Back-to-back national crowns for NAU cross country

Lumberjacks’ Matthew Baxter, Tyler Day finish in top 3 individually

NAU juniors Matthew Baxter (left) (29:00.8) and Tyler Day (29:04.6) finished second and third respectively. Justyn Knight from Syracuse won with a time of 29:00.1. Photos courtesy of NAU

NAU juniors Matthew Baxter (left) (29:00.8) and Tyler Day (29:04.6) finished second and third respectively. Justyn Knight from Syracuse won with a time of 29:00.1. Photos courtesy of NAU

After winning their first Division I championship in 2016, Northern Arizona didn’t have to wait long to get another one.

Saturday morning, the NAU men’s cross country team repeated as national champions, winning the NCAA title at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville.

NAU breezed to the title with 74 points, well ahead of second place Portland, who had 127.

In the 80-year history of NCAA Division I cross country championships, only 17 have won multiple national titles. The last back-to-back titles was Colorado in 2014.

It is NAU’s 26th appearance at the NCAAs.

NAU senior Matthew Baxter (29:00.8) and NAU junior Tyler Day (29:04.6) finished second and third respectively. Justyn Knight from Syracuse won with a time of 29:00.1.

NAU junior Peter Lomong took eighth with a time of 29:33.1. Lomong didn’t compete last year.

Other top 100 finishers for the Lumberjacks were senior Andy Trouard who was 35th, sophomore Geordie Beamish was 40th and freshmen Luis Grijalva was 60th.

On the women’s side, New Mexico won the title with 90 points, edging San Francisco by 15.

Senior Claire Green (20:02.9) led the way for Arizona, finishing 24th and earning All-American status.

Senior Paige Gilchrist was the top NAU finisher (20:34.8) taking 81st.

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