NCAA Men’s XC — Twice Is Nice For Lumberjacks & Mantz

Northern Arizona’s first 3 finishers were Abdihamid Nur (716), Nico Young (722) & Drew Bosley (709). (MIKE SCOTT)

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA, November 20 — It worked well in March, so why not do it again 8 months later?

The men from the Mountain region were kings of the cross country hill once again as BYU’s Conner Mantz and Northern Arizona’s precocious and confident gang of seven repeated as NCAA champs.

Neither would be denied on this nearly 60-degree day over the 3K-and-2K-looped 10K route at Apalachee Regional Park. NAU’s 92 points off a 6–9–11–32–34 adjusted finish eclipsed runner-up Iowa State (137) by 45 and 3rd-place Oklahoma State (186) by nearly 100.

Mike Smith’s top 5 did what it had to, methodically moving up during the first 3K, securing their positions and then holding them. Abdihamid Nur finished 7th, Nico Young 11th, Drew Bosley 13th, George Kusche 37th and Brodey Hasty 39th. It proved more than enough.

Mantz doesn’t pretend to be a sprinter but sure looked like one, lighting the afterburners to pull away from his pursuers for the individual win in 28:33.1, the fourth-fastest time since the meet went to 10K in ’76.

When it came time for the BYU junior to put up or shut up — as Campbell’s Athanas Kioko had made a late push to the front and was looking to steal the race — Mantz opted to put up, and did so emphatically with a 2:40 final K. That made for a comfortable edge on Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo (2:46) and Kioko (2:48) and left Mantz quite alone to savor the win at the line, five ticks up on the former (28:38.7) and well ahead of the latter (28:40.9).

Stanford’s Charles Hicks (28:47) and Michigan State’s Morgan Beadlescomb (28:50), both with particularly strong moves from 8K in, completed the top 5.

Mantz, as is his wont, was near the front of the frontrunning pack from the start along with presumptive contenders Kiptoo, Adriaan Wildschutt of Florida State and the NAU gaggle of Nur, Young and Bosley, along with others who glided in and out of the leadership group. Unlike their usual get-out-from-the git-go style of many of their races, neither Kiptoo nor Mantz chose to wipe out the field early and were content to meander along in the crowd through a quick 4:22 at the mile and 8:55 at 2M. They were at 14:16 at the halfway point and the serious racing was yet to begin.

“So as the race started out, I knew it was going to be quick,” Mantz said. “In the first couple hundred meters, I was out front and I knew, ‘OK, as long as I stay in this general area, and if the race is fast, things will work out.’ Sometimes [during] the race someone would surge to the front and slow it down, and I didn’t like that. So I took the lead to kind of jumpstart the pace. But then Kioko came around, around 9K, and passed us all.

“As I came up the hill, I just tried to stay composed. So across the hill I knew if I stayed with him, I might be able to get him in the last 100m, [but then] he slowed down, and I knew, ‘OK, if he’s slowing down, this is my time to go.’ As soon as he slowed down, I made a really hard surge and just kind of enjoyed the last 100m down the hill.”

“It feels great,” Mantz said of the win, which he called his “last in a BYU singlet.

“That was a tough race, [it] seemed like every so often somebody new would move to the front and push it, which was different this time. I don’t know if that was better or worse, but it all worked out. We run this race 10 times over, I think I’d only win 4, 5 of them,” he said. “I’m happy to run this course though on my best day and putting my name up in history. I just tried to match moves the best that I can. It just feels natural now and maybe I’m getting smart or just getting lucky.”

In the brief team battle, Notre Dame held the lead for 2-3K with its seven in the top 30 for 93 points to NAU’s 119, but the ’20 runners-up couldn’t sustain it and began to fade, eventually taking 9th. By 4K, it was all over but the shouting in the team race as NAU then had 91 points and held within 10 of that number throughout the rest of the race. At 6K, its scorers were running 6–7–13–23–33 for 82 points, none far off from their actual finishes.

“The real thing happens between our group right here,” said coach Smith in lauding his team. “They know what to do. They’re the best at what they do. I think their performing speaks for themselves today. They understand how to execute.”

But Smith said he was never sure of the victory even when it looked good halfway through the race. “At any point, it’s like, ‘For sure, do we have it?’ Even when the results are in the first thing I said to my assistant coach is, ‘Is this real?’

“I thought they were still in the position perfectly. We actually didn’t have the lead till maybe 3K. So they moved up off an already fast pace. They were 4:20 at the mile or something like that, so we don’t need to be directly up front. We just had to have an eye on the positions. They found positions and then they held them. You look at the team totals at the halfway mark, and you see where they finished, that they held exactly where they needed to.”

The victories made for more than a little bit of history. Mantz and NAU became the first individual and team to win two NCAA cross championships in the same calendar year, following the C19-delayed ’20 title run of March. Mantz also became the first back-to-back champion since Edward Cheserek 3-peated 2013–15, the 10th multiple winner and the eighth to have 4 top-10 finishes.

And with its fifth win in 6 years NAU has put together the best string of top podium finishes since Arkansas won 5 times in 6 tries 1990–95.


NCAA XC MEN’S RESULTS

Tallahassee, Florida November 20 —

Teams
(adjusted places)

1. Northern Arizona 6–9–11–32–34 (97–136) 92
2. Iowa State 2–18–36–39–42 (57–99) 137
3. Oklahoma State 19–23–25–51–68 (123–190) 186
4. Arkansas 10–13–14–50–108 (125–212) 195
5. Stanford 3–12–69–70–82 (105–162) 236

6. Tulsa 237; 7. BYU 246; 8. Colorado 249; 9. Notre Dame 290; 10. Wake Forest 356; 11. Wisconsin 361; 12. Harvard 364; 13. Washington 373; 14. Texas 393;
15. Mississippi 395; 16. Portland 430; 17. Air Force 453; 18. North Carolina 460; 19. Syracuse 485; 20. Florida State 517; 21. Minnesota 518; 22. Georgetown 566;
23. Princeton 567; 24. Southern Utah 573; 25. Michigan 588; 26. Gonzaga 612; 27. Alabama 640; 28. Butler 643; 29. Oregon 655; 30. Michigan State 681; 31. Furman 688.

Individuals
†=not in team scoring
10,000m (254 started, 250 finished)

1. *Conner Mantz (BYU) 28:33.1
2. *Wesley Kiptoo’ (IaSt-Ken) 28:38.7
3. †Athanas Kioko’ (Camp-Ken) 28:40.9
4. ***Charles Hicks’ (Stan-GB) 28:47.2
5. Morgan Beadlescomb (MiSt) 28:50.6
6. *Adriaan Wildschutt’ (FlSt-SA) 28:52.0
7. **Abdihamid Nur’ (NnAz-Som) 28:52.9
8. **Casey Clinger (BYU) 28:55.7
9. †**Haftu Strintzos’ (Vill-Aus) 28:57.3
10. *Dylan Jacobs (NDm) 28:57.5
11. ***Nico Young (NnAz) 28:57.5
12. Amon Kemboi’ (Ar-Ken) 29:13.1
13. **Drew Bosley (NnAz) 29:13.8
14. ***Ky Robinson (Stan) 29:15.7
15. Gilbert Boit’ (Ar-Ken) 29:16.4
16. †*Christian Allen (Web) 29:17.0
17. *Emmanuel Cheboson’ (Ar-Ken) 29:17.4
18. Aaron Bienenfeld’ (Or-Ger) 29:18.0
19. *Zach Facioni’ (WF-Aus) 29:19.2
20. Ahmed Muhumed’ (FlSt-Som) 29:19.9
21. Thomas Pollard (IaSt) 29:20.4
22. *Isai Rodriguez (OkSt) 29:20.6
23. ***Graham Blanks (Harv) 29:21.1
24. Eduardo Herrera (Co) 29:22.0
25. †Ehab El-Sandali’ (Iona-Can) 29:25.3
26. *Sam Gilman (AF) 29:25.4
27. *Shea Foster (OkSt) 29:25.8
28. ***Parker Wolfe (NC) 29:25.8
29. ***Victor Shitsama’ (OkSt-Ken) 29:25.8
30. Olin Hacker (Wi) 29:27.3
31. *Danny Kilrea (NDm) 29:28.0
32. ***Yaseen Abdalla (Tx) 29:28.1
33. †**Abdirizak Ibrahim (NM) 29:28.2
34. *Cormac Dalton’ (Tuls-Ire) 29:28.5
35. Matthew Pereira (Harv) 29:28.7
36. *James Mwaura (Gonz) 29:29.2
37. *George Kusche’ (NnAz-SA) 29:29.5
38. Brian Fay (Wa) 29:29.6
39. **Brodey Hasty (NnAz) 29:30.3
40. **Acer Iverson (Harv) 29:31.5
41. ***Gable Sieperda (IaSt) 29:31.9
42. Peter Lynch (Tuls) 29:32.6
43. Michael Coccia’ (Ms-Can) 29:34.2
44. Festus Lagat’ (IaSt-Ken) 29:34.8
45. Andrew Kent (Co) 29:34.9
46. *Mario Garcia Romo’ (Ms-Spa) 29:36.1
47. Ryan Ford (IaSt) 29:36.9
48. ***Eliud Kipsang’ (Al-Ken) 29:37.6
49. *Matthew Carmody (NDm) 29:38.3
50. †JP Flavin (NCSt) 29:38.7
51. *Michael Power (Tuls) 29:39.7
52. *Zak Kirk (Port) 29:40.5
53. ***Hillary Cheruiyot’ (Al-Ken) 29:41.5
54. *Brandon Garnica (BYU) 29:41.8
55. Joe Dragon (Syr) 29:42.5
56. *Andrew Kibet’ (Ar-Ken) 29:42.7
57. Ryan Smeeton’ (OkSt-Can) 29:42.8
58. *Scott Beattie’ (Tuls-GB) 29:45.2
59. *Duncan Hamilton (MtSt) 29:45.6
60. Simon Bedard’ (But-Fra) 29:45.7
61. †*Marcelo Rocha (Prov) 29:45.8
62. Stephen Jones (Co) 29:47.7
63. **Haftu Knight (Tx) 29:47.8
64. ***Jonas Gertsen (Port) 29:49.0
65. **Ezekiel Kibichii’ (IaSt-Ken) 29:49.8
66. ***Bob Liking (Wi) 29:50.6
67. Ed Trippas’ (Prin-Aus) 29:51.1
68. †Paul Arredondo (Char) 29:52.0
69. Alec Basten (Mn) 29:54.2
70. **Austin Vancil (Co) 29:55.9
71. Christian Ricketts (SnUt) 29:56.6
72. *Matthew Wilkinson (Mn) 29:56.8
73. †***Jack Jennings (Vill) 29:57.1
74. *Aaron Las Heras’ (WF-Spa) 29:57.5
75. Tibebu Proctor (Wa) 29:58.4
76. **Tom Brady (Mi) 29:58.5
77. †*Dustin Hatfield (EnIl) 29:59.9
78. JP Trojan (Syr) 30:00.4
79. ***Rory Leonard (OkSt) 30:02.0
80. ***Devin Hart (Stan) 30:02.4
81. ***Cole Sprout (Stan) 30:03.3
82. †Fearghal Curtin’ (ChSn-Ire) 30:03.4
83. ***Rodger Rivera (Tx) 30:03.7
84. Seth Hirsch (Wi) 30:03.8
85. *Brendan Fraser (Co) 30:04.5
86. *Isaac Akers’ (Tuls-GB) 30:05.2
87. Kieran Lumb’ (Wa-Can) 30:05.2
88. *Thomas Vanoppen (WF) 30:05.5
89. Jack Aho (NC) 30:05.9
90. Aidan Tooker (Syr) 30:06.4
91. **Shea Weilbaker (Gtn) 30:06.8
92. *Khalid Hussein (Mn) 30:06.9
93. Stan Niesten’ (Port-Neth) 30:07.0
94. *Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau (Stan) 30:07.1
95. Scott Maison (AF) 30:07.4
96. Daniel Bernal (Furm) 30:07.5
97. ***Anthony Monte (Prin) 30:08.0
98. †***Kirami Yego’ (SAl-Ken) 30:08.2
99. ***Joe Waskom (Wa) 30:09.1
100. *Barry Keane’ (But-Ire) 30:09.6
101. *Joaquin Martinez De Pinillos (WF) 30:09.9
102. ***Lucas Bons (BYU) 30:10.1
103. **Kevin Ramos (SnUt) 30:10.2
104. †Ed Goddard’ (Iona-Aus) 30:10.8
105. †**Lexington Hilton (ArSt) 30:13.0
106. Nate Osterstock (SnUt) 30:13.1
107. Matt Young (Gtn) 30:13.4
108. ***Patrick Anderson (NC) 30:13.5
109. **Cruz Gomez (Tx) 30:13.9
110. **Dennis Kipngeno (TxAM) 30:14.3
111. ***Dylan Schubert (Furm) 30:15.6
112. †**Matthew Richtman (MtSt) 30:15.7
113. *Nick Moulai’ (Ms-NZ) 30:18.0
114. **Theo Quax’ (NnAz-NZ) 30:19.0
115. ***Rowen Ellenberg (Wi) 30:19.4
116. *Chad Johnson (IaSt) 30:19.7
117. ***Joshua Methner (NDm) 30:19.8
118. *Garrett Marsing (BYU) 30:20.7
119. †Noah Carey (Penn) 30:20.7
120. Ben Savino (Ms) 30:21.0
121. **Matthew Scrape (Syr) 30:21.3
122. Joost Plaetinck (Mi) 30:21.9
123. Callum Bolger (Stan) 30:22.1
124. *Charlie Sweeney (Co) 30:22.1
125. †*Karl Thiessen (Tn) 30:22.2
126. *Shuaib Aljabaly (Wi) 30:23.0
127. **Myles Richter (Ar) 30:23.0
128. †Dario De Caro’ (Boise-Ita) 30:25.1
129. **Sean Maison (AF) 30:26.4
130. **Zachary Stewart (Mi) 30:27.1
131. Anthony Russo (NDm) 30:27.3
132. Justin Robison (WF) 30:28.0
133. ***Kyle Radosevich (Gonz) 30:28.2
134. ***Leo Daschbach (Wa) 30:28.8
135. *Jack Salisbury (Gtn) 30:29.6
136. †Alec Sandusky (Cinc) 30:29.6
137. †Curtis Eckstein (Pur) 30:29.7
138. ***Evan Bishop (Wi) 30:30.6
139. †*Adam Fogg’ (Drake-Aus) 30:30.7
140. ***Luke Tewalt (WF) 30:31.1
141. †Grant O’ Callaghan (Lips) 30:31.6
142. **Cole Bullock (Ms) 30:32.1
143. *Ryan Johnson (AF) 30:33.1
144. Ryan Ioanidis (AF) 30:33.4
145. *Cullen McEachern (Gonz) 30:33.7
146. ***Bradley Peloquin (Port) 30:33.8
147. **Alex Maier (OkSt) 30:34.0
148. ***Shay McEvoy’ (Tuls-Ire) 30:34.7
149. George Duggan’ (Port-GB) 30:35.1
150. *†**Ahmed Ibrahim (Boise) 30:35.5
151. ***Matthew Farrell (Prin) 30:35.7
152. Isaac Green (Wa) 30:35.8
153. †*Kwanele Mthembu’ (TxSt-SA) 30:37.8
154. Jack Yearian (Or) 30:38.0
155. ***Will Coogan (NC) 30:38.2
156. *David Melville (Harv) 30:39.2
157. ***Chris McLeod’ (Tuls-GB) 30:39.7
158. Yared Nuguse (NDm) 30:40.1
159. Devin Meyrer’ (Mi-Ger) 30:41.0
160. Andrew Alexander’ (NDm-Can) 30:41.3
161. *Jacob McLeod (Ar) 30:41.3
162. *Ryan Raff (NnAz) 30:41.4
163. *Jesse Hunt (NC) 30:41.9
164. *Sean Laidlaw (Gtn) 30:42.0
165. **Jackson Sharp’ (Wi-Aus) 30:42.0
166. ***Luke Houser (Wa) 30:44.6
167. †*Josh Phillips’ (Vill-Aus) 30:46.8
168. *Dereck Elkins (Ms) 30:47.6
169. ***Parker Stokes (Gtn) 30:47.6
170. Will Kitzhaber (AF) 30:47.7
171. *Jakob Kintzele (Prin) 30:48.1
172. †***Abraham Avila-Martinez (Tx) 30:49.4
173. *Perry Mackinnon (Corn) 30:49.6
174. Jack Manderscheid (Mn) 30:49.9
175. †***Aidan Troutner (BYU) 30:53.7
176. *Arjun Jha (In) 30:55.1
177. *Noah Dolhare (Furm) 30:57.5
178. **Ben Hartvigsen (Harv) 30:58.0
179. **Riley Moore (Gonz) 30:58.7
180. **Luke Combs (AF) 30:59.1
181. *Leo Donlea (Port) 30:59.3
182. †*Tyler Berg (Col) 30:59.5
183. ***Nicholas Bendsten (Prin) 31:01.9
184. Silas Griffith (FlSt) 31:02.1
185. *Pierre-Louis Detourbe’ (But-Fra) 31:02.3
186. †*Bradley Makuvire (SEnLa) 31:02.3
187. Matt Grossman (Prin) 31:02.4
188. **Abdifetah Ahmed (MiSt) 31:03.0
189. **Isaiah Labra (SnUt) 31:03.5
190. **Marshall Williamson (NC) 31:03.9
191. ***Coen Roberts (WF) 31:05.2
192. Aaron Wier (Furm) 31:05.3
193. *D.J. Principe (Stan) 31:05.7
194. Caleb Pottorff (FlSt) 31:05.7
195. *Amir Ado (WaSt) 31:06.3
196. ***Will Minnette (But) 31:07.4
197. *John Petruno (MiSt) 31:08.2
198. ***Abdinasir Hussein (Or) 31:08.3
199. **Quincy Norman (Or) 31:08.9
200. ***Brendan Favazza (MiSt) 31:09.3
201. Owen Hoeft (Mn) 31:09.3
202. Alec Hornecker (Co) 31:10.1
203. ***Ethan Strand (NC) 31:12.6
204. Jacob Francis (SnUt) 31:12.9
205. **Crayton Carrozza (Tx) 31:14.7
206. †**Sam Bowers (Ga) 31:15.4
207. Jacob Klemz (Port) 31:16.2
208. ***Oli Raimond’ (Mi-Aus) 31:18.3
209. Paul Selden (Al) 31:22.1
210. **Quinn Nicholson (Gtn) 31:22.5
211. ***Gabriel Curtis (FlSt) 31:24.4
212. ***Caleb Brown (Or) 31:26.1
213. Ethan Cannon (Mn) 31:26.5
214. Kevin Berry (Prin) 31:28.4
215. **Travis Feeny (SnUt) 31:32.0
216. ***Camden Gilmore (Gtn) 31:32.3
217. †**Isaac Basten (Drake) 31:33.8
218. Clark Otte (But) 31:34.6
219. ***Carson Burian (Al) 31:34.7
220. Max Spence (SnUt) 31:34.9
221. ***Andrew Nolan (MiSt) 31:36.7
222. ***Alex Comerford (Syr) 31:38.8
223. †*Baldvin Magnússon’ (EnMi-Ice) 31:40.0
224. **Jack Hawes (Al) 31:40.8
225. ***Ryan Schoppe (OkSt) 31:43.2
226. **Eli Hoeft (Mn) 31:44.1
227. ***Davin Thompson (BYU) 31:45.6
228. *Matthew Owens (FlSt) 31:47.1
229. **James Uhlenberg’ (MiSt-NZ) 31:48.2
230. †Logan Rees (Boise) 31:52.8
231. Reed Brown (Or) 31:54.4
232. **Jack McMahon (But) 31:56.9
233. Jake Perrin (Gonz) 32:02.9
234. **Fraser Wilson (MiSt) 32:05.3
235. ***Joe Ewing (Harv) 32:11.4
236. *Cameron Ponder (Furm) 32:14.1
237. *Evan Byrne (But) 32:14.8
238. ***Evan Bates (Gonz) 32:22.3
239. Michael Alber (Harv) 32:23.8
240. **Jacob Holmes (FlSt) 32:30.2
241. ***Wil Smith (Gonz) 32:35.2
242. ***Cole Lindhorst (Tx) 32:42.2
243. Brody Smith (Syr) 32:46.9
244. ***Carson Williams (Furm) 32:48.3
245. ***Gavin Saacke (Al) 32:49.3
246. *Nick Foster (Mi) 32:57.5
247. Cooper Teare (Or) 33:00.0
248. *Ryan Murphy (Ar) 33:03.1
249. Christian Hubaker (Mi) 33:09.9
250. **Joey Eovaldi (Syr) 34:27.5

… dnf—*Jonathan Davis (Il), ***Victor Kiprop’ (Al-Ken), ***Cruz Culpepper (Ms), ***Jantz Tostenson (Gtn);
… dns—***Jace Jones (Al), **Nick Scheller (AF), ***Caleb Easton (NnAz), ***Matthew Payamps (Gtn), Jacob Choge’ (MTn-Ken), *Michael Gates (Tuls), *Rusty Kujdych (Gtn).