Place strategy

Gonzaga Men’s Cross Country Program – best 13th place at NCAA Championships

A change in strategy produced better results for the Gonzaga University men’s cross country team on Saturday at the NCAA Division I Championships in Stillwater, Oklahoma.

The 15th-ranked Bulldogs, who placed their first two top-100 finishers and third at 101 in the 255-runner field, scored 400 points for a program-best 13th place nationally.

“We ran a conservative race, unlike a year ago and last March where we ran an aggressive race and paid the price,” GU head coach Pat Tyson said in a statement. school statement. “You look at the results and you see who we beat and who is much higher ranked than us. So I’m really, really proud. I think we maximized the performance of our team today.

The Bulldogs, who were 27th in March 2021 and 26th last November, were ahead of Notre Dame (15th), 13th, Villanova (19th) and Tennessee (20th), 14th. And they finished one spot better than 17th-ranked Northwest rival Washington.

Yacine Guermali, one of three seniors, led the Bulldogs across the line in 41st, with a time of 29 minutes, 36.3 seconds over 10,000 meters in cold weather (26 degrees; wind chill factor of 17 degrees ) but dry. Lewis and Clark’s sophomore Wil Smith finished 59th (29:50.4) and senior James Mwaura 101st (30:12.4).

Other Zags runners were senior Cullen McEachern (128th, 30:26.7), second Kyle Radosevich (133rd, 30:27.8), junior Riley Moore (203rd, 31:05.5) and rookie Bryce Cerkowniak (220th, 31 :26.3).

“I’m really proud of these guys for their perseverance, especially these three seniors who are going to graduate,” Tyson said. “They fought, and collectively these Washington high school grads came together and pulled off the greatest team cross-country race in Gonzaga history.”

Stanford runner-up Charles Hicks edged two northern Arizona runners to win the individual championship in 28:43.6. NAU won a third straight tag team title in a tiebreaker with Oklahoma State after the two finished with 83 points.

North Carolina State repeated as the women’s tag team champion, led by winning sophomore Katelyn Tuohy in 19:27.7 for 6K. Washington finished 17th.

• Whitworth junior Madelyn Buckley finished 174th out of 293 runners in her first NCAA Division III Championship meeting on Saturday morning on a cold, snowy course in Lancing, Michigan. The Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls graduate clocked 23:57.4 for 6,000 meters.