The men’s and women’s cross country team competed in the NCAA Midwest Regional Championships on Friday afternoon. The men’s team took home second, which earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships, while the women’s team finished sixth.
Luke Traynor took the individual title with a time of 30:18.5 — the fourth time in five years that a Tulsa runner has taken the individual men’s title, joining Marc Scott and Chris O’Hare — beating Oklahoma State’s Joshua Thompson by three tenths of a second. Three of the other four runners placed in the top-12 earning all-region honors. Ben Priesner (30:35.0), Henry Pearce (30:35.9) and Adam Roderique (30:37.0) finished 10th-12th respectively. Sophomore Jay Ort, who was the final scorer for the Golden Hurricane, finished 57th with a time of 31:25.1.
The Golden Hurricane finished with 89 points, behind only Oklahoma State who finished with 64 points.
Head Coach Steve Gulley spoke about the strength at the top of the roster.
“We really put four up at the front, and we were solid at the top. We probably needed to be a little bit better in the five-hole, but they did a good job and got the job done. They put themselves in good position, I think they ran a very smart race, and I’m very proud of them. [Traynor winning] was awesome. I’m very proud of him. That was one of his goals, and he thought he had a chance to do it.”
The men’s team will compete in their sixth-straight, and seventh overall NCAA Championship next week.
The women’s team was led by Clara Langley, who finished 16th with a time of 20:41.4 (the women’s race is a 6K, not a 10K like the men’s race). Fellow senior Stacie Taylor (20:48.5) joined Langley in the top-25 and they both earned all-region honors. The other scorers for the Golden Hurricane were: Olivia Lopez (21:12.3), Adrena Mazzei (21:19.4) and Nicole Lee (21:29.8).
“I think the women’s team had a good race. There were four good teams that I think had an exceptionally good race,” Gulley said.
“I think they ran really, really well, but we’re just in a very competitive region, and that’s the downside.”
With a sixth-place finish, the women’s team did not earn the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.