Oklahoma State Wins 2012 NCAA Championships, 3rd Title in 4 Years for Dave Smith

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by: Mike Knapp for LetsRun.com
November 17, 2012

LOUISVILLE — Oklahoma State coach Dave Smith felt the team he brought to the 75th NCAA Division I cross country championships was the best he’d ever had.

With that in mind, he challenged them to run like it — and they responded. The Cowboys placed two runners in the Top 10 and posted a team score of 72 to convincingly win the title. It was OSU’s third title in four years and in the process erased some of the disappointment of finishing as runner-up to Wisconsin a year ago.

Oklahoma State switched places in the standings this year with the Badgers, who were second with 135 points, while Colorado was third with 158 points, Northern Arizona fourth with 191 and Florida State fifth with 238.

Oklahoma State Celebrates Again (click for full photo gallery)

“I’m proud of them, some guys came through big-time,” Smith said. “When you think you are the best in the race, it’s best to control your own destiny. I felt like we had the best team in the race and we needed to be in the front from the start and make it our race.”

With eventual winner Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech and Arizona teammates Lawi Lalang and Stephen Sambu setting what became a record-setting pace up front, OSU’s Girma Mecheso settled into a second chase pack and picked up the first team point in the race. Mecheso closed his career with a fifth-place finish and first American honors as he covered the 10K course in a time of 29:14.

“Our team was ranked number one and we have worked hard for this day,” said Mecheso. “My coach expects me to lead this team and set the pace. The pace was a little (quick) and I didn’t want to burn myself out so I saved it for the team.”

“Our coach went through everything preparation-wise, and he expected us today to show what we had and everything turned out good for us.”

Also posting a Top 10 for the Cowboys was junior Tom Farrell, who just five few weeks ago was the eighth runner on the team at the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in his first race back since having his British Olympic dreams ruined by a stress fracture. Today he ran  like the 13:15 5000 meter performer that he is and ran 29:26, which was good for a ninth-place finish.

Mecheso and Farrell were two of the 10 runners to break the course record, and both runners earned All-American honors, as did teammates Shadrack Kipchirchir and Joseph Manilafasha, who finished 18th and 24th, respectively.

Men’s Leaders 2012 NCAA Championships

Farrell said he didn’t begin feeling good until the Big 12 Championships and entered the day not sure as to what it would bring.

“I was aiming for a top 20, this has been a weird season for me,” Farrell said. “I did some strides before the Big 12’s and I hadn’t felt good until that day. Ever since then I felt back to normal, I was knocking out runs without any problems. Dave said all along it would click, but I didn’t believe that anything would come of it. I’m shocked.”

Wisconsin was led by senior Mohammaed Ahmed, the Canadian Olympian, who was eighth in 29:23.

More on the individual race to come.

QT#1: 3 out of the last 4 is about as good as it gets.

QT #2: What the hell happened to Stanford and Iona? Both teams were tied at #2 in the coaches’ polls. (We must add they were “only” #4 and #5 in the LetsRun.com Fan Polls). They ended up #16 (Stanford) and #30 (Iona). Stanford has been jinxed at nationals the last few years.

QT #3: The Ivy League had a good day with two teams at nationals with Princeton finishing 11th and Columbia #17. The Ivy League women had been carrying the banner for the league.

==================
Rank Team                      Total    1    2    3    4    5   *6   *7   *8   *9
=================================================================================
   1 Oklahoma State               72    1    3   11   17   40   79  134          
      Total Time:  2:28:35.50                                                    
         Average:    29:43.10                                                    
   2 Wisconsin                   135    2    4    5   36   88  168  175          
      Total Time:  2:29:34.30                                                    
         Average:    29:54.86                                                    
   3 Colorado                    158   24   26   28   33   47  169  192          
      Total Time:  2:30:33.80                                                    
         Average:    30:06.76                                                    
   4 Northern Arizona            191    8   23   48   54   58  164  178          
      Total Time:  2:31:07.30                                                    
         Average:    30:13.46                                                    
   5 Florida State               238   14   21   45   55  103  158  188          
      Total Time:  2:31:37.10                                                    
         Average:    30:19.42                                                    
   6 BYU                         245    7   25   62   69   82  154  207          
      Total Time:  2:31:35.80                                                    
         Average:    30:19.16                                                    
   7 Tulsa                       247   13   32   59   71   72  107  113          
      Total Time:  2:31:52.90                                                    
         Average:    30:22.58                                                    
   8 Oklahoma                    262   38   49   52   56   67   95  140          
      Total Time:  2:32:32.00                                                    
         Average:    30:30.40                                                    
   9 Texas                       291   12   37   75   81   86  179               
      Total Time:  2:32:20.90                                                    
         Average:    30:28.18                                                    
  10 Arkansas                    327   10   34   61   99  123  167  171          
      Total Time:  2:32:37.70                                                    
         Average:    30:31.54                                                    
  11 Princeton                   358   31   43   57  106  121  130  204          
      Total Time:  2:33:12.80                                                    
         Average:    30:38.56                                                    
  12 Portland                    365   19   42   89   96  119  177  182          
      Total Time:  2:33:09.30                                                    
         Average:    30:37.86                                                    
  13 UCLA                        376   18   64   68  100  126  141  195          
      Total Time:  2:33:12.70                                                    
         Average:    30:38.54                                                    
  14 Virginia                    382   15   51   76   85  155  201               
      Total Time:  2:33:23.90                                                    
         Average:    30:40.78                                                    
  15 Syracuse                    406   41   50   70   94  151  156  174          
      Total Time:  2:33:57.00                                                    
         Average:    30:47.40                                                    
  16 Stanford                    408   35   65   87  109  112  137               
      Total Time:  2:33:50.11                                                    
         Average:    30:46.02                                                    
  17 Columbia                    439   44   53   77  127  138  173  186          
      Total Time:  2:34:07.50                                                    
         Average:    30:49.50                                                    
  18 Indiana                     456    6   80   90  118  162  165  180          
      Total Time:  2:33:53.80                                                    
         Average:    30:46.76                                                    
  19 Georgia                     466   73   83   92   93  125  142  176          
      Total Time:  2:34:30.00                                                    
         Average:    30:54.00                                                    
  20 Oregon                      472   30   74  115  124  129  184  203          
      Total Time:  2:34:10.40                                                    
         Average:    30:50.08                                                    
  21 New Mexico                  473   20   63   98  105  187  191               
      Total Time:  2:34:32.90                                                    
         Average:    30:54.58                                                    
  22 Virginia Tech               516   22   60   66  183  185                    
      Total Time:  2:35:16.50                                                    
         Average:    31:03.30                                                    
  23 Michigan                    518   78   97  104  117  122  152               
      Total Time:  2:34:52.30                                                    
         Average:    30:58.46                                                    
  24 Eastern Kentucky            522   27   29  110  160  196  199  200          
      Total Time:  2:35:16.60                                                    
         Average:    31:03.32                                                    
  25 Georgetown                  534   46  102  111  132  143  159  206          
      Total Time:  2:35:04.00                                                    
         Average:    31:00.80                                                    
  26 North Carolina St.          550    9  114  135  144  148  170  208          
      Total Time:  2:34:51.80                                                    
         Average:    30:58.36                                                    
  27 Villanova                   587   84  116  120  131  136  163  197          
      Total Time:  2:35:30.70                                                    
         Average:    31:06.14                                                    
  28 Notre Dame                  590   39   91  108  150  202  205               
      Total Time:  2:36:30.30                                                    
         Average:    31:18.06                                                    
  29 Iona                        626   16  133  139  145  193  198               
      Total Time:  2:36:05.30                                                    
         Average:    31:13.06                                                    
  30 Duke                        725  101  146  149  157  172  181  194          
      Total Time:  2:37:16.00                                                    
         Average:    31:27.20                                                    
  31 Michigan State              755  128  147  153  161  166  189  190          
      Total Time:  2:37:27.70                                                    
         Average:    31:29.54

 

1KithukaTexas Tech28:31.3
2SambuArizona28:38.6
3LalangArizona28:51.8
4RotichUTEP29:13.5
5LeleiTexas A&M29:14.8
5MechesoOK State29:14.8
7RooneyMcNeese State29:21.3
8AhmedWisconsin29:23.9
9FarrellOK State29:26.3
10ChelimoUNC-Greensboro29:29.8

*Full Results

LRC Individual Recap Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithuka Makes it Look Easy Over Lawi Lalang & Stephen Sambu Lawi Lalang had all the attention coming in but Kennedy Kithukadispatched him with ease. Only one American in the top 10. Read all about it.

Posted in: College