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Cross Country Closes Stellar Season with Top-20 Finish at NCAA Championships

Nov 20, 2021

TALLAHASSEE – The 14th-ranked Utah cross country team closed out its stellar season at the NCAA Cross Country Championships late Saturday afternoon, finishing in 20th-place at Tallahassee Regional Park – which tied with the 2016 squad for the second-best finish in program history.
 
"We went for it and while it didn't turn out the way we wanted I'm still incredibly proud of this team and everything they accomplished this season," said head coach Kyle Kepler. "Four of our five scoring runners ran faster than they ran here in October. On a tough day we still finished as a top 20 team in the country. That speaks to the depth and talent of this group of women. They have so much to be proud of." 
 
Senior Bella Williams paced the Utes at the national meet, finishing in 51st-overall with a mark of 20:07.9 for her best finish at the NCAA Championships. Cara Woolnough wasn't too far behind Williams after posting a new 6k PR at 20:25.3 for 86th – which is also her best finish in the championships race.
 
Ariel Keklak was the third Ute to cross, moving up 41 spots in the final 1k to check in at 20:37.0 to place 118th in her second NCAA Championships race – first at the Division I level. Keelah Barger followed after Keklak, finishing at 20:52.5 (162nd) while Lisha van Onselen rounded out Utah's scoring runners with a time of 20:59.9 (182nd).

2021 NCAA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS (20th-Place)

Finish Student-Athlete Time
51st Bella Williams 20:07.9
86th Cara Woolnough 20:25.3 (PR)
118th Ariel Keklak 20:37.0
162nd Keelah Barger 20:52.5
182nd Lisha van Onselen 20:59.9

 
For the latest news and information on the Utah cross country and track & field programs, fans can stay connected online at www.UtahUtes.com and on social media by following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
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