Women of Oregon Secure NCAA Bid
UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. – The 10th-ranked Oregon women's cross country team secured its national qualifier Friday morning with a second-place finish at the NCAA West Region Championships. The Men of Oregon got an individual runner-up effort from Aaron Bienenfeld and were fourth in the team race, and now await their national fate when at-large bids are revealed later this weekend.
The 2022 Division I Cross Country Championships are set for Saturday, Nov. 19, in Stillwater, Okla., and will air on ESPNU beginning at 7 a.m. (PT). The entire field for the national meet will be announced on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Women of Oregon will be making their 33rd appearance at the NCAA Championships. The Ducks were led Friday by Izzy Thornton-Bott who crossed the line in 19:26.6 and finished fourth overall to match her finish at the Pac-12 meet two weeks ago. She has been the top UO runner in each of the team's last three races dating back to the Nuttycombe Invitational.
Eugene native Maddy Elmore (19:37.7) was the next Duck across the finish line, placing 12th overall in her regional debut. The Ducks picked up two more all-region nods in Malia Pivec and Harper McClain with their respective 23rd- and 24th-place finishes; both also finished in Oregon' top five at last year's regional meet.
Melissa Berry, another Eugene native, rounded out the Ducks' top five Friday. She was 33rd overall among the pack and finished inside the UO top five for the first time since the season opener
2. Women of Oregon – 96
4. Izzy Thornton-Bott – 19:26.6
12. Maddy Elmore – 19:37.7
23. Malia Pivec – 19:51.0
24. Harper McClain – 19:53.7
33. Melissa Berry – 19:59.7
52. Nicole Louw – 20:20.0
61. Klaudia Kazimierska – 20:26.7
Bienenfeld continued his strong postseason with a second runner-up performance in as many races. He was also second at the Pac-12 Championships two weeks ago. Bienenfeld improved on his fourth-place finish from last season, and with Friday's result, posts the highest UO individual finish at regionals since 2016 when Edward Cheserek won his third meet title.
The Men of Oregon also got all-region efforts from Abdinasir Hussein and Quincy Norman in 16th and 20th place, respectively. Hussein, in his regional debut, navigated the 10K course in 28:50 while Norman crossed in 28:54.9 for a 15-spot improvement on his finish from last season's meet.
In the team race where places four through six were separated by just five points—Oregon 141, CBU 145, Boise State 146—Alex Slenning and Josh Edwards picked up important spots for the UO men with their 50th- and 55th-place outings to round out the top five. Friday marked season-high finishes within the lineup for both runners.
4. Men of Oregon – 141
2. Aaron Bienenfeld – 28:19.5
16. Abdinasir Hussein – 28:50.0
20. Quincy Norman – 28:54.9
50. Alex Slenning – 29:32.9
55. Josh Edwards – 29:38.7
69. Giuliano Scasso – 29:57.9
77. Cameron Stein – 30:05.1
Stanford swept the team titles at the NCAA West Region Championships with Kaylee Mitchell of Oregon State and Brian Fay of Washington taking the individual crowns.
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