Colorado men win fifth NCAA cross country crown

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The COLORADO men claimed the first NCAA title of the 2014-15 campaign, winning the cross country championship on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. OREGON’s Edward Cheserek won the men’s individual crown for the second-consecutive year. Pac-12 schools have won 470 all-time national team championships across all sports to lead the nation.

COLORADO claimed its fifth all-time NCAA title placing four runners in the top 25. The Buffs become the 10th team to post two-consecutive national titles in the sport. It is the 15th national championship crown won by Pac-12 teams in the sport of men’s cross country. The five national titles for the Buffs is tied for fifth-most all-time in NCAA history.

STANFORD was the national runner-up, garnering 98 points. OREGON finished sixth as a team with 221 total points. UCLA (454) and WASHINGTON (479) came in 18th and 20th, respectively. 

The four-time Pac-12 Champions, Colorado was led by junior Ammar Moussa, who finished fourth with a mark of 30:29.6 in the 10k race. He was followed closely by sophomore Buff Ben Saarel, who came in seventh at 30:30.7, and senior Blake Theroux, who was ninth at 30:31.7. Junior Connor Winter also finished in the top 25, crossing the line at 24th with a time of 30:45.0. 

Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) won the title with a time of 30:19.4 to claim Oregon’s seventh all-time individual title, which ties for the most in NCAA history with Washington State’s NCAA-record seven individual champions. Cheserek is the first back-to-back NCAA Champion since Henry Rono of WSU took home the individual title in 1976 and 1977.

Cheserek’s individual win is also the 24th men’s cross country title for a Pac-12 school and the 1,377th individual title for the Conference across all sports. Four of the last seven men’s individual cross country champions have come from a Pac-12 school.

The Pac-12 had a total of 10 finishers in the top 25. Oregon’s Eric Jenkins was the national runner-up with a time of 30:23.2, and Stanford’s Maksim Korolev came in fourth at 30:29.5. Junior Chris Walden of CALIFORNIA finished 17th with a mark of 30:40.3, and Cardinal Sean McGorty came in 20th (30:41.9) while WASHINGTON’s Aaron Nelson finished 24th (30:45.0). 

In the women’s competition, OREGON was the highest finisher for the Conference, coming in sixth with 249 points. Colorado finished seventh (267) while Stanford also eked into the top 15 with a 14th-place finish (415). Washington placed 23rd (559), and UCLA was 27th (582). 

Pac-12 individual champion senior Shelby Houlihan was the highest individual finisher in the league, crossing the line ninth with a time of 20:11.4. Stanford freshman standout Elise Cranny was the 12th-place finisher, racing at 20:17.0 as one of just three freshmen finishing in the top-20. California freshman Bethan Knights was another one of those three, placing 25th and clocking in at 20:30.0. 

(Champion and Pac-12 Teams only)

1. Colorado, 65
2. Stanford, 98
6. Oregon, 221
18. UCLA, 454
20. Washington, 479

Individual Results – Men
(Champion and Top 25 only)

1. Edward Cheserek, Oregon, 30:19.4
2. Eric Jenkins, Oregon, 30:23.2
4. Maksim Korolev, Stanford, 30:29.5
7. Ben Saarel, Colorado, 30:30.7
9. Blake Theroux, Colorado, 30:31.7
17. Chris Walden, California, 30:40.3
20. Sean McGorty, Stanford, 30:41.9
21. Aaron Nelson, Washington, 30:42.5
24. Connor Winter, Colorado, 30:45.0

(Champion and Pac-12 Teams only)

1. Michigan State, 85
6. Oregon, 249
7. Colorado, 267
14. Stanford, 415
23. Washington, 559
27. UCLA, 582

Individual Results – Women
(Champion and Top 25 only)

1. Kate Avery, Iona, 19:31.6
9. Shelby Houlihan, Arizona State, 20:11.4
12. Elise Cranny, Stanford, 20:17.0
25. Bethan Knights, California, 20:30.0

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