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NAU, NC State take wins at NCAA XC

BYU's Whittni Orton and Conner Mantz took home the individual titles

Photo by: NC State Twitter

The 2021 Division 1 NCAA Cross Country Championships took place this Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., and Northern Arizona University’s men’s team continued to assert its dominance, taking home its fifth title in the last six years. On the women’s side, North Carolina State won its first cross country team title with a total of 84 points.

WATCH: runner crawls to the finish at NCAA Championships

The men’s race

BYU’s Conner Mantz won the individual men’s title for the second time this year (the previous NCAA XC champs were held in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic), making him the first American male to win multiple NCAA titles since Bob Kennedy won in 1988 and 1992. He covered the 10K course in 28:33.1. The team from NAU were also repeat winners from last year’s championships, with a total of 92 points, Abdihamid Nur of Somalia, who ran 28:52.9 for sixth place.

Iowa State followed in second place with a total of 137 points, led by Wesley Kiptoo of Kenya, who finished second individually in 28:38.7. This is an excellent result for the team, who were only ranked sixth coming into the race on Saturday. Oklahoma State was third with 186 points, followed by Arkansas in fourth with 195 points. Athanas Kioko rounded out the individual podium, running 28:40.9 for third place.

The women’s race

Led by individual champion Whittni Ortonwho won the women’s 6K in 19:25.4, BYU was looking to become repeat team champions as well this Saturday, but was bested by the depth of NC State. Sophomore Kelsey Chmiel led the Wolfpack with her sixth-place finish, followed by freshman and former high school superstar, Katelyn Tuohy, in 15th. The team’s next three runners were close together in 22nd, 24th and 32nd, for a team total of 84 points for their first-ever NCAA XC title.

BYU took second place with 122 points, and the University of New Mexico Lobos came third with the help of two Canadians. Gracelyn Larkin of Rosseau, Ont., finished 21st, and Guelph, Ont.’s Stefanie Parsons finished 36th, adding to the team’s overall points total of 130 points. The University of Colorado finished fourth with 187 points.

Canada’s Ceili McCabe takes third place at NCAA XC Championships

Alabama University’s Mercy Chelangat, who won the individual title at the NCAA Championships last spring, had to settle for second place behind Orton, and Canada’s Ceili McCabe from Vancouver, B.C., took third place, only two seconds behind Chelangat.

For a full list of results, click here.