Badger men win NCAA cross country title
Ahmed finished fifth as the Badgers totaled 97 points to earn their first title since 2005 and fifth overall. Two-time defending champion Oklahoma State was next with 139 points.
Georgetown celebrated the school’s first NCAA cross country title, holding off Washington by eight points, 162-170. Two-time defending champion Villanova was third with 181, and Florida was fourth at 189.
Arizona freshman and Kenya native Lawi Lalang ran away from the field for the individual title, winning the 10,000-meter race in 28 minutes, 44.1 seconds.
Runner-up Chris Derrick of Stanford, a senior from Naperville, Ill., finished in the top five for the third straight season, leading the Cardinal to fifth.
Oklahoma State’s leading duo of Colby Lowe and German Fernandez also made the top 10, but Wisconsin’s depth was too much for the Cowboys to overcome. The Badgers’ fifth runner, Maverick Darling, finished in 35th place among team competitors.
“That’s the way we ran all year, we ran together,” Wisconsin coach Mick Byrne said. “They’ve done a remarkable job of being able to read a race. You need guys that can think for themselves out there.”
Villanova senior Sheila Reid was a repeat winner on the women’s side, finishing with two fingers raised. Oregon’s Jordan Hasay was second.
“It is very satisfying to win my last collegiate cross country race,” Reid said. “I still have an outdoor season but coming in here as the defending champion I really wanted to finish cross country on a strong note and win the individual title again. It may sound trite but I love to win and after college the opportunities to race in cross country are limited.”
Georgetown coach Chris Miltenberg said his team has been battling strong schools such as Villanova the last couple years, which has helped elevate his program.
“I think the Big East, we’ve all made each other this much better,” Miltenberg said. “Us, Villanova, Providence, West Virginia, Syracuse. If you can do well in the Big East meet, you can do well in this meet. When Villanova won the last two years, we were excited for them. They helped us get to this point for sure.”