TU’s 10th consecutive AAC title

Sports editor Jaralynn Tammi Morellano discusses cross country.
The University of Tulsa’s men’s cross country team had a first-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships, earning its 10th consecutive AAC title. The team finished with 38 points, and the second-place team, Charlotte, was close behind with 44 points. Five of the seven TU runners finished in the top 10 out of the entire competition.
Charlie Krasnoff finished fourth overall with an 8k time of 23:00.6 and took home the Freshman of the Year award. In addition to that, he earned All-Conference honors along with Malte Propp, Chris McLeod, Johnny Livingston and Christian Baker. Propp (23:07.6) finished seventh, McLeod (23:09.6) took eighth, Livingston in ninth (23:12.2) and Baker (23:13.8) took 10th.
With the loss of one of its key runners, Shay McEvoy, during the first week of the season, head coach Taylor Gulley was proud of the team for keeping their head high and putting forth a tremendous effort to finish off the season.
“That was a critical point because the guys could’ve dropped their heads and lost focus and lost trust. Instead, they doubled down and have worked extremely hard and done everything we’ve asked,” said Gulley. “Going into this week, our number one goal was to put together our most complete race of the season, and these guys did it.”
Overall, all of the TU male runners finished within the top 25 in the men’s 8k with Sean Korsmo (23:47.6) in 23rd and Luke Birdseye (23:47.6) who finished 24th. Gulley is excited for how this effort will give them another shot to get back to nationals.
TU’s women’s cross country team finished fourth overall in the women’s 6k with a total of 108 points, trailing behind SMU with 76. Overall, TU had two runners in the women’s division finishing in the top 25. TU’s redshirt sophomore Robyn Kowalski finished 14th overall with a time of 21:27.6, earning All-Conference honors. Last year’s individual champion of the AAC, Chloe Hershenow, clocked in with a time of 21:31.0 which put her at a 16th-place finish.
The remaining runners included Alicen Ashley (21:51.8) in 26th, McKenna Terrell (21:52.3) in 28th, Avery Hill (22:31.9) in 48th and Amy Morefield (23:25.9) in 80th.
“We’ve been struggling all fall and can’t put our finger on it. We’ve had illnesses, we’ve had injuries and we’ve had medical issues. It’s just been a very tough fall,” said Gulley. Though he thought the women ran well, it could not be helped that the other teams just performed better.
The Golden Hurricane will now prepare for both teams to represent TU at the Midwest Regionals in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The men’s team, last year’s champions, will attempt to defend its title that the team narrowly secured in a tiebreaker against OSU. The Cowboys, who have just won their fourth consecutive cross-country title in the Big 12, will look to push the Golden Hurricane off its pedestal.