By Chris Chavez
November 19, 2023
The 2023 NCAA Cross Country Championships went down in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday morning.
Here’s what you need to know:
WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION | PARKER VALBY
– After finishing second at the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Parker Valby dominated this year’s race to win in 18:55.2 for the 6K course. She won by 10.6 seconds.
– Valby completed an undefeated season that included four victories at the Nuttycombe Invitational, SEC Cross Country Championships and the NCAA South Regional before Saturday’s victory.
– She is the first runner from the Florida Gators to win an NCAA Cross Country title.
WOMEN’S TEAM CHAMPIONS | NC STATE
– The NC State women won their third consecutive team title with a narrow one-point victory victory Northern Arizona, which marked the closest team finish in NCAA Cross Country Championship history for the women’s side.
– NC State is the first school to win back-to-back-to-back NCAA team titles since Stanford won from 2005 to 2007.
– The Wolfpack was led by 2022 NCAA champion Katelyn Tuohy, who was dealing with a slight sickness and still managed to finish fifth overall in 19:23.0. Amaris Tyynismaa (25th in 19:55.3) and Sam Bush (28th in 20:00.7) also earned All-American honors.
– The Wolfpack had big performances by Leah Stephens (43rd in 20:08.2) and Grace Hartman (20:24.4) as the team was without Kelsey Chmiel, who was third at last year’s championships.
MEN’S INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION | GRAHAM BLANKS
– Harvard’s Graham Blanks made history as the first-ever man from the Ivy League to win the men’s cross country individual title. He raced patiently before starting to make his move with a kilometer remaining in the race and was able to pull away from New Mexico’s Habtom Samuel (a 17th place finisher at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships). Blanks covered the 10K course in 28:37.7 to win by three seconds.
– Blanks completed a perfect 5–0 season that included wins at the Battle in Beantown, Nuttycombe Invitational, Ivy League Championships and the NCAA Division I Northeast Region Cross Country Championships before Saturday’s victory.
MEN’S TEAM CHAMPIONS | OKLAHOMA STATE
– One year after losing on a tiebreaker on their home course, Oklahoma State left nothing to doubt and downed the defending champion Northern Arizona 49–71.
– The Cowboys put five runners in the top 15.
– Freshman Denis Kipngetich was the top OSU runner in fourth place overall in 28:59.7 for the 10K course. Fellow freshman Brian Musau was not far behind with an eighth place finish in 29:11.0. Fouad Messaoudi was 10th in 29:13.3. Victor Shitsama took 12th at 29:16.1. Alex Maier was 15th in 29:20.2.
– This is Oklahoma State’s first men’s team title since 2012 and the fifth in program history.
Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.