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U.S. dynamo Katelyn Tuohy storms to a win at NCAA XC champs

Tuohy charged past Florida's Parker Valby in the final kilometre

Photo by: NC State Wolfpack

North Carolina State’s Katelyn Tuohy chased down Florida’s all-American Parker Valby for a thrilling final-kilometre domination in a highly anticipated women’s 6K NCAA cross-country championship race.

On a chilly morning in Stillwater, Okla., Valby broke away from the pack early, and by the 2-km mark, had put a three-second gap between herself and the chase pack (led by Tuohy). Valby’s lead continued to grow, and by the 3-km mark, the athlete had an 11-second lead.

Tuohy, who said she stuck fairly close to her race plan with her team, began to chase Valby down, passing her on an uphill at around 5.6 km and hammering the home stretch for a dominant win. Tuohy crossed the finish line in 19:27, with NC State teammates not far behind, resulting in the NC State Wolfpack also taking the team win.

“I was really tired, but I got a second wind seeing them come in,” Tuohy said on ESPN. Valby finished second in 19:30 and earned another all-American title. Tuohy’s NC State teammate, Kelsey Chmiel, finished third overall in 19:37.

The NCAA title adds to Tuohy’s accolades, which already include the 5,000-meter crown from the 2022 NCAA track and field champs, where she also beat Valby. Tuohy, a New York native, began her NCAA running career after some of the most remarkable high school performances in history. She’s had a stellar 2022 season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference 1,500m in 4:06.84, the nation’s leading 2022 time, and finishing second in the 5,000m just hours later.

Her 2022 best times, including a 15:14.61 for 5,000m, ranked eighth and seventh fastest ever, respectively, for collegians. Tuohy won the NCAA 5,000m outdoor title in 15:18.39, and took Wisconsin’s Nuttycombe 6K cross country invitational in 19:44.3, leading her NC State team to a tiebreaker win over the second-ranked University of New Mexico Lobos. In October, Tuohy won the 2022 ACC Cross Country Championships with a new course record of 19:08 (for 6K).

Top women

Katelyn Tuohy (North Carolina State) 19:27.07
Parker Valby (Florida) 19:30.9
Kelsey Chmiel (NC State) 19:37.1

Team results

NC State (Wolfpack) 114 points
New Mexico (Lobos) 140 points
Alabama (Crimson Tide) 166 points

Top Canadians

Vanouver’s Ceili McCabe was the top Canadian in the race, running to 24th place for the West Virginia Mountaineers. Ontario’s Gracelyn Larkin was the second Canadian, running for New Mexico and finishing 26th, and New Westminster, B.C.’s Grace Featherstonhaugh finished 31st for the Oregon State Beavers.

24. Ceili McCabe (West Virginia) 20:03.2
26. Gracelyn Larkin (New Mexico) 20:03.8
31. Grace Featherstonhaugh (Oregon State) 20:09.8

For full results, head here.

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