Academy of Art cross country runner Hasna Kaarour finishes at the NCAA Division II Nationals in Sacramento. (Rob Garcia / Academy of Art Athletics)

ART U and USF runners earn national (and international) honors

College roundup: SF State basketball wins triple-overtime thriller, ART U and USF notes

ART U Cross Country: Pacific West Conference Runner of the Year and Academy of Art graduate student Hasna Kaarour challenged 260 of the best runners in NCAA Division II on Nov. 23 at NCAA Nationals in Sacramento and walked away 48th overall with a new 6k personal record. Stepping in front of 38 others in the second half of the race, the Strasbourg, France native powered through a dramatic finish to finish in 21:05.0.

ART U Women’s Soccer: For the first time in ART U women’s soccer history, a pair of Urban Knights — senior forward Anissa wilson and junior midfielder Sydney Cook — were named to the Division II CCA All-Region Team after each earned All-PacWest honors a day prior. Wilson, an All-PacWest First-Team selection, scored 13 goals in 2019, becoming the Urban Knights’ career and single-season goals record holder. Cooke, an All-PacWest Third-Team honoree, broke the program’s career assists record with five this season, adding four goals.

San Francisco Cross Country: Aoibhe Richardson and Sophie Soefeldt have been selected by their respective home countries to compete in the 2019 European Cross Country Championships on Dec. 8, in Lisbon, Portugal.

After her first-team All-American performance on Saturday at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships, Richardson was selected to run for Ireland in the main event, the senior women’s race. Soefeldt, who already has experience competing for her native Denmark and ran at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in the U20 class last fall, will again compete in the U20 race at the European Championships next week.

Running on the international stage is nothing new for the Dons. Alumna Lizzie Bird competed in the steeplechase at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships last fall.

Richardson, a grad transfer from the University of Portland, had an outstanding fall for the Dons. In her Aug. 21 debut, she erased a near-20-second deficit to barely get out-leaned and finish runner-up at the USF Invitational. Four weeks later, she dominated the prestigious Roy Griak Invitational in Minnesota, winning the race by more than 11 seconds. Three weeks after that, she took home first at the Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., besting a field that included nine regionally-ranked teams by more than 14 seconds.

Soefeldt was the Dons’ No. 2 runner at the Pre-National Invitational and turned in solid performances all season long during her first year of collegiate cross country. She was San Francisco’s No. 3 at the West Coast Conference Championships on Nov. 1, where she ran a season-best 21:34.6 for the 6k.

The U20 women’s race, to be run at 4.2 km, is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Western European Standard Time, or 2:30 a.m. PST on Dec. 8. The 8.2 km senior women’s race will take place at 1:20 p.m. local, 5:20 a.m. PST.

San Franciso State Men’s Basketball: The Gators won an 89-88, triple-overtime road thriller over Cal State San Marcos on Saturday. San Francisco State erased a 14-point deficit to move back to .500 overall at 3-3 and 1-1 in the CCAA, with redshirt junior Linton Acliese III recording a double-double (23 points, 11 rebounds), but fouling out in double overtime on an offensive foul.

After Acliese exited with 3:36 left in the period, the Gators tied things up at 74-74 on a put-back by freshman forward Eche Okeke. A shot in the lane by graduate student guard DJ Sylvester gave San Francisco State the lead with a minute to go, and a San Marcos turnover looked to seal things for the Gators, but 3-pointer by Darius Goudeau (who scored a game-high 24) tied things at 79.

The third extra period saw the two teams tied three times, and Goudeau put the Cougars up by two with 1:05 to go. Junior San Francisco State forward Zane Paddon then hit his second 3-pointer of the period to put the Gators ahead.

With under a minute left, sophomore guard Michael Diaz — who also recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards — came over on help defense and drew a charge on the left block. graduate student guard Jordan Balser dribbled the clock down and took a shot with the shot clock expiring that missed to the right, but nobody came up with the long rebound as time expired.

The two double-doubles by the Gators marked the first time since Dec. 12, 2015 that San Francisco State has had two players with double-doubles. That night, in an 85-80 overtime loss at Humboldt State, Coley Apsay went for 23 points and 10 rebounds and Floyd Wormley recorded 16 points and 10 rebounds.

San Francisco State returns home for their first two home games of the season this weekend. The Gators will host the Gator Gobble on Friday, Nov. 29 and Saturday, Nov. 30. On Friday, SF State takes on Western Oregon and on Saturday will face Concordia (Ore.). Both games will be at 7 p.m.

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