Graham Blanks Takes NCAA Cross Country Title To Remain Undefeated This Season

Oklahoma State take the team competition by a landslide

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The men’s race has a few more contenders for the top spots than the women’s race. Two teams were bringing in multiple runners with top-10 potential: Northern Arizona (NAU) and Oklahoma State.

NAU features Nico Young and Drew Bosley, who finished last year’s NCAA Cross Country Championships in second and third, respectively.

The team from Oklahoma State boasts two Kenyan runners, Denis Kipngetich and Brian Misau. Kipngetich has won two races, including Cowboy Jamboree and Midwest Regional. Misau took the victory at the Big 12 Championships. 

Oklahoma State also brings new addition Adisu Guadie to the Championships, who has a personal best time of 28:17 in the road 10k. The team at Oklahoma State is finally reinforced by Alex Meier, who placed fifth at last year’s NCAA Cross Country Championships.

After an undefeated season, Harvard’s Graham Blanks was also a highlighted favorite in today’s race.

The race was the opposite of the women’s. A large group stuck together throughout a large part of the race, with no one making any moves that would stick.

It was the two standouts from NAU, Bosley and Young, who led the group through the first kilometer in 2:29.00. 

By the halfway mark, the large group had whittled down, with 11 runners at the front coming through in 14:17.40, led by New Mexico’s freshman Habtom Samuel, and almost thirty runners within ten seconds.

With two kilometers to go in the 10,000m race, we finally saw a select group of four create a gap of almost ten seconds to the rest of the race. It became more clear that the race winner would likely come from this selection.

The group consisted of Stanford’s Ky Robinson, Harvard’s Graham Blanks, New Mexico’s Habtom Samuel, and Oklahoma State’s Denis Kipngetich.

NAU’s Bosely and Young were back in sixth place 8.4 seconds back and eighth place 9.4 seconds back, respectively.

Coming across the line first was Harvard’s Graham Blanks in 28:37.70 after a surge in pace that was only matched by New Mexico’s Habtom Samuel, who finished in second place 3.1 seconds back with a time of 28:40.70.

Stanford’s Ky Robinson rounded out the podium, crossing the line 18 seconds behind in 28:55.70.

Oklahoma State won by a landslide with 49 points in the team competition, with their five scoring runners all placing in the top 15.

NAU would take second in the team competition after Bosley and Young placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

The team from Brigham Young University (BYU) would round out the podium, taking third in the team competition with a total of 196 points.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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