Northern Arizona Claims Second-Consecutive NCAA Cross Country Title

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Capped by a wild dash to the finish that saw Northern Arizona's Matthew Baxter launch a serious challenge against Syracuse's Justyn Knight for the individual title, the Lumberjacks claimed their second-consecutive NCAA cross country championship today by scoring 74 points with three men in the top eight. Portland finished runner-up with 127 points, while Brigham Young took third with 165. 



Strong pack-running from NAU's top three, Baxter, Tyler Day and Peter Lomong, characterized the squad all season. It led them to a dominant win at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational, and it helped them again today as that trio of juniors finished second, third and eighth, respectively. All five of NAU's scoring runners cracked the top 40.


Northern Arizona's Top Five


PlaceAthleteYr.TeamScoreTimeGapAvg. MileAvg. KM
2BAXTER, MatthewJRN Arizona229:00.80:00.84:40.32:54.1
3DAY, TylerJRN Arizona329:04.60:04.64:40.92:54.5
8LOMONG, PeterJRN Arizona829:33.10:33.14:45.52:57.3
35TROUARD, AndySRN Arizona2829:58.10:58.14:49.52:59.8
40BEAMISH, GeordieSON Arizona3330:01.21:01.24:50.03:00.1


After stealing the show at West Regional, Portland rolled with that momentum to surpass BYU as the runner-up team. Sophomore Emmanuel Roudolf-Levisse, who won the individual West title, once again led the Pilots by crossing the line in 11th, but didn't manage to take down Stanford junior Grant Fisher, who was firing on all cylinders this time and grabbed fifth. The Pilots' top five were rounded out by senior Jeff Thies (14th), junior Nick Hauger (26th), and senior Matt Welch (46th).


Portland's Top Five


PlaceAthleteYr.TeamScoreTimeGapAvg. MileAvg. KM
11ROUDOLFF-LEVISSE, EmmanuelSOPortland929:38.90:38.94:46.52:57.9
14THIES, JeffSRPortland1229:40.70:40.74:46.72:58.1
26HAUGER, NickJRPortland2129:46.70:46.74:47.72:58.7
46WELCH, MattSRPortland3930:09.71:09.74:51.43:01.0
54WEBB, CalebSOPortland4630:14.41:14.44:52.23:01.4


In a surprising turn of events for BYU, junior Rory Linkletter, who ran lights-out at the Pre-National Invitational to claim the individual title and hoist the Cougars above the rest of the field, couldn't keep up after a slow start that saw him cross 2K in 5:45.90 for 41st place. He only made up a few spots and managed to take 39st overall. In his stead, freshman Casey Clinger had a day and finished first for BYU in 24th. Junior Connor McMillan held on for 30th. 



BYU's Top Five


PlaceAthleteYearTeamScoreTimeGapAvg. MileAvg. KM
24CLINGER, CaseyFRBYU2029:46.40:46.44:47.72:58.6
30MCMILLAN, ConnorJRBYU2329:52.30:52.34:48.62:59.2
39LINKLETTER, RoryJRBYU3229:59.10:59.14:49.72:59.9
42CARNEY, DanielJRBYU3530:03.51:03.54:50.43:00.3
65MORTON, KramerFRBYU5530:21.71:21.74:53.33:02.2


In the individual showdown, Knight showed why he's held his No. 1 rank all season by holding off a furious bid for first down the homestretch from Baxter to earn his, and Syracuse's, first-ever individual NCAA title. Day, not far behind, snuck in behind him to keep first-time NCAA DI competitor, Alabama's JUCO champion transfer Gilbert Kigen, in fourth. Fisher, who repeated his fifth-place finish from 2016, fought his way up to that spot after going through 4K in 21st.


Men's Top 15 Individual Finishers


PlaceAthleteYr.TeamScoreTimeGapAvg. MileAvg. KM
1KNIGHT, JustynSRSyracuse129:00.1---4:40.22:54.0
2BAXTER, MatthewJRN Arizona229:00.80:00.84:40.32:54.1
3DAY, TylerJRN Arizona329:04.60:04.64:40.92:54.5
4KIGEN, GilbertJRAlabama429:11.90:11.94:42.12:55.2
5FISHER, GrantJRStanford529:12.10:12.14:42.12:55.2
6MAGGARD, DillonSRUtah St629:16.20:16.24:42.82:55.6
7KIPROP, VincentJRAlabama729:27.20:27.24:44.62:56.7
8LOMONG, PeterJRN Arizona829:33.10:33.14:45.52:57.3
9KIPKOECH, LawrenceJRCampbell--29:34.50:34.54:45.72:57.4
10GREEN, JonathanJRGeorgetown--29:38.60:38.64:46.42:57.9
11ROUDOLFF-LEVISSE, EmmanuelSOPortland929:38.90:38.94:46.52:57.9
12TOBIN, SeanSROle Miss1029:39.40:39.44:46.52:57.9
13BRUCE, JackSRArkansas1129:39.50:39.54:46.62:57.9
14THIES, JeffSRPortland1229:40.70:40.74:46.72:58.1
15JORDAN, AndrewSOIowa St1329:40.70:40.74:46.72:58.1

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