TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — University of Iowa senior cross country star Diane Nukuri repeated as an All-American on Monday, starting at a hard, fast pace and finishing fourth overall with a 6,000-meter time of 20-minutes, 7-seconds at the NCAA Division I National Championship on the Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course.
Teammate Meghan Armstrong, another senior, finished 16th overall in 20:37 to reach All-American status for the first time. It was also a banner day for the Hawkeyes, who placed 10th overall with 387 points.
“Certainly as a group we’re thrilled with the outcome,” UI Head Coach Layne Anderson said. “It was a great day. It worked out about as well as we could have hope for. To beat teams like Michigan, Colorado and BYU is a great accomplishment for our program.”
There were 255 competitors and Iowa was one of 31 teams. Texas Tech junior Sally Kipyego repeated as national champion in 19:30.9.
About 12 minutes into the race it was obvious that Kipyego was going to defend her individual title, but Nukuri, Jenny Barringer of Colorado and Susan Kuijken of Florida State were all battling for second. Barringer opened a five-yard lead about 14:30 into the race, but Nukuri made chase. The beautifully maintained, yet tough course took its toll on Nukuri with about 500 meters remaining as she faded to fourth.
Three teams from the Big Ten Conference finished in the top 10. Michigan State was fifth (321 points) and Illinois was sixth (331).
Last season Nukuri placed seventh with a time of 21:06 and the Hawkeyes placed 17th as a team with 409 points.
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