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    Four SEC Teams Earn Top-25 NCAA Finishes

    By: Sean Cartell
    Twitter: @SEC_Sean
    SEC Digital Network

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Four Southeastern Conference cross country teams earned top-25 finishes Saturday, while Texas A&M’s Henry Lelei and Kentucky’s Cally Macumber each were among the individual top 10, to highlight a successful day at the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships, hosted by the University of Louisville at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park.

    The Arkansas men earned their first top-10 finish since 2010, placing 10th overall with 327 total team points. The Georgia men placed 19th overall with 466 total team points for their highest-ever NCAA finish.

    The Arkansas women were the top-finishing SEC team with 449 total team points to place 18th overall. Florida finished 23rd with 518 points, while Vanderbilt was 27th with 611 points. Georgia earned a 30th-place finish with 642 total team points.  

    No. 1 Oklahoma State earned its third NCAA Men’s Cross Country Championship in the past four years, totaling 72 team points to claim the victory. Wisconsin, the 2011 NCAA Champion, finished second with 135 points, while Colorado was third with 158 total team points. Northern Arizona (191) and Florida State (238) rounded out the top five on the men’s side.

    The No. 2 Oregon women earned their first NCAA Cross Country Championship since the 1987 season, scoring 114 total team points for the victory. Providence College placed second overall with 183 points, while Stanford was third with 198 points. Top-ranked Florida State (4th, 202) and Michigan (5th, 247) rounded out the women’s top-five.

    Lelei, the 2012 SEC Champion, was the top men’s finisher from the SEC, earning a sixth-place finish in a 10K time of 29:14.8. He was one of three All-America finishers from the SEC as Arkansas’ Kemoy Campbell was 17th (29:41.5) and Tennessee’s Peter Okwera was 30th (29:53.9).

    “I am pleased,” Lelei said. “Last year I finished ninth and I came here with hopes to do better and this year I finished sixth. I knew there were a lot of outstanding guys in there, so I knew it would be a tough race.”

    Macumber, the 2012 SEC Champion, was the top-finishing women’s runner from the SEC, placing sixth overall in a 6K time of 19:42.2. She is the highest NCAA finisher for the Wildcat women since Valerie McGovern was the national runner-up in 1989. Macumber’s teammate Chelsea Oswald was the only other All-America finisher for the SEC, crossing the line in 37th place in a time of 20:13.0.

    “I really had no idea what to expect,” Macumber said. “I was just going to go out and try to run my best and I think I did that today.”

    Texas Tech’s Kennedy Kithua won the individual men’s crown in a course-record time of 28:31.3, while Iowa State’s Betsy Saina claimed the women’s individual title in a course-record time of 19:27.9.

    For all of the latest information on SEC Cross Country, please log on to www.SECDigitalNetwork.com or follow @SEC_Sean on Twitter.

    2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships (November 17, 2012 – Louisville, Ky.)

    Men’s Team Results: 1. Oklahoma State 72; 2. Wisconsin 135; 3. Colorado 158; 4. Northern Arizona 191; 5. Florida State 238; 6. BYU 245; 7. Tulsa 247; 8. Oklahoma 262; 9. Texas 291; 10. Arkansas 327; 11. Princeton 358; 12. Portland 265; 13. UCLA 376; 14. Virginia 382; 15. Syracuse 406; 16. Stanford 408; 17. Columbia 439; 18. Indiana 456; 19. Georgia 466; 20. Oregon 472; 21. New Mexico 473; 22. Virginia Tech 516; 23. Michigan 518; 24. Eastern Kentucky 522; 25. Georgetown 534; 26. NC State 550; 27. Villanova 587; 28. Notre Dame 590; 29. Iona 626; 30. Duke 725; 31. Michigan State 755.

    Women’s Team Results: 1. Oregon 114; 2. Providence 183; 3. Stanford 198; 4. Florida State 202; 5. Michigan 247; 6. Arizona 263; 7. Duke 300; 8. Connecticut 304; 9. Washington 334; 10. New Mexico 341; 11. Iowa State 350; 12. Georgetown 381; 13. Cornell 385; 14. Penn State 387; 15. Notre Dame 394; 16. Michigan State 422; 17. Weber State 428; 18. Arkansas 449; 19. Boston College 462; 20. Villanova 475; 21. William and Mary 481; 22. Minnesota 500; 23. Florida 518; 24. Colorado 519; 25. Texas 526; 26. Oklahoma State 565; 27. Vanderbilt 611; 28. Toledo 613; 29. Butler 636; 30. Georgia 642; 31. Harvard 676.

    Men’s Individual Results (Top-10 Finishers): 1. Kennedy Kithuka (Texas Tech) 28:31.3; 2. Stephen Sambu (Arizona) 28:38.6; 3. Lawi Lalang (Arizona) 28:51.8; 4. Anthony Rotich (UTEP) 29:13.5; 5. Girma Mecheso (Oklahoma State) 29:14.8; 6. Henry Lelei (Texas A&M) 29:14.8; 7. David Rooney (McNeese State) 29:21.3; 8. Mohammed Ahmed (Wisconsin) 29:23.9; 9. Tom Farrell (Oklahoma State) 29:26.3; 10. Paul Chelimo (UNC-Greensboro) 29:29.8.

    Women’s Individual Results (Top-10 Finishers): 1. Betsy Saina (Iowa State) 19:27.9; 2. Abbey D’Agostino (Dartmouth) 19:28.6; 3. Jordan Hasay (Oregon) 19:28.6; 4. Aliphin Tuliamuk-Bolton (Wichita State) 19:33.8; 5. Risper Kimaiyo (UTEP) 19:41.0; 6. Cally Macumber (Kentucky) 19:42.2; 7. Mareike Schrulle (Iowa) 19:43.3; 8. Alexi Pappas (Oregon) 19:43.9; 9. Laura Hollander (Cal Poly) 19:45.2; 10. Sarah Collins (Providence) 19:50.7.

    Men’s Top-40 Finishers (SEC)
    6. Henry Lelei, Texas A&M (29:14.8)
    17. Kemoy Campbell, Arkansas (29:41.5)
    30. Peter Okwera, Tennessee (29:53.9)

    Women’s Top-40 Finishers (SEC)
    6. Cally Macumber, Kentucky (19:42.2)
    37. Chelsea Oswald, Kentucky (20:13.0)