Oklahoma State's men and women cross country teams both received the ultimate prize at the 2021 Big 12 Cross Country Championships on Friday morning.
This marks the second straight title win for the men's team and the first since 2019 for the women.
Runner Isai Rodriguez managed to keep his prominence and streak of finishing second alive. Rodriguez, Alex Maier and Ryan Smeeton all finished in the top 5 helping the Cowboys secure the title. For the Cowgirls, Taylor Roe, Molly Born, Kelsey Ramirez and Gabby Hentemann finished in the top 10 which ultimately gave the Cowgirls a one point victory.
“I just try to make sure that I do everything that I can to put myself in the best position to win.” Rodriguez said. “I do feel like I had some hiccups and I was inconsistent with my training but you just gotta take it for what it is and keep it going, and ultimately on race day make it happen. I feel like I still have a lot to improve on and learn so this will be used as a learning experience."
Roe ran a 20:48.8 finishing with the team's best time. She had a big role in the team's victory. However, Roe acknowledges how this was all in all a team effort.
“The close victory makes it a little more exciting. It shows that our team battled through and came in when it mattered," Roe said.
OSU had 11 runners from the men and women teams combined place in the top 15, allowing for just short of a dozen stand at the podium come award time. OSU will hope to keep the momentum up for the upcoming regionals.
Dave Smith, director of OSU Track & Field and Cross Country is proud of his team and the amount of depth they showed.
“We were without our typical number five today in Stephanie Moss, she’ll be back for regionals,” Smith said. So that put us in a position but Sivan Auerbach was running really well, until about 600 meters to go. Luckily, Clarissa Morales rallied and ended up saving the day by just holding and just doing enough to get us the win.”
OSU will be traveling to Coralville, Iowa to take on the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships,