Big 12 Championship for the women.
Three OU runners earned All-Big 12 honors with Simbassa, Doughty and Krein all earning the honor for the first time in their careers.
Simbassa was named Big 12 Cross Country men’s Newcomer of the Year for being the top finishing newcomer in the men’s race. Iowa State’s Bethanie Brown was named as the women’s Newcomer of the Year.
“We’re looking forward to preparing and getting things right before the regional meet,” Dunn said. “We are excited to get out there and compete to earn a spot in the national meet in a few weeks.”
Next up for the Sooners is the NCAA Midwest Regional on Nov. 15 in Ames, Iowa