Charles Hicks wins NCAA cross-country gold

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Briton wins big American collegiate race ahead of Nico Young as Katelyn Tuohy beats Parker Valby to the women’s title in Oklahoma

NCAA Championships, Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA, November 19

Charles Hicks became the fourth British man to win America’s premier cross-country race and the first for over 30 years. Representing Stanford University, the 21-year-old won an exciting race on a tough circuit, smashing the course record in the process.

Nick Rose, later a world cross-country bronze medallist, won it in 1974 during a golden era in the 1970s that also saw victories from Americans Steve Prefontaine and Craig Virgin and Kenya’s Henry Rono.

The other British male winners include Mark Scrutton, who won in 1982, plus John Nuttall in 1989, whereas Brits to win the women’s title include Kate Avery and Kathy Butler.

Hicks, the European under-23 champion 12 months ago in Dublin, had only been third in the NCAA regional race but by 2km he was clear with only the Northern Arizona pairing Nico Young and Drew Bosley for company.

NCAA leaders (David Hicks)

Last year he finished 14th in the delayed previous season race held in March and then finished a competitive fourth last November before his excellent European victory.

Early in 2022 he looked in great form and his 27:40.16 smashed Dave Bedford’s UK under-23 10,000m record but he could only finish a close sixth in the NCAA final having been seventh in 2021.

Here in Stillwater he was willing to bide his time but he was up against Young and the American who ran 13:11.30 last summer for 5000m while still a teenager and came third in both the NCAA indoor and outdoor 5000m finals last summer, may have had the faster speed on paper but it was the US-based Briton who had the strongest kick.

In winning Hicks became the first ever Stanford champion and previous students have included the likes of Ryan Hall and current US 5000m and 10,000m record-holder Grant Fisher.

Only 21, he still has two more years of eligibility left.

“I didn’t know I was the first winner until the announcer said,” Hicks said. “Given our history, I would have assumed someone had done it. That’s incredible.”

Hicks had finished his track season early and focussed on 100-mile plus training weeks which meant a few disappointments in early season races.

“I just had to stay with the belief that when we started coming down my legs were going to feel fresher and when I ran the Pac-12s last month my legs felt lighter and weren’t burning as much and that’s good training.

“In the race the NAU guys did 99 per cent of the work and I sat in and conserved energy.”

He stretched out on the hills with just a kilometre to go which Young covered and then the American kicked 200m out but the Britain responded for an official winning margin of 0.9 of a second.

“It was exactly the race I hoped for,” he said. “I prefer to run strong and aggressive and keep a high intensity and Young and Bosley allowed me to run the race I love finding out who has more fitness and who wants it more.”

Charles Hicks and Nico Young (David Hicks)

It was even closer in the team competition.

Both Northern Arizona and BYU scored 83 points. Had it been under British rules, then BYU would have won it as their final scorer was 30th to Northern Arizona’s 39th but here it is done on comparison of scorers and Northern Arizona were ahead on two of the five.

At 4km Hicks’ Stanford were ahead with six in 39 and 85 points to Northern Arizona’s 99 and BYU’s 114 but they faded badly over the second half and their final; three scorers drifted back to 48th, 67th and 69th.

The women’s race saw Parker Valby hold a 12-second lead at 4km of the 6km race but Katelyn  Tuohy had halved the gap by 5km and flew past in the finishing straight to win by three seconds.

With her team-mate Kelsey Chmiel third (and second in scoring as Valby was competing as an individual) Tuohy also won a team title for NC State.

Yasmin Marghini was the leading Briton in 35th.

A reminder of how Katelyn Tuohy of @Wolfpack_TFXC won the women’s individual NCAA cross country championship title 💥#NCAAXCpic.twitter.com/x8AV9AvUjH

— AW (@AthleticsWeekly) November 19, 2022

Men:

1 Charles Hicks Stanford 28:43.6

2 Nico Young Northern Arizona 28:44.5

3 Drew Bosley Northern Arizona 28:55.9

4 Dylan Jacobs Tennessee 28:58.0

5 Alex Maier Oklahoma State 28:58.2

6 Graham Blanks Harvard 28:58.4

7 Casey Clinger BYU 28:58.7

8 Isai Rodriguez Oklahoma State 28:59.9

9 Parker Wolfe North Carolina 29:00.4

10 Ky Robinson Stanford 29:07.4

Other GB:

32 RORY LEONARD 29:30

44 ISAAC AKERS 29:41

54 CHARLES WHEELER 29:50

79 JACK MEIJER 30:03

94 JAMES GORMLEY 30:11

114 CONNOR NISBET 30:22

149 GEORGE WHEELER 30:37

152 JOE EWING 30:38

157 LACHLAN WELLINGTON 30:40

187 THOMAS CHASTON 30:55

197 JONATHAN SHIELDS 31:01

TEAM:

1 Northern Arizona 83 (2 3 18 24 36)

2 Oklahoma State 83 (5 8 11 29 30)

3 BYU 132 (7 20 28 33 44)

4 Stanford 195 (1 10 48 67 69)

Women:

1 Katelyn Tuohy NC State 19:27.7

2 Parker Valby Florida 19:30.9

3 Kelsey Chmiel NC State 19:37.1

4 Elise Stearns Northern Arizona 19:43.9

5 Bailey Hertenstein Colorado 19:45.1

6 Hilda Olemomoi Alabama 19:45.6

7 Natalie Cook Oklahoma State 19:46.3

8 Olivia Markezich Notre Dame 19:46.4

9 Amaris Tyynismaa Alabama 19:48.2

10 Addie Enge Ohio State 19:50.4

GB:

35 YASMIN MARGHINI 20:13

40 ELISE THORNER 20:14

69 SHANNON FLOCKHART 20:25

91 STEPHANIE MOSS 20:34

162 EMILY CHASTON 21:02

191 PHOEBE ANDERSON 21:17

216 KATY-ANN MCDONALD 21:33

Cross de Italica, Seville, Spain, November 20

Burundi’s Thierry Ndikumwenayo, who recently gained Spanish citizenship, maintained his good form to win the senior men’s 10km with Rodrigue Kwizera of Burundi given the same time in second with Kenya’s Levy Kibet third.

European 10,000m champion Yasemin Can of Turkey won the women’s race from Uganda’s Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion Peruth Chemutai with Kenya’s Purity Chepkirui a distant third.

Men: 10km:

1 Thierry Ndikumwenayo BUR 28:51

2 Rodrigue Kwizera BUR 28:51

3 Levy Kibet KEN 28:57

6 Mohamed Katir 29:17

Women: 10km:

1 Yasemin Can TUR 32:31

2 Peruth Chemutai UGA 32:34

3 Purity Chepkirui KEN 33:47

4 Caroline Garcia 33:57

Seven Hills Run, Nijmegen, Netherlands, November 20

Eilish McColgan finished fourth in a top-class race won by world 3000m steeplechase record-holder Beatrice Chepkoech in 47:18 just ahead of Evaline Chirchir.

Uganda’s Stella Chesang was third ahead of McColgan (UK record of 47:40) who led the European challenge ahead of Germany’s Hanna Klein (47:45) and home athlete Diane van Es.

The fastest British performance over 15km is 46:41 by Paula Radcliffe from the Great North Run, but with the Tyneside course being not being record eligible the official British record was 47:43 set by Eilish’s mother Liz.

Uganda’s Rogers Kibet won the men’s race in 42:08 well ahead of Ethiopia’s Nibret Melak (42:43) and Uganda’s Abel Sikowo (42:58). Simon Debognies from Belgium was the first European in fourth. In his first race since winning the European marathon title, Germany’s Richard Ringer was ninth while former European champion Koen Naert was 11th.

Former Dutch and Chelsea footballer Arjen Robben clocked a respectable 55:01.

Men: 15km:

1 Rogers Kibet UGA 42:08

2 Nibret Melak ETH 42:43

3 Abel Sikowo UGA 42:58

4 Simon Debognies BEL 42:59.

9 Richard Ringer GER 43:24

11 Koen Naert BEL 43:36

Women: 15km:

1 Beatrice Chepkoech KEN 47:18

2 Evaline Chirchir KEN 47:20

3 Stella Chesang UGA 47:37

4 Eilish McColgan GBR 47:40

5 Hanna Klein GER 47:45

6 Diane van Es 47:56

Atapuerca, Spain, November 13

Men XC:

1 Thierry Ndikumwenayo BDI 27:58

2 Levy Kibet KEN 27:59

3 Rodrigue Kwizéra BDI 28:02

4 Merhawi Mebrahtu ERI 28:09

5 Abdessamad Oukhelfen 28:30

6 Peter Maru UGA 28:34

7 Thomas Ayeko UGA 28:40

8 Nassim Hassaous 28:58

9 Dismas Yeko UGA 29:07

10 Addisu Yehune ETH 29:09

11 Carlos Mayo 29:10

12 Andreu Blanes 29:10

13 Roberto Alaiz 29:12

14 Sergio Paniagua 29:16

15 Adel Mechaal 29:21

16 Sergio Jiménez 29:25

17 Daniel Arce 29:26

18 Abderrahmane Afendi MAR 29:26

19 Santiago Catrofe URU 29:27

20 Juan Pérez 29:32

26 Ben Connor GBR 29:48

Women: XC:

1 Beatrice Chebet KEN 25:39

2 Purity Chepkirui KEN 25:52

3 Lucy Muli KEN 25:52

4 Selamawit Teferi ISR 25:52

5 Zerfe Wondemagegn ETH 26:10

6 Nadia Battocletti ITA 26:17

7 Meselu Berhe ETH 26:18

8 Yasemin Can TUR 26:28

9 Naima Ait Alibou 26:34

10 Isabel Barreiro 26:34

11 Agueda Muńoz 26:36

12 Irene Sánchez-Escribano 26:38

13 Marta García 26:39

14 Carolina Robles 26:40

15 Megan Keith GBR 27:01

21 Jenny Nesbitt GBR 27:18

22 Sarah Astin GBR 27:20

41 Almi Nerurkar GBR 28:30

43 Angharad Davies GBR 28:33

NCAA Regional, University Place WA, USA, November 11

Charles Hicks finished third but the two athletes ahead of him Ireland’s Brian Fay and German Davor Aaron Bienenfeld could only finish 13th and 14th a week later in the NCAA final race almost half a minute behind Hicks.

Men:

1 Brian Fay IRL 28:18

2 Davor Aaron Bienenfeld GER 28:20

3 Charles Hicks GBR 28:23

4 Wil Smith 28:26

5 Ky Robinson AUS 28:27

6 Meikael Beaudoin Rousseau 28:27

7 Yacine Guermali 28:29

8 Devin Hart 28:29

9 Luke Houser 28:38

10 Jonathan Shields GBR 28:42

Women: XC:

1 Kaylee Mitchell 19:20

2 Laura Pellicoro ITA 19:22

3 Zofia Dudek POL 19:26

4 Izzy Thornton-Bott 19:27

5 Yasna Petrova BUL 19:28

6 Ruby Smee AUS 19:29

7 Brianna Weidler 19:29

8 Grace Fetherstonhaugh CAN 19:30

9 Sophie O’Sullivan IRL 19:35

10 Yasmin Marghini GBR 19:35

» For more recent results, CLICK HERE

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