Tara Chaplin Wins National Cross Country Title

Nov. 19, 2001

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Senior Tara Chaplin led the University of Arizona women's cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Championships in Greenville, S.C. on Monday. Chaplin is only the second runner in Arizona history to win an individual title at the NCAA Championships with Amy Skieresz being the only other winner back in 1996.

Chaplin finished the 6,000-meter course in 20:24, edging Georgia Tech's Renee Metivier by seven seconds. Lauren Fleshman of Stanford was third. Arizona finished fourth as a team with 194 points. Brigham Young took the team title with 62 points, followed by N.C. State in second with 148 points and Georgetown in third with 180 points. Arizona was the top Pac-10 team, edging Stanford by 12 points.

Following Chaplin's championship performance, sophomore Beth Hoge finished 32nd in 21:20. Senior Abby Peters moved up to the number-three spot for the Wildcats, placing 55th in 21:44. Senior Kim Bates was 77th in 21:55, and senior Jennifer Burris placed 82nd in 21:58. Close behind was senior Erin Doherty in 21:59, while junior Nicole Gurnicz placed 138th in 22:28.

'It feels great. I have been running in this championship since my freshman year. I am so happy for our team, I was even more excited that our team finished fourth,' said Chaplin on winning the race. Chaplin won the NCAA West Regional back on Nov. 10 and was named West Region Athlete of the Year by the region's coaches.

The Arizona men finished an inconsistent season with a 21st-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Colorado won the team title with 90 points, edging Stanford by one point for the championship. Arkansas was third with 118 points. Boaz Chboiywo of Eastern Michigan took the men's individual title, finishing the 10,000-meter course in 28:47.

Senior Mike Cramer led the Wildcats with his 49th-place finish in a time of 30:20. Next for Arizona was senior Steve Smith who finished 92nd in 30:54. Freshman Mark Anderson was the third Arizona finisher in 133rd with a time of 31:18, and senior Thomas Opio finished 160th in 31:34. Close behind him was senior Tom Prindiville in 165th with a time of 31:39, with sophomore Matt McInvale next in 170th in 31:42. The last Arizona finisher was junior Kyle Goklish, who finished 194th in 32:01.

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