TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The cold and rain didn’t seem to bother Cooper Teare.
In the best performance by an Oregon runner since Edward Cheserek was still suiting up for the Ducks, Teare finished in sixth place Saturday during the men’s NCAA cross country championship.
Teare ran the 10,000-meter LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in 30 minutes, 49.2 seconds to pace the Ducks' ninth-place team finish, putting Oregon back in the top-10 for the sixth time in the last seven years, a streak disrupted only by last season’s 15th-place finish.
"Coming down the home straight, I had a huge smile on my face, I was ecstatic," Teare said. "I don’t know how but it felt good out there today."
The Ducks’ 307 points left them almost 100 points out of podium contention.
Northern Arizona’s streak of three straight team titles was snapped by BYU, which scored 109 for the win. The Lumberjacks were second at 163, followed by Pac-12 champion Colorado (164) and then Iowa State (211), which was led by individual winner Edwin Kurgat in 30:32.7.
Teare ran with the leaders the entire race as the junior became the first Duck to finish in the top 10 since Cheserek finished third in 2016. It was also by far the best finish for Teare at the NCAA meet in his career. He was 94th last season and 44th as a freshman in 2017.
“Honestly, right now I’d say this was the race of my life," Teare said. "My plan today was to get out hard, and that’s what I did. I wanted to get out to the first turn — that really muddy first turn — out of trouble, and at that point, I was in the mix. It was about staying in contact with that front group, and navigating the mud and finding the right footing to make sure you’re out of trouble.”
Finishing second for the Ducks was freshman Cole Hocker, an Indiana native who placed 69th in 31:40 in his return home. Junior Jackson Mestler ran 31:41.7 to finish 73rd, the same place he was last season. Senior James West had a career-best 74th-place finish in 31:43.4 and junior Carter Christman rounded out the scoring as he came in 140th in 32:16.4.
Also for Oregon, sophomore Charlie Hunter was 143rd and junior Jack Yearian was 175th.
The Oregon women struggled to a 26th-place finish on the 6,000-meter course, scoring 618 points in what was their worst showing at the national championship meet since 2000 when they finished 28th with 619 points.
The Ducks, who were racing in their 13th straight NCAA meet, also didn’t finish in the top six for the first time in five years.
Sophomore Taylor Chiotti, in her NCAA championship meet debut, led the way with a 79th-place finish in 21:07.
“I didn’t run last year so I had never really been in a race like that," Chiotti said. "There were so many girls and so many people cheering which made it a really exciting atmosphere. It was really tough out there with the rain and the ground being pretty soft. We hadn’t run on a course like that this year so I think a lot of us were tested today.”
Seniors Amanda Gehrich (21:29.4) and Isabelle Brauer (21:29.6) finished 135th and 136th, respectively.
Senior Susan Ejore, Oregon’s No. 1 runner all season, faded to 213th in 22:10.7, and junior transfer Aneta Konieczek was 215th in 22:12.7.
Sophomores Caramia Mestler (225th) and Moira O’Shea (245th) ran but didn’t score for the Ducks.
New Mexico’s Weini Kelati won with a time of 19:47.5. Arkansas won its first women’s cross country title with 96 points and was joined on the podium by BYU (102), Pac-12 champion Stanford (123) and the Lobos (168).