TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) — Not much finished as expected at the NCAA cross country national championships today.
Fans from across the nation descended upon Terre Haute’s LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course for the intercollegiate championship races.
Three-time defending champion Edward Cheserek from Oregon was a heavy favorite to make history as the first athlete to win four NCAA championships. But Patrick Tiernan from Villanova denied him that history. Tiernan, who had lost to Cheserek several times in the past, surged ahead in the latter half of the 10,000-meter race to claim the title. Cheserek faded to a third place finish.
In the women’s race, there were more late-run dramatics. Michigan’s Erin Finn held the lead in the closing 200 meters of the 6,000-meter race, but Missouri’s Karissa Schweizer rallied past the Wolverine just ahead of the finish line.
Meanwhile, the Oregon women edged Michigan by a single point to claim the team title. It was the closest finish in the history of the women’s cross country championship.
Perhaps the only thing that went as expected was top-ranked Northern Arizona’s men’s team claiming the team crown.