Ohio State cross country teams fall short of NCAA Championships
Published: Monday, November 12, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 12, 2012 22:11
While neither of Ohio State’s cross country teams managed to qualify for the NCAA Championships, some members of the Buckeyes’ men’s and women’s teams shined at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships on Friday in Madison, Wis.
Senior cross-country runner Donny Roys earned All-Regional honors and a spot in the NCAA Championships with an 11th-place finish at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championships on Friday in Madison, Wis.
“I felt Donny ran the best race he’s run this season,” said Buckeyes coach Brice Allen.
Roys finished with a time of 31:19, which put him in 11th place and earned him a trip to the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Louisville, Ky.
While the men’s team failed to earn an automatic bid to the national championship meet, finishing in eighth place out of 30 teams, it did finish one spot higher than their No. 9 regional ranking.
Only the top two teams in each region qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Regionally ranked No. 1 Wisconsin and No. 2 Michigan were the top two finishers and advanced to the championship meet.
The OSU women’s team also placed a spot higher than its ranking, finishing in sixth place out of 32 teams.
Leading the way for the women’s squad were sophomore runner Michelle Thomas and junior runner Meredith Wagner, who also turned in All-Regional performances finishing 20th and 25th, respectively.
Thomas posted a time of 20:50 and came within seconds of a trip to nationals. Wagner finished just behind Thomas at 20:58.
“I wanted to be top-10 and advance to the national meet, but I didn’t have the race I planned for,” Wagner said. “On the bright side I was still All-Region and the team ran great, so overall it was a good day.”
All five of OSU’s scoring runners finished in the top 50.
The team did its best job of the year in terms of running together, by posting a 43-second gap between their first and fifth runners. Keeping together in a tight group has been a goal for the women throughout the season, as it leads to lower team scores and better finishes.
The squad’s previous season-best for a 6-km event was a 53-second differential at the Big Ten tournament.
Helping that low split time was sophomore runner Katie Borchers, who turned in a personal-best time of 21:33 and was the fifth scoring runner for the team.
“All in all I think we had a lot of pluses from the competition,” said women’s coach Khadevis Robinson.
Taking the top spots at the women’s event and earning automatic bids to the NCAA Championships were Michigan and Michigan State.
Redshirt senior runner Chris Fallon, who suffered a hyperextended knee and stress fracture at the Wisconsin Invitational, is training again. While he did not compete at the regional event, he will be ready to go for track season.