Ole Miss Cross Country’s run ends with a top-25 finish in the National Championships

Posted on Nov 18 2018 - 8:33pm by Chance Robertson

The Ole Miss Cross-Country Men’s and Women’s teams both finished in the top-25 at the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Madison, WI. The men’s team placed 17th with a point total of 431, marking three consecutive years with a top 20 finish, while the women’s team had 509 points and finished 22nd, the program’s best finish.

The men’s team was led by sophomore Waleed Suliman who received All-American honors by finishing 36th with a time of 29:57. Senior Mark Robertson had the best finish of his career at 91 st followed by Cade Bethmann who finished 93rd .

Farah Abdulkarim ranks among the top 20 runners nationally at the Battle in Beantown event in Boston last week. Photo courtesy: Tom Connelly

Rounding out the scoring five for the Rebels were freshman Mario Garcia Romo and junior Farah Abdulkarim who placed 154th and 159th, respectively. The times for the scoring five were sub 31:15 with Robertson and Bethmann both finishing at 30:33 being separated by four-tenths of a second.

This is the second-best finish for the men’s team with the best finish for the program happening in 2016 when the team finished fourth. Suliman’s All-American achievement makes it three straight years of the mean having an All-American runner at the NCAA’s Championships.

“The men had a decent day,” head coach Ryan Vanhoy said. “We were a few individual performances away from a top-10 to top-12 team finish, but walking away with our second-best finish in school history is nothing to be ashamed of. Waleed ran his best cross country race ever to grab his first All-American honor and Cade and Mark did a great job of working together as planned to finish in the top-100.”

The men’s team has had one the best seasons in the program’s history. The team won the SEC Championships for the first time, won regionals and had their second-best finish in program history, so head coach Ryan Vanhoy and all the runners should be proud of how this season went.

The women’s team was led by sophomore Clio Ozanne-Jaques who came in 65th place with a time of 20:48 in the women’s 6k for the second-highest individual finish of all-time. Ylvi Traxler, Maddie King and Lisa Vogelgesang were the next three finishers for the Rebels. All the scoring runners finished sub 21:30 which propelled the team to its best finish in program history. Prior to this year, the best finish the team had at the NCAA Championships was 23rd in 2016.

“The women really had a solid day, their best collective effort of the season,” Vanhoy said. “Clio did a great job leading the way and putting herself up there early on. Our pack of girls behind her ran exactly how we had planned, together, and moved up well the last half of the race. To have our best finish ever as a team was a great way to cap off the season.”