Oregon Men, Stanford Women Victorious At 2006 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships
Oct. 28, 2006
Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford women's cross country team earned an 11th-straight conference title today at the 2006 Pac-10 Cross Country Championships on the Stanford Golf Course, while the Oregon men's squad earned the Ducks' first conference title since 1995. Oregon narrowly edged host Stanford with 53 points to the Cardinal's 58 points. The Cardinal women easily claimed the team victory with 22 points to runner-up Arizona State's 51 points.
Oregon sophomore Galen Rupp earned his first Pac-10 cross country title to lead the Ducks to victory, covering the 8,000 meter course in 23:03.1 on a warm day in the Bay Area. He was followed by Arizona's defending champion Robert Cheseret in second (23:10.9) and Stanford's Neftalem Araia in third (23:15.4).
'I'm excited to win my first Pac-10 title,' Rupp said. 'I tried to relax today through the first 5,000 meters and see how I felt. I felt great the entire way.'
Rupp and the rest of the Oregon squad hope today's championship signals a successful postseason to come.
'Our team has been running very well this year,' said Rupp. 'This is why we come here, the team competition. Exciting things are starting to happen at Oregon.'
Oregon head coach Vin Lananna agreed that the Duck men are enjoying a breakthrough season in 2006.
'This was one of the deepest conference meets we've had in the last few years,' said Lananna. 'Stanford is a great team, and our guys did a good job of maintaining composure and running a tough race. We have a talented team and we're all optimistic about the future.'
In the women's 6,000 meter race, the Cardinal claimed the top four places to run away with the team title. Junior Arianna Lambie posted an impressive time of 20:15.0 to earn her second consecutive individual victory, followed by teammates Katy Trotter (20:18.3), Amanda Trotter (20:18.3) and Teresa McWalters (20:25.0). Arizona State's Cassie Rios rounded out the top five in 20:38.6.
'Today was a truly unique and powerful experience,' said Lambie. 'We ran four runners up front and more were right with us. You could feel the Cardinal wall and as the pace quickened you could tell we were the strongest team in the race.'
The defending NCAA champions, the Stanford women return every runner from last year's squad and today's performance supports their No. 1 national ranking.
'It feels twice as good to win on our home course,' said Stanford head coach Peter Tegen. 'It's wonderful to get it done in front of a very supportive home crowd. Arianna felt great throughout the race, but I was surprised to see how many of our other runners held on to the quick pace early. It helped Arianna to have her teammates right there with her.'
The Pac-10 squads will now compete at the NCAA West Regional, held on November 11 in Portland, Oregon.