Top 25 Finishes at NCAA Championship for SMU's Fjortoft, Rice's Wade and UTEP's Kimaiyo
Nov. 21, 2011
IRVING, Texas - Conference USA wrapped up a successful 2011 cross country season Monday at the NCAA Division I Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Tulsa's men placed 25th out of a field of 31 and four female runners clocked Top 50 times on LaVern Gibson Championship Course at Wabash Valley Family Sports Center.
The 21st-ranked Golden Hurricane tallied 580 points in its first trip to nationals since 2008. Junior Andrew Heyes paced Tulsa with an 86th-place finish, as he ran the 10K race in a career-best time of 30:41.7. The 25th-place finish was the second highest in school history (13th in 2008, 29th in 2007).
For the women, SMU senior Silje Fjortoft was the first C-USA runner to cross the finish line, breaking the 20-minute mark on the 6,000-meter course with an All-American and 13th-place time of 19:58.1. The finish is the best result of her career in four appearances in the NCAA Championship meet, besting a 49th-place effort in 2007.
Becky Wade of Rice clocked a 20:10.8 to finish in 23rd place, a 139-place and 1-minute, 39-second improvement from her 162nd-place finish at the 2010 NCAA Championship. The senior finished just two positions and less than two seconds ahead of three-time All-American Risper Kimaiyo of UTEP.
Kimaiyo broke the tape in 25th place, marking her third consecutive year of finishing in the top 25. The Iten, Kenya, native clocked in at 20:12.7 to improve her performance from last year's national meet of 20:16.1.
Tulsa senior Paula Whiting hit the mark in 20:37.0 and in 49th position, giving C-USA four top 50 NCAA women's finishes for the first time in league history.
2011 NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS FOR C-USA
13. Silje Fjortoft, SMU (Sr.) - 19:58.1
23. Becky Wade, Rice (Sr.) - 20:10.8
25. Risper Kimaiyo, UTEP (Jr.) - 20:12.7
49. Paula Whiting, Tulsa (Sr.) - 20:37.0