👟 Gibbens and Latema Finish in Top 100 at 2023 NCAA Cross Country Championship
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Seniors Chandler Gibbens and Lona Latema both placed in the Top 100 in their respective races at the 2023 NCAA Cross Country Championships in Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday morning at Panorama Farms.
The day started with the women’s 6K championship race which began at 9:20 a.m. CT. In a field of 247, Latema placed 62nd as she raced to a time of 20:24.0, a new personal best as opposed to her previous 20:31.2. Latema also improved her finish by 39 spots compared to the last time she competed on the national level. At the 2021 NCAA Cross Country Championships, Latema placed 101st.
"Lona did a grat job today of learning from her previous NCAA experience and moving through the field well. Both races got out really fast and she worked through it well. Lona finished off her cross country career with a lifetime best mark."Assistant Coach Michael Whittlesey
Parker Valby of Florida won the Women’s 6K Championship with a new NCAA record time of 18:55.2. Rounding out the podium was Doris Lemngole of Alabama and Olivia Markezich of Notre Dame. NC State captured its third-consecutive team title with 123 total points.
Later in the morning, two-time Big 12 Runner of the Week Gibbens raced in the men’s 10K championship race which started at 10:10 a.m. In his first-career NCAA Cross Country Championships, USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week recipient Gibbens placed 77th in a field of 237 with a time of 30:21.7.
"Chandler had a tougher time getting out in the early part of the race and then pushed too early to make it up and payed a little for that move. He had a very good season. Although he didn't have the race he wanted today, he knows how good he is and is looking forward to the track season. WE are very proud of both of their season and their cross country careers."Assistant Coach Michael Whittlesey
Graham Blanks from Harvard won the Men’s 10K Championship, followed by Habtom Samuel of New Mexico and Ky Robinson of Stanford. The Oklahoma State Cowboys were the men’s team champions, winning their first team-title since 2012 with a total of 49 points.