Tulsa Set For NCAA Championship Action
Nov. 16, 2012
IRVING, Texas - The University of Tulsa's men's cross country team will make its fourth NCAA Championship appearance Saturday at E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The men's race is set for 1:15 p.m. ET while the women will begin at noon ET.
The Golden Hurricane earned an at-large bid after finishing third at the Midwest Regional last weekend. A year ago, Tulsa finished 25th at nationals and has placed as high as 13th at the 2008 event.
C-USA and Midwest Region Coach of the Year Steve Gulley continues to look to his upperclassmen. Gulley is in his 11th year leading the No. 12 Golden Hurricane. Junior Chris O'Hare edged out Oklahoma State's Girma Mecheso for the Midwest Region crown and earned Midwest Region Athlete of the Year honors. He also placed second in the Conference USA Championships while leading his team to a third straight conference title and was the winner of the Notre Dame Invite's blue race. Seniors Andy Heyes and Paulo Pinheiro finished a respective eighth and ninth at regionals.
Also competing Saturday at the NCAA Championships will be SMU's Mary Alenbratt and UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo for the women and Anthony Rotich for the men.
Alenbratt, a senior, heads to Louisville after setting a personal best at the Conference USA Championships in the 5K. The led the Mustangs to their second-straight C-USA title as she earned All-C-USA first team honors with an eighth-place time. Alenbratt took All-Region honors, earning her a berth in the NCAA Championships as an individual.
Kimaiyo was recently named the USTFCCCA Mountain Region Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive year. The three-time All-American became the first woman in program history to claim three straight crowns at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The senior clocked a time of 20:10.8, winning the race by more then seven seconds.
The distance runner also earned her third Conference USA title this season. She crossed the finish line first with a personal-best of 16:42.8 in the 5K run. Kimaiyo capped off her stellar C-USA career by being named Outstanding Senior of the Meet.
After winning the C-USA individual title, Rotich, a freshman, placed second (29:55.90) at the 10K Mountain Regional to qualify for the national meet. The freshman has posted four first place finishes out of six meets this season. The Kenyan native recorded a first place finish at the 2012 C-USA Championship recording a time of 23:32.2 in the 8K race. The freshman has proven to be a tough competitor as he clocked in a personal-best of 23:01 in the 8K defeating 271 runners at the NCAA Pre-National meet.
Earlier this week, USTFCCCA named 450 athletes to the Division I All-Region teams for cross country. C-USA had two athletes of the year, one coach of the year and 21 all-region honorees. Athletes that finished in the top 25 individually at one of the nine regional sites earned an all-region honor.
USTFCCCA MEN'S HONORS
All-Midwest Region Athlete of the Year
All-Midwest Region Coach of the Year
USTFCCCA WOMEN'S HONORS
All-Mountain Region Athlete of the Year