TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The University of Tulsa men’s and women’s cross country teams had record-setting days Saturday at the NCAA Championships.
The TU men’s team finished the season on a high note, scoring 243 points for a fifth-place finish. The previous highest finish for the program came in 2012, when the Golden Hurricane took seventh.
“I don’t think we could be any happier for the men with their performance,” TU assistant coach Taylor Gulley said. “We came in ranked No. 6 and wanted to put ourselves in the hunt for a trophy (top-four finish) ...
“However, we didn’t get out very well through 3k. To move from 10th at the 5k mark to eighth at 8k and move all the way to fifth by the finish showed incredible composure and fight.”
The women’s team also broke the school’s mark for highest finish, ending up 25th with 584 points. The 2015 team placed 29th.
The Hurricane men were paced by juniors Patrick Dever (11th place) and Peter Lynch (13th). Dever’s finish is the second-highest in school history behind Marc Scott, who was 10th at the 2015 meet.
Dever crossed the finish line at 30 minutes, 59.4 seconds and was followed immediately by Lynch, who was clocked in 31:04.3. This is the first time that TU has had two runners finish in the top 20 at the NCAA Championships.
On the women’s side, Oklahoma State’s Molly Born and Taylor Somers finished inside the top 20.
Born ran a time of 20:28.2, finishing 16th, and Somers had a time of 20:30 and placed 18th.
“Both women have worked extremely hard over the past year,” OSU coach Dave Smith said. “It’s great to see them rewarded for all of their hard work, focus and dedication. I thought they both had their best races of the season today.”
TU’s Caitlin Klopfer was 67th place with a time of 21:02.9. The previous best finish for a TU runner was held by Rachel Baptista, who placed 69th in 2015.
“Considering it was the first time for these ladies to compete at the NCAA Championships, they exceeded our expectations,” TU coach Steve Gulley said. “Caitlin Klopfer led the way up front and the other ladies got in good positions and ran really tough. (It was the) first top-25 finish in school history and hopefully a result we can improve upon moving forward.”
Arkansas won the women’s NCAA title, and BYU was second.
BYU won the men’s title, followed by Northern Arizona in second.