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Men stand on a stage in white shirts and black shorts hoisting a trophy.
The Oklahoma State University men's cross country team won its fifth NCAA championship on Saturday.

Cowboy cross country wins fifth NCAA title, OSU's 53rd overall

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Media Contact: Gavin Lang | Associate Athletic Director of Communications | 405-744-7714 |

Oklahoma State men's and women's cross country compiled a historic feat with the Cowboys claiming their first national title since 2012 and fifth overall and the Cowgirls claiming their second-straight podium finish at the Panorama Farms Cross Country Course in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. 

The Cowboys now have five national championships in program history, with four coming under Director of Track & Field and Cross Country Dave Smith. The Cowboys put all five scorers in the top 15 for 49 points overall, besting defending champions Northern Arizona by 22 points. Their total score is the lowest winning score since 2005 (Wisconsin, 37). It also serves as the third-lowest point total on the men's side since 2000 and the 14th lowest since 1938, as well as being a program-best mark by 23 points. 

"I'm really, really proud of the way this program and the way they are," Smith said. "A lot of things went right, and a lot of hard work was done by these guys. Just belief in themselves, staying calm and staying poised as the season went on and we're seeing great results." 

Denis KipngetichBrian Musau and Fouad Messaoudi were the first three Cowboys across the line with all three placing in the top 10. Kipngetich scored first for the Cowboys with his fourth-place finish in the 10K at 28:59.7. Kipngetich concluded his historic freshman season as an All-American with his time also serving as the fourth fastest in program history. He beat his previous best 10K best by 40 seconds to etch his name onto OSU's leaderboard. 

Musau finished as the second Cowboy across the line at 29:11.0 as the eighth overall finisher. The Big 12 champion's time is also among the best in OSU history in the 10K, where he lands at seventh in program history. Like Kipngetich, Musau beat his previous 10K best by nearly 40 seconds. 

Messaoudi adds a cross country team title to his two individual indoor national titles. He's a cross country All-American for the second time in his career with his 10th-place finish. His 29:13.3 finish is just three seconds off his career best finish, which he accomplished in last year's national championships. With his finish Saturday, Messaoudi is now a five-time All-American. 

Victor Shitsama and Alex Maier rounded out the scoring for the Cowboys with their 12th-and 15th-place finishes, respectively. For Shitsama, his 29:16.1 finish is a career-best and allowed for him to become a four-time cross country All-American, with Maier collecting his third career honor on the grass. Shitsama bested his previous-best finish in the event by 14 places and was the key behind the Cowboys' dominating victory.  

"It vindicates everything," Maier said. "When I came in as a freshman, we didn't even make it to nationals. To see this team grow and see all my brothers work every day and sacrifice blood, sweat and tears to get to this point vindicates everything." 

The Cowgirls kicked things off earlier in the day with the 6K race and earned a spot on the podium with a third-place team finish, the best placement for the Cowgirls in school history. OSU built off the finish from last year's fourth-place finish and saw Billah Jepkirui, Molly Born and Taylor Roe become All-Americans in the process. The 156 points scored by the Cowgirls is a school record by almost 50 points and it's OSU's third top-five finish at the national meet in school history, and the second time when led by Smith. 

"If you told me that we were going to lose four of our top six from last year and be better this year and Taylor Roe wouldn't have the best day, I would've said you're crazy," Smith said. 

Jepkirui highlighted the day on the women's side by earning a seventh-place finish with a school-record 19:27.5 finish. It's Jepkirui's first All-American nod in cross country and the third time in her brief career in the orange and black. Her finish set a program record with the fastest time at a national championship, breaking teammate Roe's record of 19:33.5 at the 2021 race in Tallahassee, Florida. 

Following behind her, Born secured her second cross country All-American status with her 21st-place finish at 19:53.8. It was her third time competing in an NCAA championship for cross country and posted her second-best time in a 6K race.  

Roe was the third Cowgirl to cross the finish line with a 20:04.7 finish. In her fourth national championship, she finished 34th with a time of 20:04.7 and is an All-American for the fourth time on the grass. 

"Taylor fought and hung in there even when things got tough," Smith said. "It would've been very easy to crater at that point, but she kept fighting." 

Gabija Galvydyte finished 48th with a personal best 20:12.5 finish. Cayden Dawson rounded out the scoring with a time of 20:41.0 and a 100th-place finish. 

For final times and more information on the Cowboys and Cowgirls, check the Cowboys' and Cowgirls' websites.  

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