UNIVERSITY LOCATION, Wash. Western Colorado’s men’s and women’s cross-country programs earned three All-American honors Friday when they finished eighth in the women’s 6-kilometer race and 11th in the NCAA 2022 Division II Cross Country Championship th place in the men’s 10K.
Simon Kelati, Allison Beasley and Katie Doucette ran to All-American results for Western. Kelati was 12th in the men with a finishing time of 30 minutes, 8.8 seconds, and in the women it was Beasley (19th, 21:07.3) and Doucette (37th, 21:19.8) who Caught All-American honors for the second year in a row.
JUST THE FACTS
Incident: NCAA D-II Cross Country Championship
Location: Chambers Creek Regional Park, University Square, Washington.
Top 3 teams, men: 1 – Colorado School of Mines (43 points), 2 – Wingate College (177), 3 – Colorado Christian University (191)
Top 3 teams women: 1 – Adams State (75 points), 2 – Grand Valley State (126), 3 – Colorado Mines (164)
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Mountaineer men finished sixth on the team scoreboard, reaching that peak at the 3K mark of the 10K race. With just 1,000 meters to go they had slipped to 12th place before moving up one place in those final meters.
- Kelati clearly had a plan for the race, crossing the early 2km mark in 36th place and then climbing to 21st at the 4.6km mark. By the 4 mile mark he had moved up to 9th overall.
- He struggled with a small group in the back half of the race when four to five runners moved between eighth and twelfth. At the finish, Kelati finished a half-step behind the 11th-place runner but slightly inside the top 40 to earn his first All-American honor.
- Just 28 seconds behind Kelati was teammate Jacob Hernandez, who finished 44th in a time of 30:36.1.
- The last three Mountaineers runners were only 21 seconds apart. Will Johnson (31:18.7) was 105th, Michael Grabowski (31:28.4) was 116th and Albert Hesse (31:39.6) was 129th.
- Western’s other two runners, Juan Diaz (32:00.3) and Ryan Outler (32:27.3), finished 158th and 196th, respectively.
- The Mountaineer women’s spot on the team scoreboard was already stable at the 1-mile mark, where they finished eighth overall. At the 2.4 mark, they moved up one place for a short time, only to conquer eighth place from there all the way to the finish line.
- Beasley opened at a controlled pace and finished 33rd over the first 600 meters of the race. She moved up to 16th at the mile mark and held onto 17th over the next two time marks. Late in the race she was 21st with just 800 meters remaining but was closed by overtaking two runners to finish in 19th place.
- Doucette was more cautious with her pace initially, slipping to 89th after 600 meters and passing the mile mark in 79th and the 2.4k mark in 68th. She then made a big push and improved to 2nd -mile mark to 46th before making up nine more places in the final half of the race – including five places in the final 1,000m – to finish 37th overall, just 12 seconds back from Beasley.
- Just like the last three western men’s runners, the last three climbers were tightly packed at the finish. Leah Taylor (78th, 21:48.3), Emma Kjellsen (99th, 22:03.9) and Gretchen Slattum (103rd, 22:05.3) finished the afternoon just 17 seconds apart.
- The two non-Western runners who started their first national event were Emma Berg (165th, 22:49.6) and Dulce Carlos (241st, 24:18.6).
- The Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference was well represented at the meeting. Including national champion Colorado Mines, four league men’s teams were in the top 13 in the final standings, and national champion Adams State led six conference teams in the top 10 in women’s results.
- Individual champions were also from the RMAC. Colorado Mines’ Dillon Powell (28:28.0) ran to the men’s crown and Adams State’s Stephanie Cotter (19:52.2) won the women’s race.
- The 134-point men’s gap between Mines and runner-up Wingate was the widest between first and second since 1963.
- The women’s title was Adams’ third straight. It was also the program’s 20th title, making the Grizzlies the most successful women’s cross-country program of any NCAA division.
- The Mountaineer Cross Country programs competed in their 29th national championship races with the 2022 event. The women added another top 10 finish to bring their total to 28 in their national history.