Oregon’s Edward Cheserek, Notre Dame’s Molly Seiden Win NCAA XC Titles
Syracuse Wins Men’s Team Title; New Mexico Dominates Women’s Field
Louisville, Ky., – November 21, 2015 – Under gray skies and blustery mid-40-degree temperatures, Oregon superstar Edward Cheserek ran the second-fastest 10-kilometer race ever at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park – 28.45.8 – to become the first competitor ever to win three consecutive NCAA Division I Cross Country National Championships. Villinova’s Patrick Tiernan, who ran stride-for-stride with Cheserek until the final 1,500 meters, finished second, followed by Pierce Murphy of Colorado. The men’s race was the second of the day and finished just ahead of a quick-moving front that brought cold rain and rapidly dropping temperatures.
In the first race, contested at six kilometers under partly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 50s, Notre Dame senior All-American Molly Seiden won the women’s title in a time of 19:28.6, a full five seconds better than runner-up Allie Ostrander of Boise State. Dominque Scott of Arkansas finished third.
“I felt very strong today,” said Cheserek, a junior who now owns a combined nine individual NCAA titles in cross country and indoor and outdoor track. “The course suited me and the I had a lot left in the tank at the end.”
“This victory is a culmination of four years of maturing as a runner,” Seidel said. “Winning the national championship is an amazing way to finish my college cross country career, and I’m so thankful for everything.”
In a stunner, Syracuse won the men’s cross country team championship for the first time since 1951, edging out three-time defending champion and heavily favored Colorado 82 to 91. Stanford finished third and Oregon was fourth. The Orange placed three runners in the top 10: sophomore Justyn Knight was fourth, with teammates Colin Bennie finishing eighth and Martin Hehir crossing the line ninth.
New Mexico easily won the women’s team championship scoring 49 points – the lowest point total ever in the women’s meet at the NCAA Championships with a full allotment of teams – with runner up Colorado scoring 129. Oregon was third and Providence finished fourth. The Lobos’ Courtney Frerichs was fourth, followed by teammates Alice Wright in fifth, Rhona Auckland in 13th, Calli Thackery in 15th and Molly Renfer in 24th.
“We run as teammates and for each other,” said Wright, speaking on behalf of the New Mexico team that was ranked number one all season long. “We love this course, it’s traditional cross country with rolling hills and solitary sections through the woods. It was fun.”
The host men’s team at the University of Louisville, upstart winners of the Southeast Regional, finished seventh with 331 points. Senior Ernerst Kibet led the Cardinals by finishing 18th overall, followed by Edwin Kibichiy (41st) and Japhet Kipkoech (53rd).
Today’s events, co-hosted by the University of Louisville and the Louisville Sports Commission, were the 15th and 16th collegiate cross country national championship races held at the bucolic setting in Sawyer State Park on Louisville’s east side. Previously, the course hosted the men’s and women’s NAIA championships in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006; the men’s and women’s NCAA Division II nationals in 2010 and 2014 and the NCAA Division I nationals in 2012. The NCAA Division III National Championships are scheduled to be held at Sawyer State Park in 2016 and the NCAA Division I Championships are scheduled to return in 2017.