NCAA Men’s XC — Team Battle Closer Than Close

Stanford’s Charles Hicks won the individual title, but Northern Arizona’s 2–3 from Drew Bosley & Nico Young led to the team title. (MIKE SCOTT)

STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA, November 19 — There was a bit of everything at the NCAA Men’s XC Championships.

In brief, Northern Arizona won its third straight team title while Stanford soph Charles Hicks was the individual champ, but as always with the hill-and-dale sport, there are stories behind the headlines.

For instance, there was something routine with NAU cementing its reputation as a generational program, with this win its sixth in seven years. The Flagstaff school is now tied with Oregon for No. 4 on the list of team champs.

There’s always something new at this meet. This time it was British-born (and US/UK dual citizen) Charles Hicks taking the win in 28:43.6, the first by a Stanford runner in that school’s storied harrier history and, given the pedigree of those who’ve run there, an indication of how tough it is to win.

He took the measure, barely, of NAU’s duo of soph Nico Young (28:44.5) and junior Drew Bosley (28:58). Rounding out the top 5 were Dylan Jacobs, the Notre Dame NCAA 10K champ now running for Tennessee, and Oklahoma State’s Alex Maier.

There was also a rarity: a numerical tie for the team title between NAU and host Oklahoma State; the former scored its 83 points off an adjusted 2-3-18-24-36 finish and the latter totaled the same off a 5-8-11-29-30 placing.

With that deadlock, the NCAA tie-breaking rule (each team’s runner vs. the corresponding finisher, with the best of 5 getting the big trophy) ruled the day, giving NAU a 3–2 edge. It was the second tie score in the 84 times the meet has been contested, but in ’42, with no tiebreaker in place, Indiana and Penn State shared the title with 57 points.

BYU ended up 3rd (132), top-ranked Stanford was 4th (190) and Wake Forest 5th (204) in the 31-team field.

There was also something kind of epic — and sort of cool as well — with the top 3 also the wire-to-wire top 3. The get-out-quickly-from-the-get-go race strategy planned by NAU was executed to perfection by the Lumberjack duo and the Stanford rival, who had the rest of the field running for 4th almost before you knew it.

Hicks was content to move along with Young and Bosley, with all sharing the lead at various times through the first 9K. They went through the halfway point in 14:16 with the chase pack well back at 14:27. Hicks said he noticed on the first loop the NAU pair were really strong on the downhills, but he’d pass them a bit on the uphills.

“I kept that in the back of my mind, and it started happening again on the second loop. And it didn’t hurt that much,” Hicks said. “So I started thinking I might be able to lay the hammer down. I cranked up the intensity just a bit to test them out. When I ended up in front, I had to kind of commit at that point.” That came with the end in sight as Bosley dropped a tad and Young struggled to counter Hicks’s move.

“I prefer to run strong, run aggressive, and keep a high intensity over the whole race,” Hicks said. “So they allowed me to run that kind of race I love to run where we’re just going for it, it comes down to who has more fitness, who’s done more miles, and who wants it more.”

The NAU guys moving hard early in the race caused Hicks’s race plan to largely go by the boards right away, but it also made it exactly the kind of race he had hoped for: hard from the start.

It was also just the kind of race that NAU coach Mike Smith wanted from his guys. “People talk about how tough the course is and I believe that makes them run much more conservatively,” he said. “Early in the race, some will play it safe, so that was our game plan. We wanted to capitalize on how much everyone was cautious. We wanted them to follow the plan and not let their nerves deter them.”

“I felt like there was no option but to keep to the plan,” said Young, who notched his second top-4 finish in 3 tries. “No one went with us so it just kind of ended up that way. When he broke away from both of us, I still had it in me to go with him, and I tried my best to, but I certainly didn’t know what was going to happen, because I was very tired at that point.

“I think the downhills more than anything kind of destroy your legs. Each hill takes a lot more out of you because of how taxing it is on your muscles. It’s hard to decide what to do on the downhills but we were taught to run on them.”
Having run here in the ’20 NCAA (Young placed 4th in that March ’21 race), he felt much better prepared: “This time I was in a much better place, knowing the course. I’m definitely learning. It’s increased my experience in championship races.”

The race sequence bears him out. Young and Bosley were never out of the top 3 after 1K. Santiago Prosser, NAU’s third man in 19th, was never lower than 32nd while fourth runner Brodey Hasty, who was 25th, was no lower than 44th and fifth man George Kusche’s worst place was his 39th at the end. The consistency paid off as NAU’s team score was 101 at the 1K mark and in the 90s until its final score.

Oklahoma State had a different approach with 276 points at the first K mark but then steadily diminishing numbers as its top 5 moved up steadily, especially after 5K when the Cowboys overtook Stanford and BYU en route to their tie with history.

“The guys hit it absolutely out of the park,” OSU’s Dave Smith said. “They did exactly what we said to do down to a letter, and it couldn’t have been run more perfectly. We said if we can get to 90 points or under 100, we’re going to win. It’s pretty rare to lose with 83 points.”


NCAA XC MEN’S RESULTS

Stillwater, Oklahoma, November 19 —

Teams
(adjusted places)

1. Northern Arizona 2-3-18-24-36 (79-127) 83
2. Oklahoma State 5-8-11-29-30 (50-117) 83
3. BYU 7-20-28-33-44 (45-49) 132
4. Stanford 1-10-48-67-69 (101-162) 195
5. Wake Forest 19-21-25-53-86 (99-144) 204

6. Wisconsin 212; 7. Air Force 264; 8. Colorado 281; 9. Tulsa 304; 10. North Carolina 323; 11. NC State 334; 12. Syracuse 340; 13. Gonzaga 400; 14. Washington 422;
15. Notre Dame 450; 16. Oregon 465; 17. Harvard 474; 18. Texas 506; 19. Villanova 513; 20. Tennessee 517; 21. Butler 553; 22. Virginia 557; 23. Arkansas 584;
24. Mississippi 598; 25. Montana State 599; 26. Utah State 618; 27. Alabama 683; 28. Colorado State 704; 29. Michigan 708; 30. Princeton 712; 31. Georgetown 752.

Individuals
†=not in team scoring
10,000m (255 started, 252 finished)

1. **Charles Hicks’ Stanford-GB 28:43.6
2. **Nico Young Northern Arizona 28:44.5
3. *Drew Bosley Northern Arizona 28:55.9
4. Dylan Jacobs Tennessee 28:58.0
5. *Alex Maier Oklahoma State 28:58.2
6. **Graham Blanks Harvard 28:58.4
7. *Casey Clinger BYU 28:58.7
8. Isai Rodriguez Oklahoma State 28:59.9
9. **Parker Wolfe North Carolina 29:00.4
10. **Ky Robinson’ Stanford-Aus 29:07.4
11. †**Dylan Schubert Furman 29:07.5
12. ***Fouad Messaoudi’ Oklahoma State-Mor 29:10.8
13. Brian Fay’ Washington-Ire 29:11.0
14. Aaron Bienenfeld’ Oregon-Ger 29:12.2
15. Cormac Dalton’ Tulsa-Ire 29:16.0
16. *Jackson Sharp’ Wisconsin-Aus 29:16.8
17. Barry Keane’ Butler-Ire 29:18.0
18. **Carter Solomon Notre Dame 29:18.8
19. **Santiago Prosser Northern Arizona 29:19.5
20. Zach Facioni’ Wake Forest-Aus 29:21.0
21. Brandon Garnica BYU 29:21.7
22. **Luke Tewalt Wake Forest 29:22.5
23. **Shay McEvoy’ Tulsa-Ire 29:25.7
24. **Patrick Kiprop’ Arkansas-Ken 29:27.1
25. *Brodey Hasty Northern Arizona 29:27.2
26. *Aaron Las Heras’ Wake Forest-Spa 29:27.8
27. *Haftu Knight Texas 29:27.9
28. Ryan Johnson Air Force 29:28.0
29. †Ryan Martins Loyola-Chicago 29:28.8
30. **Davin Thompson BYU 29:28.8
31. **Victor Shitsama’ Oklahoma State-Ken 29:29.0
32. **Rory Leonard Oklahoma State 29:29.1
33. **Yaseen Abdalla Tennessee 29:29.7
34. **Bob Liking Wisconsin 29:30.2
35. **Creed Thompson BYU 29:30.5
36. Austin Vancil Colorado 29:33.3
37. †**Kirami Yego’ South Alabama-Ken 29:34.2
38. Ian Shanklin NC State 29:34.5
39. George Kusche’ Northern Arizona-SA 29:34.9
40. *Matthew Richtman Montana State 29:35.7
41. Yacine Guermali Gonzaga 29:36.3
42. **Luke Houser Washington 29:37.8
43. Andrew Kent Colorado 29:37.8
44. Isaac Akers’ Tulsa-GB 29:40.4
45. **Rowen Ellenberg Wisconsin 29:40.9
46. *Nathan Lawler Syracuse 29:41.4
47. Christian Allen BYU 29:42.0
48. **Aidan Troutner BYU 29:43.1
49. Ethan Marshall Air Force 29:45.4
50. *Acer Iverson Harvard 29:46.1
51. **Devin Hart Stanford 29:47.0
52. **Joey Nokes BYU 29:48.2
53. **Ryan Schoppe Oklahoma State 29:48.7
54. Charlie Wheeler’ Wisconsin-GB 29:49.1
55. Anthony Camerieri Mississippi 29:49.3
56. Thomas Vanoppen’ Wake Forest-Bel 29:49.4
57. Sam Gilman Air Force 29:49.4
58. Paul O’Donnell Syracuse 29:50.3
59. **Wil Smith Gonzaga 29:50.4
60. Tom Brady Michigan 29:51.1
61. Michael Power Tulsa 29:51.3
62. **Ethan Strand North Carolina 29:51.8
63. ***Izaiah Steury Notre Dame 29:52.3
64. **Brett Gardner NC State 29:52.3
65. †*Nickolas Scudder Charlotte 29:52.3
66. **Victor Kiprop’ Alabama-Ken 29:52.5
67. Duncan Hamilton Montana State 29:52.6
68. Seth Hirsch Colorado 29:53.4
69. Charlie Sweeney Colorado 29:53.8
70. *Luke Combs Air Force 29:55.4
71. Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau Stanford 29:57.2
72. John Tatter North Carolina 29:58.2
73. †Marcelo Rocha Providence 29:58.2
74. †**Gable Sieperda Iowa State 29:59.0
75. **Thomas Boyden Stanford 29:59.7
76. *Hannes Burger NC State 30:00.1
77. **Bryce Lentz Air Force 30:01.7
78. †Tyler Berg Columbia 30:02.2
79. **Jack Meijer’ Wisconsin-GB 30:02.3
80. **Ian Harrison NC State 30:02.9
81. Nathan Henderson Syracuse 30:04.6
82. Noah Carey Syracuse 30:04.9
83. **Evan Bishop Wisconsin 30:05.6
84. †*Abdirizak Ibrahim New Mexico 30:05.8
85. *Yonas Mogos Utah State 30:06.3
86. Brendan Fraser Colorado 30:06.9
87. †*Vincent Mauri Arizona State 30:08.3
88. Ryan Raff Northern Arizona 30:08.6
89. †**Ryan Kinnane Auburn 30:09.5
90. †Jake Ritter Cal Poly SLO 30:09.8
91. *Sean Maison Air Force 30:10.0
92. **Liam Murphy Villanova 30:10.2
93. †Fearghal Curtin’ Florida State-Ire 30:10.6
94. James Gormley Oregon 30:10.9
95. **Isaac Alonzo Texas 30:11.0
96. †Alexander Korczynski Northeastern 30:11.1
97. †**Gabriel Sanchez Indiana 30:11.3
98. **Eliud Kipsang’ Alabama-Ken 30:11.6
99. **Jack Jennings Villanova 30:11.8
100. Joaquin Martinez De Pinillos Wake Forest 30:11.9
101. James Mwaura Gonzaga 30:12.4
102. †***Victor Kibiego’ UTEP-Ken 30:12.7
103. *Jake Renfree Notre Dame 30:13.7
104. Isaac Green Washington 30:13.8
105. *Derek Johnson Virginia 30:14.7
106. **Will Coogan North Carolina 30:16.5
107. †Titus Winders Iowa State 30:16.9
108. *Eli Bennett Air Force 30:18.0
109. †*Rhys Hammond Cornell 30:19.0
110. ***Sam Lawler Syracuse 30:19.6
111. ***James Overberg Colorado 30:20.4
112. Robinson Snider NC State 30:20.7
113. **Patrick Anderson North Carolina 30:21.0
114. *Connor Nisbet Princeton 30:21.2
115. **Hunter Appleton Colorado 30:21.2
116. Ben Mitchell Wake Forest 30:21.3
117. **Daniel O’Brien Princeton 30:21.4
118. **Cole Sprout Stanford 30:22.9
119. **Jesse Hamlin Butler 30:23.7
120. †*Zach Kinne Duke 30:23.8
121. ***Marco Langon Villanova 30:24.5
122. †*Teagan Flanagan South Alabama 30:25.2
123. ***Assaf Harari Syracuse 30:25.2
124. †Perry Mackinnon Cornell 30:25.6
125. *Camren Todd Utah State 30:25.6
126. †**Baidy Ba Kent State 30:26.1
127. Dereck Elkins Mississippi 30:26.1
128. Cullen McEachern Gonzaga 30:26.7
129. ***Will Anthony Virginia 30:26.7
130. Charlie O’Donovan’ Villanova-Ire 30:26.8
131. **Abdinasir Hussein Oregon 30:27.4
132. **Parker Stokes Georgetown 30:27.8
133. **Kyle Radosevich Gonzaga 30:27.8
134. †Ibrahim Kedir La Salle-Can 30:28.3
135. *Marshall Williamson North Carolina 30:28.5
136. ***Justin Wachtel Virginia 30:28.7
137. †Antonio López Segura’ Virginia Tech-Spa 30:30.3
138. *Cruz Gomez Texas 30:30.6
139. *Myles Richter Arkansas 30:31.0
140. ***Will Muirhead Oklahoma State 30:31.4
141. *Mason Brown Colorado State 30:31.6
142. *Quinn Gallagher Notre Dame 30:33.2
143. **Wes Porter Virginia 30:33.4
144. *Tom Oates Colorado State 30:34.0
145. **Rodger Rivera Texas 30:35.1
146. **Quincy Norman Oregon 30:35.7
147. *Max Wehrli Utah State 30:35.7
148. **Yasin Sado Virginia 30:36.2
149. †George Wheeler’ Lamar-GB 30:36.4
150. Sean Laidlaw Georgetown 30:37.0
151. ***Colin Sahlman Northern Arizona 30:37.0
152. **Joe Ewing Harvard 30:37.3
153. *Zach Stewart Michigan 30:37.8
154. *Matthew Scrape Syracuse 30:37.8
155. ***Ben Shearer Arkansas 30:37.9
156. ***Shane Brosnan Harvard 30:39.0
157. †**Lachlan Wellington Iona 30:39.3
158. Mark Crandall Utah State 30:40.6
159. Cooper West Montana State 30:41.7
160. Josh Phillips’ Villanova-Aus 30:42.2
161. Arjun Jha Michigan 30:42.7
162. *Alex Slenning Oregon 30:43.1
163. ***Gary Martin Virginia 30:43.6
164. **Joe Waskom Washington 30:44.4
165. **Matthew Forrester Butler 30:44.6
166. Cole Bullock Mississippi 30:45.5
167. **Will Minnette Butler 30:45.6
168. Ed Trippas Washington 30:46.0
169. †*Bradley Makuvire’ Tulane-Zim 30:46.4
170. ***Rynard Swanepoel’ Wake Forest-SA 30:46.6
171. **Sam Affolder Washington 30:46.7
172. †*Aden Smith Michigan State 30:46.9
173. †CarLee Stimpfel Michigan State 30:46.9
174. †Marquette Hanson Missouri 30:47.1
175. Jacob McLeod Arkansas 30:47.8
176. *Jacob Lewis Tennessee 30:47.9
177. Chris Maxon Mississippi 30:48.2
178. **Camden Gilmore Georgetown 30:48.9
179. *Dawson Besst Colorado State 30:49.0
180. **Aiden Britt Mississippi 30:51.5
181. Karl Thiessen Tennessee 30:51.8
182. *Jack McMahon Butler 30:52.3
183. ***Myles Hogan Princeton 30:53.0
184. Rohann Asfaw Virginia 30:53.1
185. *Haftu Strintzos’ Villanova-Aus 30:53.9
186. **Lars Mitchel Colorado State 30:54.4
187. *Thomas Chaston Colorado State 30:54.5
188. ***Adam Spencer’ Wisconsin-Aus 30:54.8
189. **Abraham Avila-Martinez Texas 30:56.8
190. ***Vivien Henz Harvard 30:57.1
191. **Evan Burke’ Stanford-Can 30:57.4
192. †*Isaac Basten Drake 30:58.0
193. †*Victor Neiva North Texas 30:58.3
194. Ben Fleming North Carolina 30:58.6
195. †**Luke Henseler Pitt 30:59.2
196. ***Edouard Morin-Luzuy’ Butler-Fra 30:59.6
197. †Jonathan Shields’ Boise-GB 31:00.9
198. *Jacob Wiggers Alabama 31:01.2
199. *Carter Cheeseman Notre Dame 31:02.0
200. **Ben Perrin Montana State 31:02.4
201. **Elias Schreml’ Arkansas-Ger 31:04.6
202. *Malte Propp’ Tulsa-Ger 31:04.9
203. *Riley Moore Gonzaga 31:05.5
204. †*Jack Miller Pitt 31:06.6
205. David Melville Harvard 31:06.6
206. *Joshua Zelek Princeton 31:07.5
207. Ryan Murphy Arkansas 31:08.5
208. ***Cameron Stein Oregon 31:09.1
209. **Hillary Cheruiyot’ Alabama-Ken 31:09.3
210. **Matthew Rizzo Georgetown 31:10.0
211. **Leo Daschbach Washington 31:11.5
212. ***Josh Edwards Oregon 31:12.6
213. **Brennan Benson Utah State 31:13.1
214. Caleb Garnica Utah State 31:17.3
215. **Michael Mooney Colorado State 31:17.9
216. **Ryan Adkins Butler 31:18.6
217. *Nate Kawalec Tennessee 31:19.3
218. Darren Harman Utah State 31:21.0
219. Shane Bracken’ Mississippi-Ire 31:24.9
220. ***Bryce Cerkowniak Gonzaga 31:26.3
221. †*Dennis Kipngeno’ A&M-Corpus Christi-Ken 31:27.9
222. *Matthew Carmody Notre Dame 31:29.1
223. ***Luke Lambert Tulsa 31:29.8
224. *Jack Stanley Princeton 31:30.4
225. ***Lucas Guerra Georgetown 31:31.1
226. ***Luke Venhuizen Michigan 31:31.4
227. **Jake Toomey NC State 31:34.4
228. ***Nathanael Berhane Texas 31:35.2
229. **Eli Nahom Tennessee 31:37.0
230. **Oli Raimond’ Michigan-Aus 31:37.4
231. Kevin Berry Notre Dame 31:38.2
232. *Brady Grant Alabama 31:38.8
233. **Levi Taylor Montana State 31:44.5
234. Nick Foster Michigan 31:51.6
235. Jack Fredian Villanova 31:55.2
236. *Max Nores Tulsa 31:56.0
237. ***Emmanuel Sgouros Texas 31:58.2
238. *Jack Spamer Michigan 31:58.6
239. †*Taonga Mbambo La Salle 32:04.0
240. **Owen Smith Montana State 32:04.0
241. **Gavin Saacke Alabama 32:05.1
242. **Rob McManus Montana State 32:08.7
243. *Josh Shearer Arkansas 32:08.8
244. *Riley Buchholz Tennessee 32:09.0
245. Dalton Hengst Mississippi 32:11.8
246. **Jarrett Kirk Princeton 32:12.7
247. *Brock Dykema Colorado State 32:15.8
248. **John Malach NC State 32:17.0
249. **Brady Barton Alabama 32:30.2
250. **Abel Teffra Georgetown 32:32.6
251. **Ben Rosa Harvard 32:45.1
252. †**Jonathan Chung Texas A&M 32:50.7

…dnf—*Shea Weilbaker (Georgetown), *Nicholas Russell (Santa Clara), **Anthony Monte (Princeton).