TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – North Carolina State women and Northern Arizona men won the 2021 NCAA DI cross country championships respective team title at Apalachee Regional Park here in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday (20). Find complete results here.
NC State women’s team won its first NCAA cross country championship in program history after totaling 84 points to take home the team crown against a very strong field.
However, although the title is the first NCAA Championship in program history, it is the third national crown won by the NC State program. Prior to this weekend, the Wolfpack women’s squads won the AIAW Championships in 1979 and 1980.
Meanwhile, it was the first time an ACC women’s team was capturing the title since Virginia won back-to-back crowns in 1981 and 1982.
The victory was set up after the Wolfpack placed four runners in the top-25 finishers in the women’s 6K race en route to a winning score of 84 points. Defending champion and No. 4 BYU was second with 122 points with No. 2 New Mexico third with 130 points. No. 3 Colorado finished fourth with 187 points and No. 10 Notre Dame rounded out the top five with 215 points.
Individually, BYU senior runner Whittni Orton outpaced defending champion Mercy Chelangat from Alabama in the final stages of the race to win the 6K race with a time of 19:25.4. Orton finished ahead of Chelangat, who ran 19:29.3, and West Virginia’s Ceili McCabe (19:29.5).
Meanwhile, Northern Arizona comfortably won the men’s team title again after tallying 92 points to easily put away No. 6 Iowa State which scored 137 points, and No. 3 Oklahoma State which tallied 186 points in second and third, respectively.
The Lumberjacks put up an impressive display on their way to retaining their title after placing three runners in the top 13 in the men’s 10K. Northern Arizona was winning the NCAA DI cross country national title in back-to-back seasons which was the program’s fifth in the last six seasons.
No. 9 Arkansas was fourth with 195 points and No. 7 Stanford ran very well for a top-five spot after scoring 236 points to edge out No. 10 Tulsa in sixth with 237.
Junior Conner Mantz kicked away from his challengers to hand BYU its second individual title on the day after he won the men’s 10K with an impressive time of 28:33.1.
Iowa State’s Wesley Kiptoo was second in 28:38.7 with third place going to Campbell’s Athanas Kioko, which initially challenged Mantz with about 500m to go but slowed down significantly and staggered back into third in 28:40.9. Stanford’s Charles Hick in fourth and Morgan Beadlescomb of Michigan State rounded out the top-five finishers.