Lizarribar finishes 77th at NCAA nationals

Brian Thursby

Junior female runner lone KSU representative at championship meet

Junior Alex Lizarribar finished 77th in a 254-runner field at the NCAA cross country national championship meet yesterday. Lizarribar was the Kent State cross country team’s lone representative in Terre Haute, Ind.

Lizarribar joined the Flashes as a walk-on earlier this season and went on to race against for her ninth place finish at regionals two weekends ago. She crossed the finish line in a time of 21 minutes, 9.6 seconds, setting a new personal best.

Lizarribar said the race was difficult, and a cautious start hindered her in the race.

” I think I could have ran harder,” said Lizarribar, who was just the second woman to represent Kent State at nationals. “I was way too conservative. If I could do it over again, I would have not been so conservative. I definitely psyched myself out at the beginning of the race.”

However, Kent State coach Mark Croghan said he was pleased with Lizarribar’s race, especially since it was her first season in cross country and first trip to nationals.

“I thought she ran really well,” Croghan said. “It was tough circumstances, both mentally and physically, being in a race like that. It is hard to do it justice in describing it to someone and preparing them for it.”

Although happy with her placement, Lizarribar said she was not pleased with her race plan, and she expects more from herself next season.

“I am happy with the season as a whole,” she said, “but if I got to do this race over, I wouldn’t have ran so conservatively and been a lot more aggressive.”

Croghan, however, remained proud of Lizarribar.

“I think she was a little disappointed she was not so aggressive in the early going,” Croghan said. “But finishing in the top-100 in this meet is not the easiest thing to do. It was a really good performance and competing against the best girls in the country and getting right there and mixing it up, it’s a great way to end the season and something to build on.”

Illinois senior Angela Bizzarri took the individual championship title in the women’s 6K race, running a time of 19:46.8. Villanova, with four runners placing in the top-25, won the team title.

Contact sports reporter Brian Thursby at [email protected].