OSU Cross Country Wins Fifth-Straight Big 12 Title

Saturday, October 27th 2012, 7:38 pm
By: News 9

The Oklahoma State men's cross country team earned 24 points and held off Texas and Oklahoma to capture its fifth-straight Big 12 title and the women's team upset Texas to secure a second-place finish.

The Cowboys – ranked No. 1 in the nation this week - took five of the top eight spots on the individual leader board, with Girma Mecheso leading the way by finishing in second place with a time of 23:58.1. Shadrack Kipchirchir (23:58.5) was third and Tom Farrell (24:00.6) fourth. Kirubel Erassa (24:06.0) finished in seventh place and Shane Moskowitz (24:06.2) was eighth.

"This was a tough race and we knew it wasn't going to be easy," said Farrell. "This was the first time we've faced anyone in the top 20 and this is one of the strongest conferences in the country. We certainly couldn't take anyone for granted and we did that. Everyone ran well and I'm proud of the guys."

"We've got the best cross country conference in the country, and winning it takes great races," said head coach Dave Smith. "You saw it today. It was a great race and it was tight until the last 15,000 meters. It took great runs by our whole group and we got it."

By finishing in the top 15, Mecheso, Kipchirchir, Farrell, Erassa and Moskowitz all earned All-Big 12 honors.

The No. 27 Cowgirls earned 81 points and held off No. 14 Texas by 6 points to grab second place, improving on their third-pace finish from a year ago. It was the Cowgirls' best finish at the conference meet since taking second in 2005.

Monika Juodeskaite led the way for OSU, running a time of 20:20.9 and finishing in fourth place. Natalja Piliusina (20:38.6) finished in seventh place. By finishing in the top 15, both women earned All-Big 12 honors.

"I felt really good," said Juodeskaite. "I started the race off too fast and I fell off a little bit and I had to run alone in this wind. I'm happy about my race and this season has been really good for me and I've improved a lot."

"I'm really excited for the women," said Smith. "They were running against a team that can truly win the national championship. I think Iowa State is unbelievable. Texas is also a top 15 team. We ran a really tight race with them and it was a good second place for the women."


Both teams head to Springfield, Mo. for the NCAA Regional Championships on Nov. 9.