OSU Men, Iowa State Women Win Big 12 XC Titles; Kithuka Breaks Own Record

Kennedy Kithuka

Texas Tech senior Kennedy Kithuka on his way to winning his second-straight Big 12 Cross Country title Saturday in Waco. PHOTO: Texas Tech

WACO, Texas – The Oklahoma State men and Iowa State women have claimed the 2013 Big 12 Cross Country Championships titles. This marks the sixth-straight title for the Cowboys and the third-consecutive team title for the Cyclone women.

For the men, the Cowboys totaled 33 points, while Iowa State came in second with 77. The runner-up finish for the Cyclones is the highest since finishing second in 1997. Texas (80), Oklahoma (104), and Texas Tech (117) rounded out the top five men’s teams.

The Cowboys were led by Kirubel Erassa, Shadrack Kipchirchir and Thomas Farrell who finished second, third and fifth respectively. Iowa State placed five runners in the top 20.

Oklahoma State Men, Iowa State Women Win 2013 Big 12 Cross Country Championships. PHOTO BIG12 SPORTS

“It feels really good. I think this is a really tough conference. Over the last eight or nine it’s been the toughest conference in the country and people were a little underrated this year, under-appreciated,” Oklahoma State head coach Dave Smith, said.

“I think Iowa State is a very good team and so are Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. I think we still got a really strong conference. Coming away with six in this conference is really good.”

Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka took home the individual crown with a time of 22:16.0, finishing 33 seconds ahead of the next competitor. The senior broke his own Big 12 Championship record (22:52.8) set at last year’s competition.

On the women’s side, Iowa State totaled 35 points to claim first, followed by West Virginia (104), Oklahoma State (116) and Texas (121). Baylor and Kansas State tied for fifth (123) to close out the top five.

Texas’ Marielle Hill claimed the individual title completing the race in 19:38.3. Four Iowa State runners placed in the top 15 led by runner-up Crystal Nelson.  Katy Moen (4), Bethanie Brown (5), Perez Rotich (9) and Ejiroghene Okoro also helped the Cyclones claim the title.

“I’m super excited, it’s a great honor,” Hill said. “It’s such a competitive conference. I’ve been here for four years so finally getting it my last year has been really special and I’m really excited about it.”

Iowa State’s Brown and Oklahoma’s Abbabiya Simbassa won the women’s and men’s Big 12 Newcomer of the Year. The top 15 finishers on each side earn All-Big 12 honors.

NCAA Cross Country Regionals will take place on Friday, November 15 with the NCAA Championships slated for Saturday, November 23 at Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. The Oklahoma State men are defending NCAA champions and have won the national championship three of the last four years, while the Iowa State women finished 11th last year.

Top 15 Men’s Finishers (All-Big 12 Team)

1.       Kennedy Kithuka, Texas Tech 22:16.0
2.       Kirubel Erassa, Oklahoma State 22:53.9
3.       Shadrack Kipchirchir, Oklahoma State 22:54.3
4.       Ryan Dohner, Texas 22:57.1
5.       Thomas Farrell, Oklahoma State 23:07.1
6.       Craig Lutz, Texas 23:13.8
7.       Mohamed Hrezi, Iowa State 23:24.1
8.       Abbabiya Simbassa, Oklahoma 23:27.0
9.       Brandon Doughty, Oklahoma 23:31. 5
10.   Ezekiel Kissorio, Texas Tech 23:35.4
11.   Brian Gohlke, Oklahoma State 23:36.2
12.   Shane Moskowitz, Oklahoma State 23:36.5
13.   Josh Munsch, Kansas 23:36.5
14.   Martin Coolidge, Iowa State 23:37.3
15.   Evan Landes, Kansas 23:40.5

Top 15 Women’s Finishers (All-Big 12 Team)

1.       Marielle Hall, Texas 19:38.3
2.       Crystal Nelson, Iowa State 19:49.3
3.       Monika Juodeskaite, Oklahoma State 20:29.9
4.       Katy Moen, Iowa State 20:33.0
5.       Bethanie Brown, Iowa State 20:36.2
6.       Laura Galvan, Kansas State 20:37.9
7.       Martina Tresch, Kansas State 20:41.6
8.       Sarah Martinelli, West Virginia 20:44.9
9.       Perez Rotich, Iowa State 20:52.1
10.   Rachel Johnson, Baylor 20:55.1
11.   Hannah Richardson, Kansas 20:56.8
12.   Megan Siebert, Texas 21:03.0
13.   Sharlene Nickle, Texas Tech 21:07.0
14.   Hilary Krein, Oklahoma 21:07.4
15.   Ejiroghene Okoro, Iowa State 21:07.7

Newcomer of the Year

Men: Abbabiya Simbassa, Oklahoma
Women: Bethanie Brown, Iowa State

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