Women cap historic season with third place finish, men finish 27th at cross country NCAA Championships


Courtesy of UA Athletics

The Alabama women’s cross country team poses with its hardware at the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19 at the Greiner Family Oklahoma State University Cross Country Course in Stillwater, Okla.

Blake Byler, Assistant Sports Editor

Alabama women’s cross country’s best season in over 30 years finished with a historic achievement. 

On Saturday in Stillwater, Oklahoma, the Crimson Tide placed third in the NCAA Championships — the best finish in school history — adding to an already historic season that saw Alabama win the SEC and an NCAA Regional for the first time since the late 1980s. 

“Our women finished off an amazing season with the best national championship finish in program history,” Alabama head coach Dan Waters said. “We’re super proud of the job they’ve done all season and the way they’ve represented this University. We didn’t have the finish we were capable of on the men’s side, but overall, it was a great season for us and we’re looking forward to keeping things rolling on the track.” 

Alabama placed four runners in the top 16 at The Greiner Family Oklahoma State University Cross Country Course. Freshman Hilda Olemomoi, a native of Kenya, paced the Crimson Tide with a sixth-place finish and a final time of 19:45.6. Junior Amaris Tyynismaa finished ninth for Alabama’s second top-10 finisher, while junior Flomena Asekol and senior Mercy Chelangat finished 14th and 16th respectively, both with sub-20-minute times. 

Alabama’s men’s cross country team notched a top-30 finish in Stillwater, coming in at 27th. Sophomore Victor Kiprop, the 2022 SEC Cross Country Runner of the Year, placed 66th overall as Alabama’s top finisher. Junior Eliud Kipsang was the Crimson Tide’s only other top-100 finisher at 98th. 

The top four at the NCAA Championships are considered podium results and receive a trophy to take back home with them. Alabama’s previous best finish was sixth in 1986, so the 2022 rendition of the Alabama women’s cross country team is the first to take home national hardware in program history. 

“They were in it from the start and battled their way to our first podium result, which means we’re bring NCAA hardware back to Tuscaloosa,” Waters said. 

Questions or comments? Email Austin Hannon (Sports Editor) at [email protected]