The Oklahoma State Cowboys go in search of its sixth successive Big 12 Cross Country Championships title on Saturday Nov. 2, at the Cottonwood Golf Course in Waco, Texas.
Follow Live Big 12 Cross Country Championships: Men’s 8k Championship | Women’s 6k Championship
Conference meet kicks off at 10 a.m. CT with the men’s 8,000-meter race. The women’s 6,000-meter run will follow at 11 a.m. CT. The event is free to attend.
The Oklahoma State men have dominated the Big 12 cross country scene since 2008 and enter Saturday’s championships as the five-time defending champions.
The Cowboys have claimed the national title three of the last four years, including a first place finish at last year’s NCAA Championship and head coach Dave Smith, whose team has been running well this season when at full straight, says this is certainly where the campaign starts.
“I feel like this is when our season starts — Big 12’s first, Regionals and then Nationals,” Smith said on the school’s website. “We want to win all three. The Big 12 is the first leg of that trio, so it is very important.
“Since 2005, the Big 12 has been the best cross country conference in the nation, so if you can win the Big 12 meet, you have a great shot to win the national title.”
On the women’s side, Iowa State, have won back-to-back Big 12 titles and finished 11th at the NCAA Championships last season.
The top men’s and women’s teams are crowned league champions, while the top 15 individuals in each race earn All-Big 12 honors. The top newcomer in each race will earn Newcomer of the Year accolades.
In the latest NCAA Division I national rankings, the Big 12 landed three men’s squads in the top 30. Oklahoma State claims the third slot in the nation. No. 27 Oklahoma is next, followed by No. 29 Texas. Iowa State represents the Big 12 women at No. 8 in the poll.
In men’s action, seven of the top 10 finishers from last year are slated to compete. OSU’s Shadrack Kipchirchir, Thomas Farrell, Kirubel Erassa and Shane Moskowitz, along with Texas’ Ryan Dohner and Craig Lutz, and last year’s first place runner, Kennedy Kithuka from Texas Tech, are top 10 returnees looking to take home the individual title.
Highlighting the women’s field, Texas’ Sara Sutherland returns after a third-place finish in 2012 alongside fellow Longhorn Marielle Hall who placed sixth in last year’s championship. Other top 10 returnees include Oklahoma State’s Natalja Piliusina and Monika Juodeskaite, and Iowa State’s Crystal Nelson and Samantha Bluske.
Video highlights and full results will be available following the races via the conference website at Big12Sports.com.
This marks the second time Baylor has hosted the event, having also played host in 2005.