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2022 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships

Oct. 28, 2022 | Host: USC
UC Riverside Ag/Ops Course | Riverside, CA

Hicks, Hertenstein lead Stanford, Colorado to Pac-12 Cross Country titles

Oct 28, 2022

PDF RESULTS: Men | Women

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Stanford's Charles Hicks won his second consecutive individual Pac-12 crown to lead the No. 1 Cardinal men to a commanding team victory, while the No. 11 Colorado women defended their Pac-12 title, triumphing in a tiebreaker over Utah behind Bailey Hertenstein's individual championship at the 2022 Pac-12 Cross Country Championships on Friday. 

No. 1 nationally ranked Stanford placed five among the top seven, and six in the top 10, to finish with only 22 points, the third-lowest total in Pac-12 history (Stanford - 19 - 2002; Stanford - 21 - 2000). The Cardinal's fourth title in six years was also its 16th overall, tying Oregon for the most all-time.

Hicks covered 8 kilometers (4.97 miles) in 22:30.9 to crush the course record of 22:58.7 that Southern Utah's Cam Levins set in 2011. He became the 12th man in Conference history to win consecutive individual Pac-12 titles, the first since Grant Fisher in 2017 and 2018 and the third Cardinal, joining Fisher and Grant Robison (2001, 2002).

Hicks was followed by Stanford scorers Cole Sprout in third, Meika Beaudoin-Rousseau in fifth, Ky Robinson in sixth and Thomas Boyden in seventh. The Cardinal's 39-point victory over second-place Colorado (61 points), was the largest gap since the Cardinal's 2003 championship (69 points over Oregon).

Oregon's Aaron Bienenfeld, the Pac-12 Men's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was second for the fourth-place Ducks, the best UO finish since Cooper Teare in 2019 (second), while Andrew Kent led the way in fourth, an improvement on his seventh-place effort last season, for the runner-up Buffs, which had six in the top 20. Washington was third for the third-consecutive season behind Brian Fay's individual eighth-place effort.

A riveting women's race ended with an individual title for Hertenstein after a pass in the final 200 meters and No. 11 Colorado and No. 10 Utah tied with 66 points. The Buffs won based on the NCAA tiebreaker, with four of its top five crossing ahead of Utah's comparable runners. The finish surpassed the tight finish of 2010, when Stanford (62 points) beat Arizona (65 points) by just three points.

Hertenstein and teammate Emily Covert, last season's second-place performer, led the way for CU, trading leads throughout the race. Covert took the lead at the 4K mark with Hertenstein in third as the Buffs trailed only Oregon. In the final stretch, Hertenstein passed Utah's Emily Venters for the win in a new course record of 19:11.3. Covert finished third in 19:23.8 and was followed by Ella Baran, who passed six runners to finish seventh in 19:33.3.

Hertenstein is the third CU woman to win an individual Pac-12 title, joining Abby Nichols from last season and Dani Jones, who was champion in both 2017 and 2018.

Venters, the Pac-12 Women's Cross Country Scholar-Athlete of the Year, led the Utes to a second-place team finish, tying a program record set just last season. Utah shaved 18 points of its 4-kilometer total to tie CU and had another top-10 performer in Simone Plourde (fifth). 

In her meet debut, Izzy Thornton-Bott was fourth overall for the third-place Ducks (86 points), while last-season's 10th-place finisher Zofia Dudek was sixth for Stanford. The Cardinal came in fourth (93 points), just ahead of Washington (94 points) paced by Andrea Markezich in eighth. Markezich had been 23rd in each of her prior two Pac-12 Championships.