Cowboys Finish Runner-Up in Tie-Breaking Fashion, Cowgirls Secure First Team Trophy in Program History at NCAA Cross Country Championships


STILLWATER — Oklahoma State men’s and women’s cross country each reached the podium in the 2022 NCAA National Championship in Stillwater, becoming the only school in the field to do so.

The Cowboys posted a second-place team performance to earn their third consecutive podium finish and ninth top-3 appearance under director of track & field and cross country Dave Smith. The Cowgirls finished fourth in the team race, which is the highest placement in program history, as well as the team’s first podium appearance.

“There’s always next year,” Smith said. “I said, ‘guys, we got 364 days, let’s go to work.’ That’s what it is. We got to get back at it.”

In the women’s 6K, the Cowgirls were led by Natalie Cook, who finished seventh with a personal record time of 19:46.3. Cook’s time is now third fastest in program history for the women’s 6K, beating Sinclaire Johnson’s time by 10 seconds.

“She (Cook) executed the race the way we asked her to,” Smith said. “We said to her and Taylor to be five-to-15, don’t take risks. If everybody does their job, we can pick up some mistakes and be in the hunt.”

Following Cook was Taylor Roe, crossing the finish line in 13th at 19:56.4. Roe had a major jump between the 2.05K and 2.83K split, moving up 28 spots into 27th. Roe’s time is a personal record at the Greiner Family OSU course.

Gabby Hentemann followed behind Cook and Roe, finishing 57th with a personal best 6K time of 20:19.3. Gabija Galvydyte and Stephanie Moss rounded out the scoring coming in 74th and 91st, respectively.

With the fourth-place team finish, the Cowgirls have placed the highest in program history. Previously, the highest placement in the championships was fifth-place in 1989. It’s also the highest placement in the Dave Smith era, beating the seventh-place team finish in 2015.

On the men’s side, OSU and Northern Arizona tied for first place with 83 points each. The Lumberjacks top five finished 2-3-18-24-36, which trumped Oklahoma States top five at 5-8-11-29-30, giving NAU the head-to-head tiebreaker victory, 3-2. This is the second consecutive race the Cowboys finished second in a tiebreaker. It’s also the first time in NCAA history the winner of the national championships was decided by a tiebreaker.

The Cowboys were led by Alex Maier and Isai Rodriguez, who finished fifth and eighth, respectively. Their times of 28:58.2 and 28:59.9 are the second- and third-fastest 10K times in OSU program history, falling short of Jon Wild’s record of 28:30.0 in 1995.

Fouad Messaoudi was next for the Cowboys, crossing the finish line 12th with a time of 29:10.8. Messaoudi, along with Maier and Rodriguez, surpassed the Greiner Family OSU Cross Country Course 10K record of 29:26.1 set by Conner Mantz of BYU in 2020.

Victor Shitsama and Rory Leonard rounded out the scoring for the Cowboys, coming in 31st and 32nd, with times of 29:29.0 and 29:29.1, respectively.

“The guys hit it absolutely out of the park,” Smith said. “They did exactly what we said to do down to a letter, and it couldn’t have been run more perfectly. We said if we can get to 90 points or under 100, we’re going to win. It’s pretty rare to lose with 83 points.”

The Cowboys finish in the top 2 for the first time since 2012, the year they won it all. They also recorded the lowest second-place score since 1997. The Cowboys’ 83 points is also the fourth best team performance in program history.

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Women’s Race – Team (6K)

1. NC State – 114

2. New Mexico – 140

3. Alabama – 166

4. Oklahoma State – 201

5.  North Carolina – 242


Women's Race – Individual (6K)

7. Natalie Cook – 19:46.3

13. Taylor Roe – 19:56.4

57. Gabby Hentemann – 20:19.3

74. Gabija Galvydyte – 20:27.1

91. Stephanie Moss – 20:34.0

151. Billah Jepkirui – 20:56.4

220. Sivan Auerbach – 21:36.0


Men’s Race – Team (10K)

1. Northern Arizona* – 83

2. Oklahoma State – 83

3. BYU – 132

4. Stanford – 195

5. Wake Forest – 204 

* Won head-to-head placement tiebreaker 3-2


Men's Race – Oklahoma State Individual (10K)

5. Alex Maier – 28:58.2

8. Isai Rodriguez – 28:59.9

12. Fouad Messaoudi+ – 29:10.8

31. Victor Shitsama – 29:29.0

32. Rory Leonard+ – 29:29.1

53. Ryan Schoppe* – 29:48.7

140. Will Muirhead* – 30:31.4

* Not accounted for in head-to-head placement tiebreaker

+ Head-to-head tiebreaker winner


Men's Race – Northern Arizona Individual (10K)

2. Nico Young+ – 28:44.5

3. Drew Bosley+ – 28:55.9

19. Santiago Prosser – 29:19.5

25. Brodey Hasty+ – 29:27.2

39. George Kusche – 29:34.9

88. Ryan Raff* – 30:08.6

151. Colin Sahlman* -- 30:37.0

* Not accounted for in head-to-head placement tiebreaker

+ Head-to-head tiebreaker winner


Check out the full listing of men's and women's NCAA Division I Cross Country Championship Results.