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Harriers Head To Nationals

Nov 22, 2008

BOULDER - The University of Colorado men's cross country team will be competing at the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday, Nov. 24.


The Buffs, who are ranked No. 10 in the USTFCCCA rankings, won the NCAA Mountain Region title last Saturday to earn an automatic bid. This is the 17th consecutive trip to nationals for the Buffs. They have not missed a trip since 1991. 


The men's 10k race is slated for a 12:48 p.m. (EST) start following the women's 6k race at 12:08 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow both races. Indiana State will host the event at the Lavern-Gibson Cross Country Course at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. for the fifth consecutive year and the sixth time in seventh years.


The championship will be broadcast live once again on the CBS College Sports Network. The broadcast will start at 12 p.m. EST (10 a.m. MST) and will finish at 1:30 p.m.


Colorado has come away from the NCAA Championship with at least one title in six of the last nine years. CU took home either an individual or team trophy from 2000-04. Kara Grgas-Wheeler won in 2000, leading the women to their first championship. The men followed up with a team championship in 2001. Jorge Torres won the individual title in 2002 and Dathan Ritzenhein won in 2003. Both teams took home hardware in 2004 and the men won the title again in 2006. The only year CU did not win a championship was in 2005 and 07.


Of the 31 men's teams participating, Colorado will face three other Big 12 opponents in Big 12 Champion No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Texas A&M and No. 22 Iowa State.


The Buffs have been improving throughout the entire season and look to keep that going through the championship. Despite losing their first Big 12 Championship title ever (the Big 12 Conference has only been in existence since 1996) to Oklahoma State, the Buffs continued to battle and won their sixth straight NCAA Mountain Region title and should be ready to fight for a spot on the podium come Monday.


Junior transfer Jordan Kyle has led the Buffs in the last three races. He is the only Buff on the current roster who has earned All-American honors on the cross country course as he placed 33rd his redshirt freshman year in 2006 for Indiana.


Chris Pannone and Seth DeMoor are the two seniors on the squad. Pannone ran at nationals last season and took 152nd as CU's No. 6 harrier. Pannone has taken a much larger role this season and has scored in every meet. This will be DeMoor's first time running at NCAAs. He has been a huge part of CU's success this season as he was the No. 5 runner at Big 12s and the regional meet to help secure the Buffs' runner-up conference finish and regional victory.


Junior Kenyon Neuman served as the alternate in 2006 and was 87th in 2007. Since returning to the Buffalo line-up at the pre-national meet, he has been a consistent No. 3 racer for the Buffs. His best finishes have been at the Big 12 Championship (14th) and regionals (13th).


Sophomore Richard Medina also looks to improve on his 178th finish at last year's championship. Medina was CU's second harrier to finish at the regional meet; placing eighth overall. His fitness has been improving all season and he should finish very high for the Buffs.


Sophomore Matt Tebo and redshirt freshman Christian Thompson have not scored for Colorado in postseason action, but are looking to step up at the biggest meet of the year. Tebo was 26th at regionals and Thompson took 34th. Tebo served as the alternate last season, so this is the first NCAA Championship race for both Tebo and Medina.


Andy Wacker will serve as the alternate.




Monday, Nov. 24

Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course

Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, Terre Haute, Ind.

12:08 p.m. (ET) 6k Women's Race

12:48 p.m. (ET) 8k Men's Race




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