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Cross Country Heads To NCAA Regionals

Nov 10, 2006

BOULDER ? The University of Colorado cross country program will participate at the NCAA Mountain Regions on Saturday, Nov. 11 in Albuquerque, N.M. The event will be hosted by the University of New Mexico and the top two teams will receive automatic bids to the NCAA Championships along with the top-four of the top-25 individual racers not affiliated with the top two teams.

 

The event will be held at the University North Golf Course. The women will run the 6k at 10 a.m. (MST) and the men's 10k race will start at 11 a.m. An awards ceremony will follow.

 

The second-ranked Colorado men's team has won 12 of the last 14 qualifying races and 16 overall. The ninth-rated women won have won the last two years after a string of runner-up finishes to BYU. The CU women also took top honors in 1986, 1987, 1996 and in 2000. Colorado swept both men's and women's races in 2005.

 

            Billy Nelson won the individual title last season, defeating then-teammate Bret Schoolmeester by a half second. Nelson will be joined by Brent Vaughn, Stephen Pifer, James Strang and Erik Heinonen. This group of five has accounted for all of CU's scoring this season. Vaughn was CU's highest finisher at the Big 12 Championships and Pifer was the no. 1 racer at the Rocky Mountain Shootout and Pre-Nationals. Brad Harkrader and Peter Janson will also be competing for the Buffs and Kenyon Neuman is the alternate.

 

The women are looking to Jenny Barringer and Liza Pasciuto for leadership. Barringer and Pasciuto have finished first and second, respectively for the Buffs, in each of the first three races. Last year, Pasciuto took second at regionals, leading the Buffs to its second straight regional title. They will be joined by freshmen Claire Maduza and Aislinn Ryan and senior Erin Marston. Maduza and Ryan each their first All-Big 12 honor by placing sixth and ninth, respectively, at the Big 12 Championship. Marston took 23rd at the meet. Rachel Gioscia and Hilary McClendon will also compete and Emily Hanenburg is the alternate.

 

The NCAA Championships will be run Monday, Nov. 20 in Terra Haute, Ind. at the La Vern Gibson Cross Country Course.