NCAA Men’s XC Championships

Conditions were decidedly wintry as Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald made the most of homefield advantage. (MIKE SCOTT)

Verona, Wisconsin, November 17—Return and repeat. Those 2 R’s are the simplest way to summarize the NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championship in its 80th anniversary year as Wisconsin senior Morgan McDonald returned to glory and Northern Arizona repeated its glory. McDonald redshirted last fall so he’d have a chance to return in his fifth year for the NCAA on his home course. Return he did, and win the Australian also did, becoming the first man to win on his home course since Indiana’s Bob Kennedy in ’92. And the Lumberjacks returned to the top of the podium as they accomplished the “three-peat,” becoming the first team to do so since Arkansas 1998–00.

But it was no sure thing for McDonald, who had to out-sprint to the line another strong kicker, Stanford senior Grant Fisher, for the win in 29:08.3. Fisher was a half-tick back, with Iowa State’s Edwin Kurgat on his heels in 29:09. The finish was testament to the way the race started, with the first 10 finishers within 9 seconds of the winner. But the major players were all in evidence early, even though the size of the lead “pack” was well into double figures over the snow-covered route. At the forefront from the get-go were the NAU duo of Tyler Day & Matt Baxter, the Colorado trio of John Dressel, Joe Klecker & Ryan Forsyth along with the eventual top 3 and BYU’s hard-grinding frosh Conner Mantz, who had showed at Pre-Nats here that he’s not afraid to lead.

But as is so often the case, it came down to a kick on the long upgrade to the finish, with McDonald breaking away slightly over the final 100m to the partisan roars of perhaps the largest crowd ever at an NCAA meet and then holding his edge to the line over the fast-closing Fisher.

NAU, as has been its wont over the last 3 years, was routing the field early, with 82 points at 2K to Portland’s 136. So it was virtually over that quickly. With 5 in the top 20 early on, NAU never faltered despite an “off” day from Matt Baxter, last year’s runner-up who fell to 15th. No matter. The depth of coach Mike Smith’s team carried the day again with an adjusted 5-12-19-22-25 finish for 83 points, good for a 33-point edge on Mountain Region rival BYU (116). Portland was 3rd with 160, followed by regular top finishers Colorado (178) and Stanford (201) in the 31-team field.

Said Smith, “Every time someone brings up three in a row it’s the first time I have to think about it because we just take them one by one. I just have to give it to our staff and our athletes. They keep us true to the mission and to the fundamentals that got us here and we just have to take it from there.” What are those fundamentals? “It’s all about each other. It’s only a team sport. We don’t ever talk about individual placings. I just asked them after, where did you go when it got hard today, I asked them. They said, ‘each other.’ I think it’s a huge piece of what we do. Matt [Baxter] and Tyler [Day], we wanted them to stay aggressive on the pace but don’t create a picture of what it was like last year, with them leading. That’s dangerous. I told them that they’re going to have company for a long time. There are a lot of great athletes here and I think the weather kept the pace down just a dash. We do a risk analysis and we know it’s better for them to run from the front.”

“That last 400m was crazy,” said McDonald, who cited his familiarity with the course. “I knew that there were a lot of people around in that whole last 2K, which I didn’t really expect. With 400 to go I knew that there were still so many bodies there and I was trying not to be the first one to make a move. I knew I had Grant there and Kurgat so I was just trying to vibe off of them, see when they were going to make their moves and when the time was right I kind of put my foot down and just prayed that it was enough to pull away and get the victory.”

Fisher was philosophical in defeat. The ’17 track 5K titlist ended up with finishes of 17th, 5th, 5th and 2nd in his four seasons, but after a conservative race last year, he was ready for this one. Ironically, he noted on Friday that he’d run more races on Wisconsin’s course than on his own. “It was great, definitely a real cross country course,” he said. “I just tried to find a pocket and I was relaxed and executed my plan. It was an honest race the whole way. It was still pretty crowded with a K to go so I knew it’d be a little hectic at the end. I managed to find some space and wind up my kick. I did a good job of that and Morgan had a little more than me at the end. He just had an incredible last 100m and he just got the best of me.”


NCAA MEN’S XC RESULTS

Verona, Wisconsin, November 17—

Teams

(adjusted places)

1. Northern Arizona 83 (5-12-19-22-25 [33-122])

2. BYU 116 (8-18-20-27-43 [51-58])

3. Portland 160 (17-21-34-41-47 [55-100])

4. Colorado 178 (6-7-9-37-119 [132-185])

5. Stanford 201 (2-10-26-62-101 [111-142])

6. Washington 213; 7. Iowa State 220; 8. Wisconsin 240; 9. Colorado State 309; 10. Boise State 342; 11. NC State 342; 12. Wyoming 371; 13. Oklahoma State 378;

14. Notre Dame 401; 15. Oregon 407;16. Eastern Kentucky 430; 17. Mississippi 431; 18. Indiana 469; 19. Michigan 483; 20. Air Force 498; 21. Southern Utah 523;

22. Princeton 557; 23. Villanova 577;24. Bradley 580; 25. Arkansas 602; 26. Syracuse 603; 27. Texas 630; 28. Iona 634; 29. Purdue 702; 30. Tulsa 777; 31. Florida State 845.

Individuals (10K)

(† = not part of team scoring)

1. Morgan McDonald’ (Wisconsin) 29:08.3; 2. Grant Fisher (Stanford) 29:08.8; 3. *Edwin Kurgat’ (Iowa State) 29:09.0; 4. ***Isai Rodriguez (Oklahoma State) 29:10.5; 5. †Aaron Templeton (Furman) 29:11.9; 6. Tyler Day (Northern Arizona) 29:12.9; 7. †**Amon Kemboi’ (Campbell) 29:14.6; 8. *Joe Klecker (Colorado) 29:15.0; 9. *John Dressel (Colorado) 29:16.9; 10. ***Conner Mantz (BYU) 29:17.1;

11. Ryan Forsyth (Colorado) 29:21.0; 12. †Alfred Chelanga’ (Alabama) 29:27.4; 13. *Alex Ostberg (Smtanford) 29:33.9; 14. ***James Sugira’ (Eastern Kentucky) 29:35.6; 15. Matthew Baxter’ (Northern Arizona) 29:35.7; 16. †*Peter Seufer (Virginia Tech) 29:36.9; 17. *Oliver Hoare’ (Wisconsin) 29:37.8; 18. Eric Hamer (Colorado State) 29:38.2; 19. *Tanner Anderson (Washington) 29:40.8; 20. *Paul Roberts (Wyoming) 29:41.4;

21. *Emmanuel Roudolff-Levisse’ (Portland) 29:41.7; 22. Rory Linkletter’ (BYU) 29:42.5; 23. **Luis Grijalva’ (Northern Arizona) 29:44.3; 24. Connor McMillan (BYU) 29:48.1; 25. Logan Orndorf (Portland) 29:49.6; 26. **Blaise Ferro (Northern Arizona) 29:50.8; 27. *Ashenafi Hatte’ (Oklahoma State) 29:51.0; 28. Addison DeHaven (Boise State) 29:51.2; 29. Peter Lomong (Northern Arizona) 29:52.3; 30. **Alek Parsons (Stanford) 29:52.6;

31. †Brent Demarest (Virginia) 29:54.4; 32. **Clayson Shumway (BYU) 29:54.9; 33. ***Danny Kilrea (Notre Dame) 29:55.2; 34. *Casey Comber (Villanova) 29:56.1; 35. **John Aho (Michigan) 29:56.8; 36. **Waleed Suliman (Mississippi) 29:57.0; 37. †Lawrence Kipkoech’ (Campbell) 29:57.6; 38. **Tibebu Proctor (Washington) 29:58.2; 39. *Geordie Beamish’ (Northern Arizona) 29:58.4; 40. Nick Hauger (Portland) 29:58.5;

41. Carson Hume (Colorado State) 30:00.0; 42. Cameron Griffith’ (Arkansas) 30:01.1; 43. **Eduardo Herrera (Colorado) 30:02.0; 44. Riley Campbell (Boise State) 30:02.2; 45. Yusuke Uchikoshi’ (Boise State) 30:02.8; 46. *Andrew Jordan (Iowa State) 30:05.1; 47. †*Kieran Tuntivate (Harvard) 30:06.1; 48. *Stuart McCallum (Portland) 30:07.8; 49. *Kyle Mau (Indiana) 30:08.7; 50. *Jacob Heslington (BYU) 30:08.8;

51. *Aidan Reed (Southern Utah) 30:09.8; 52. Kyle Mattes (Illinois State) 30:10.3; 53. **Nicholas Wareham (Georgetown) 30:10.6; 54. **Ian Shanklin (NC State) 30:10.9; 55. ***George Kusche’ (Nebraska) 30:12.0; 56. *Olin Hacker (Wisconsin) 30:12.8; 57. Michael Somers (Portland) 30:12.8; 58. Fred Huxham (Washington) 30:13.3; 59. **Yared Nuguse (Notre Dame) 30:13.6; 60. †Paul Hogan (UMass Lowell) 30:14.9;

61. ***Chad Johnson (Iowa State) 30:18.2; 62. *Brayden McLelland (BYU) 30:19.4; 63. *Christopher Henry (Wyoming) 30:20.1; 64. †*Jack Van Scoter (Georgetown) 30:21.5; 65. †**Hugo Milner (Harvard) 30:22.0; 66. Luis Martinez (Oklahoma State) 30:22.4; 67. *Andy Snyder (Washington) 30:22.6; 68. *Caleb Webb (Portland) 30:24.3; 69. Mickey Davey (Air Force) 30:24.5; 70. *Andrew Marston (Villanova) 30:24.9;

71. †*Roman Ollar (Army) 30:25.2; 72. Clayton Young (BYU) 30:25.2; 73. *Jackson Mestler (Oregon) 30:25.7; 74. Nathan Thomas (Air Force) 30:25.7; 75. †Jamie Crowe’ (Lamar) 30:26.4; 76. Dan Curts (Iowa State) 30:27.0; 77. ***D.J. Principe (Stanford) 30:27.3; 78. †*Carlos Villarreal’ (Arizona) 30:28.1; 79. ***John Tatter (Michigan) 30:28.2; 80. **Talon Hull (Washington) 30:28.6;

81. †Azaria Kirwa’ (Liberty) 30:28.6; 82. Jaime Romo’ (Eastern Kentucky) 30:29.4; 83. †Jack Rowe’ (USF) 30:29.9; 84. **Milo Greder (Iowa State) 30:31.6; 85. Blake Haney (Oregon) 30:32.1; 86. Alex Rogers (Texas) 30:32.6; 87. *Forrest Barton (Colorado State) 30:32.9; 88. **Joe Bistritz (NC State) 30:32.9; 89. **Gavin Gaynor (NC State) 30:33.0; 90. **Joe Dragon (Syracuse) 30:33.1;

91. Mark Robertson (Mississippi) 30:33.2; 92. **Ehab El-Sandali’ (Iona) 30:33.5; 93. ***Cade Bethmann (Mississippi) 30:33.6; 94. **Cooper Teare (Oregon) 30:34.3; 95. †Ben Kendell (UDM) 30:35.0; 96. Elijah Moskowitz (NC State) 30:35.6; 97. *Anthony Williams (Notre Dame) 30:35.8; 98. **Edwin Rutto’ (NC State) 30:36.5; 99. **Nate Osterstock (Southern Utah) 30:36.9; 100. *Gannon Willcutts (Princeton) 30:37.0;

101. *Conor Lundy (Princeton) 30:37.3; 102. **Matt Grossman (Princeton) 30:37.6; 103. †**Mark Freyhof (Nebraska) 30:37.6; 104. *Ben Eidenschink (Wisconsin) 30:39.5; 105. *Harry Ewing (Wyoming) 30:39.5; 106. Michael Ward’ (Bradley) 30:40.3; 107. †***Jacob McLeod (Belmont) 30:41.5; 108. **Brody Smith (Purdue) 30:42.1; 109. †*Euan Makepeace’ (Butler) 30:42.4; 110. †Sam Webb (Penn) 30:42.7;

111. †*Aaron Bienenfeld (Cincinnati) 30:42.8; 112. **Elijah Armstrong (Boise State) 30:44.1; 113. *John Rice (Texas) 30:46.8; 114. **Peter Lynch (Tulsa) 30:47.1; 115. Haran Dunderdale’ (Bradley) 30:47.4; 116. *Daniel Hintz (Wyoming) 30:47.6; 117. **Jack Yearian (Oregon) 30:48.1; 118. **Jacob Brueckman (Colorado State) 30:48.4; 119. *Jaret Carpenter (Purdue) 30:49.2; 120. ***Shuaib Aljabaly (Wisconsin) 30:49.9;

121. ***Maximilliano Martinez (Colorado State) 30:49.9; 122. **Gavin Parpart (Washington) 30:50.1; 123. *Aidan Tooker (Syracuse) 30:50.6; 124. Noah Schutte’ (Portland) 30:51.4; 125. Tai Dinger (Stanford) 30:52.7; 126. *Gilbert Boit’ (Arkansas) 30:53.3; 127. †Koby Pederson (LMU) 30:53.8; 128. Trevor Siniscalchi (Air Force) 30:54.3; 129. ***Dustin Horter (Indiana) 30:55.3; 130. Daniel Michalski (Indiana) 30:55.6;

131. **Sam Worley (Texas) 30:55.8; 132. *Ben Hill (Michigan) 30:55.9; 133. ***Arjun Jha (Indiana) 30:56.7; 134. †*Jordan Rowe’ (Lamar) 30:57.5; 135. *Sean Newcomb (Southern Utah) 30:58.0; 136. *Bryce Millar (Indiana) 30:58.0; 137. **Michael Vernau (Stanford) 30:58.7; 138. James West’ (Oregon) 30:59.2; 139. **Jack O’Leary (Iona) 30:59.3; 140. *Satchel Caldwell (Colorado State) 30:59.7;

141. †*Nathan Mylenek (Iowa) 30:59.9; 142. Liam Dee’ (Iona) 31:00.4; 143. †*Ty Mogan (Montana State) 31:00.5; 144. Erick Rotich’ (Eastern Kentucky) 31:00.8; 145. *Tyler Keslin (Notre Dame) 31:01.0; 146. David Corrales’ (Eastern Kentucky) 31:02.2; 147. Ethan Gonzales (Colorado) 31:02.4; 148. ***Antoine Senard’ (Eastern Kentucky) 31:02.7; 149. †*Florian Lussy’ (North Texas) 31:02.8; 150. John Nownes (Iowa State) 31:02.8;

151. ***Ryan Raff (Northern Arizona) 31:03.0; 152. *Simon Smith (Syracuse) 31:03.6; 153. †Garrett Corcoran (Central Alabama) 31:04.0; 154. ***Mario Garcia Romo (Mississippi) 31:04.5; 155. †Emmanuel Rotich’ (Tulane) 31:05.4; 156. *Jake Hoffert (Bradley) 31:06.0; 157. Michael Downey (Wyoming) 31:07.0; 158. *William Anderson (Bradley) 31:07.7; 159. *Farah Abdulkarim’ (Mississippi) 31:08.2; 160. **Andrew Alexander (Notre Dame) 31:08.7;

161. Trent Powell (Colorado State) 31:09.0; 162. ***Josh Phillips’ (Villanova) 31:09.2; 163. **Paxton Smith (Colorado) 31:12.3; 164. **Alec Schrank (Air Force) 31:13.3; 165. **Christian Ricketts (Southern Utah) 31:14.1; 166. Ethan Moehn (Arkansas) 31:14.4; 167. **Kevin Salvano (Notre Dame) 31:15.0; 168. ***Ryan Riddle (Tulsa) 31:15.2; 169. †*Justin Domangue (UT Arlington) 31:15.3; 170. **David Krahn (Princeton) 31:15.7;

171. ***Bryce Quigley (Oklahoma State) 31:15.8; 172. **Jacob Lee (Michigan) 31:16.2; 173. Joseph Murphy (Indiana) 31:16.3; 174. ***Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau (Stanford) 31:17.5; 175. **Isaac Harding (Michigan) 31:18.9; 176. *Steven Cross (Florida State) 31:19.2; 177. †**Ben Varghese (East Tennessee) 31:20.2; 178. **Reed Brown (Oregon) 31:21.9; 179. **Scott Johnson (Air Force) 31:22.3; 180. Patrick Sheehan (NC State) 31:22.7;

181. ***Jamie Dee’ (Iona) 31:23.1; 182. ***Charlie Hunter (Oregon) 31:24.2; 183. **Ben Savino (Mississippi) 31:24.7; 184. †***Abraham Chirchir’ (Texas–Rio Grande Valley) 31:24.7; 185. *Luke Hoffert (Bradley) 31:25.5; 186. Colin O’Mara (Arkansas) 31:26.1; 187. †**Anthony Russo (Penn) 31:28.8; 188. **Ahmed Muhumed (Boise State) 31:29.3; 189. ***Nathan Henderson (Syracuse) 31:29.4; 190. **Noah Affolder (Syracuse) 31:30.5;

191. †Akis Medrano (Indiana State) 31:30.6; 192. Liam Kennell (Southern Utah) 31:31.0; 193. ***Paul Stafford (Florida State) 31:31.0; 194. ***Isaac Akers (Tulsa) 31:31.6; 195. **Alec Haines (Oklahoma State) 31:36.2; 196. Bradley Wattleworth’ (Notre Dame) 31:36.7; 197. ***Reese Jordan (Indiana) 31:36.9; 198. *Jordan Hewitt (Michigan) 31:38.3; 199. *Samuel Abascal’ (Eastern Kentucky) 31:40.6; 200. *Patrick Sullivan (Air Force) 31:41.1;

201. ***Bailey McIntire (Purdue) 31:42.7; 202. George Espino (Southern Utah) 31:43.2; 203. **Curt Eckstein (Purdue) 31:45.9; 204. †Zach Long (Tennessee) 31:46.3; 205. *Kevin James (Syracuse) 31:46.8; 206. *Zach Stewart (Eastern Kentucky) 31:47.1; 207. ***Caleb Pottorff (Florida State) 31:48.5; 208. **Jake Johnson (Texas) 31:50.0; 209. *Mick Stanovsek (Washington) 31:51.2; 210. **Ed Trippas (Princeton) 31:51.7;

211. **Jerald Taylor (Wyoming) 31:52.2; 212. Tyson Miehe (Wisconsin) 31:52.8; 213. **Jacob Branch (Michigan) 31:54.6; 214. **Matt Young (Arkansas) 31:54.7; 215. ***Charlie O’Donovan (Villanova) 31:57.2; 216. Jeff Lautenslager (Boise State) 32:00.9; 217. *Miler Haller (Boise State) 32:02.8; 218. *Cameron Field (Tulsa) 32:04.8; 219. *Paul Power (Villanova) 32:06.8; 220. Toby Hardwick (Florida State) 32:07.7;

221. *Christian Alberico (Iona) 32:08.0; 222. ***Gus Newcomb (Colorado) 32:08.8; 223. **Dominic Hockenbury (Syracuse) 32:10.4; 224. †*Kaleb McLeod (Belmont) 32:14.1; 225. *Viraj Deokar (Princeton) 32:16.9; 226. ***Kyle Griffith (Purdue) 32:19.8; 227. ***Dalton Hengst (Mississippi) 32:20.5; 228. *Ben Barrett (NC State) 32:23.4; 229. *Tyson Murray (Florida State) 32:28.9; 230. Jake Hanawalt (Purdue) 32:32.5;

231. *Graham Brown (Arkansas) 32:34.2; 232. **Zach Black (Iowa State) 32:36.2; 233. *Ayrton Ledesma (Oklahoma State) 32:36.6; 234. *Garek Bielaczyc (Texas) 32:38.2; 235. Zach Swenson (Villanova) 32:38.5; 236. ***Matthew Courtenay’ (Iona) 32:39.3; 237. ***Derick Peters (Wisconsin) 32:40.0; 238. ***Ryan Murphy (Arkansas) 32:40.3; 239. ***Jack Franklin (Bradley) 32:42.6; 240. **Martin Barr (Villanova) 32:45.6;

241. *Jorge Perez (Oklahoma State) 32:47.6; 242. ***Matthew Newland (Florida State) 32:53.3; 243. Jonah Henry (Wyoming) 32:55.7; 244. **Tyler Bowling (Purdue) 33:00.9; 245. *Justin Weber (Air Force) 33:05.5; 246. Pedro Nasta (Texas) 33:13.6; 247. **Alec Danner (Bradley) 33:19.8; 248. Koy Moore (Southern Utah) 33:25.3; 249. *Adam Breaux (Tulsa) 33:27.9; 250. ***Jordan Brannan (Iona) 33:35.4; 251. Mark Middleton (Tulsa) 34:19.6; 252. Charles Mills (Texas) 35:22.3;

… dnf—*Jeremy Spiezio (Princeton), **Scott Beattie’ (Tulsa), István Szögi’ (Florida State). □