2013 NCAA men's XC regionals: 3 Pac-12 teams secure automatic bids
SACRAMENTO -- No. 1 Colorado, No. 4 Oregon and No. 10 Stanford all secured spots in the NCAA championships on a day of upsets and impressive performances across the nation on Friday. The Colorado men competed in Ogden, Utah, while Oregon and Stanford battled in Sacramento for a chance to earn automatic berths to the Big Dance Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind.
In the west regional at the Haggin Oaks golf course, the Cardinal made a huge statement against a stacked field of 10 Pac-12 teams and 17 other D-I teams by winning the team title with 52 points and a :52 spread across the top five scorers, its fourth west region title in five years. In a late charge, the Cardinal moved from a fourth-place team standing to first place all in the last mile.
In a repeat of the Pac-12 Championships earlier this month in Colorado, Jim Rosa battled to the finish line with Oregon's Edward Cheserek. Rosa finished second in a time of 29:43 over the 10K course and was followed close behind by teammates Erik Olson (3), Michael Atchoo (6), Sean McGorty (12) and final scorer Garrett Sweatt (30), bringing home the team title and automatic NCAA championship berth for the Cardinal.
[Related: Men's NCAA west region results]
Oregon's freshman phenom Edward Cheserek won another individual meet title in a time of 29:43, leading the Ducks to a second-place team finish with 64 points and a :55 spread between top scorers.
"I feel great and I'm ready to do what I know I can do," Cheserek said after qualifying with his team to NCAA championships.
Parker Stinson took the field out from the gun, bringing the lead pack into the mile mark at 4:44. After running 30 meters ahead for over half the race, Stinson was caught by Cheserek, beginning a portion of the course where the two teammates worked together to lead the rest of the field who trailed close behind. In a tight battle to the finish, Stinson earned fifth place overall and was followed by fellow Ducks Mac Fleet (13), Tanguy Pepiot (18) and Jake Leingang (27). Oregon advanced to the NCAA championships by virtue of finishing second overall in the regional.
The mountain region meet in Ogden, Utah held some surprises as well with the top-ranked team in the nation, Colorado, finishing second to Northern Arizona. The Buffaloes' second-place team finish of 69 points still earns them a berth in Terre Haute, but it looks like Colorado may have its work cut out for them heading into NCAA championships. Led by Pierce Murphy with a fifth-place overall finish, the Buffs were rounded out with Ben Saarel (7), Connor Winter (15), Morgan Pearson (16), and Blake Theroux (26) for 69 points to Northern Arizona's 61-point spread.
[Related: Men's NCAA mountain region results]
Through an automatic qualifier and at-large selection process, the NCAA selection committee met Saturday and made the decision to send 38 individuals to NCAA championships to battle for individual titles Nov. 23 at Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute. Washington's Aaron Nelson will represent the Huskies and Pac-12 Conference after earning an eighth-place finish at west regionals.