(STILLWATER, Oklahoma / Sept. 30, 2017) The 81st edition of the Cowboy Jamboree ended much like the last seven – with an Oklahoma State victory. Led by Sylvester Barus’ individual crown, the No. 9 ranked Cowboy cross country team topped No. 25 Ole Miss to win their eighth straight Jamboree title, 42-44, on Saturday morning at the OSU Cross Country Course.
The No. 22 Cowgirls took fourth in the Jamboree, backed by a strong showing from sophomore Michelle Magnani, who took 16th overall.
This was Barus’ second-straight individual title and the Cowboys’ fourth-consecutive individual winner, starting with former Cowboy Kirubel Erassa in 2014, followed by senior Cerake Geberkidane in 2015.
“The men are probably a little ahead of where I thought we might be at this time,” head coach Dave Smith said. “Hassan (Abdi), Sylvester and Luis (Martinez) all ran pretty fast. So, I’m excited about where the guys are.”
Barus controlled the race from the start and led the pack from the second kilometer on. He was trailed by senior Hassan Abdi, who finished second overall behind Barus by about six seconds.
“I was feeling good,” Barus said. “It’s really important because it’s our home meet. So, winning for us is really great. Our game plan was to go lightly until the 5K, and then if you feel good, you can run away.”
Senior Luis Martinez finished third for the Cowboys, taking sixth overall in 24:22.1. Junior Christian Liddell finished 10th, making four Cowboys in the top 10.
To round out the men’s top five, senior Matthew Fayers finished in 25:24.2, good enough for 24th overall.
“We need to shore up our depth a little bit,” Smith said. “Those front-three guys ran pretty well together for most of the race, but we have got to get a fourth and fifth with them to run with them.”
For the women, Magnani was the highest-finisher for the Cowgirls after running unattached at last year’s Jamboree. “I felt pretty good,” Magnani said. “We finished a little farther back than we wanted, but we’re making good progress.”
Senior Molly Sughroue finished not far behind at No. 19, and sophomore Kaytlyn Larson ran a respectable 21:54.8 to complete the Cowgirls’ top three.
“I think we’ve got work to do,” Smith said. “I think we have to not panic, but understand we have some ground to make up on the rest of the conference and region if we want to do the things we’ve set out as our goals for the year.”
Freshmen Sinclaire Johnson and Ariane Ballner joined them in the top five, as they finished 27th and 31st, respectively.
The Ole Miss women’s squad won the event with a score of 44.
“We want to win everything,” Smith said. “You don’t want to practice not winning. I think you want to always practice competing, running and winning. We wanted to win this because it’s our home course.”
Both teams get a break from competition this week to recuperate and prepare for the Penn State Open in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 13.
1. Sylvester Barus 24:15.9
2. Hassan Abdi 24:22.1
6. Luis Martinez 24:44.9
10. Christian Liddell 24:53.2
24. Matthew Fayers 25:24.2
37. Noah Gade 25:40.5
40. Alec Haines 25:43.7
62. Nic Butts 26:30.8
69. Bryce Balenseifen 26:46.2
16. Michelle Magnani 21:36.4
19. Molly Sughroue 21:43.5
23. Kaytlyn Larson 21:54.8
27. Sinclaire Johnson 21:58.1
31. Ariane Ballner 22:04.0
34. Cheyenne Walden 22:08.8
37. Taylor Somers 22:13.8
57. Jenny Celis 22:53.6
62. Emily Helms 22:59.1
69. Kaylee Dodd 23:13.1
72. Kami Hankins 23:33.0
80. Haley Geissler 23:53.8
82. Anna Gunter 24:09.1
91. Kambri Gabel 25:13.6
92. Hadassah Marquart 25:43.9
93. Moriah Moody 25:50.2
94. Kaylee Oyler 25:53.3
97. Bailey Sutherlin 26:06.5
99. Sarah Johnson 26:59.5
100. Rachel Norman 27:01.6
104. Rachel Nowak 30:35.0