Buffs Place Second At Big 12 Championship
STILLWATER, Okla. - For the second straight year the University of Colorado men's and women's cross country teams each recorded a pair of runner-up finishes at the Big 12 Championship on Saturday morning at the OSU Cross Country Course.
Sophomore Laura Tremblay led the women with a fourth-place finish and junior Andy Wacker recorded a fifth-place finish to lead the men.
The No. 7 ranked women's team recorded 53 points in the race and were just nine points out of first as the No. 4 Texas Tech Red Raiders scored 44 points. The No. 9 men's team put together a score of 46 points behind Oklahoma State's 19. OSU went 1-2-3-4-9 to win the race. The men soundly defeated No. 5 Oklahoma by 15 points as the Sooners recorded 61 points.
Colorado coach Mark Wetmore was pleased with the outcome of both of the races by the Buffs.
"The women gave Texas Tech a really close run and when we finally analyzed the results, it was a very close race," Wetmore explained. "The men outran Oklahoma, a team that beat them pretty well two weeks ago. They rose up and did what we try to do when we come here, which is to win this thing."
Tremblay finished the 6-kilometer course in 20 minutes, 20.48 seconds to earn her highest finish ever at the meet as well as to earn her second straight all-conference honor. Emma Coburn was just on her tail, finishing fifth overall with a time of 20:27.86. Both were fighting and making up some ground on their competition as they came to the finish line.
"The finish was actually a little uphill and then straight into the shoot and I was able to make a little bit of ground there," Tremblay said. "The beginning of the race was uphill and that was a little bit of a surprise. We went out a little fast and it was hard to recover. Right around 2k a lot of the Texas Tech and Iowa State women were way ahead, but I just kind of calmed down a little bit to collect myself and was able to reel them in during the last couple of kilometers."
Tremblay finished 14th overall in 2009 and has been the top scorer for the women this season. On a whole the race went well for the sophomore.
"I feel great," Tremblay said. "It was probably what I should have done. I improved a lot from last year."
Coburn was also happy with her personal performance, as well as the team's performance.
"I was excited to get fifth," she said. "This is a good performance for me to get top-five. I just wish we would have been a little closer to Texas Tech at the end."
The team race was very close and Coburn believes that if the race could have been a little longer that the Buffs could have possibly closed the nine-point gap.
"The Texas Tech women pushed it out really hard the first 3k and we were all just trying to hang on and they were fading at the end when we were coming on strong," Coburn said. "I think if the race would have been 1k longer or even 500 meters longer that we could have won it since we were picking them off."
Shalaya Kipp had the best performance by a freshman on the women's side, placing eighth with a mark of 20:33.79. Laura Thweatt, the only senior on the team, wrapped up her Big 12 career with an 11th-place finish to improve from her 12th-place finish a year ago. She recorded a time of 20:38.15.
Camille Logan was the final scorer for the Buffs. She placed 25th overall and crossed the finish in 21:20.98.
The women were satisfied with their performance, but definitely plan on showing TTU that they can do better at the regional meet. In 2009 CU was second to the Red Raiders at the conference meet but then defeated them two weeks later at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship.
"It was good," Tremblay said. "We would have liked to get the win and it kind of stinks to lose by nine (points), but I think that everyone did so phenomenally. And we have another race to come back and show Texas Tech what we are made of."
Wetmore was also pleased with the performance the No. 7 Buffaloes turned in, individually and as a whole.
"Laura is getting better every race and is going to be a great runner for us," he said. "She gets better every season and is so many spots ahead of a year ago that you really can't complain about her performance. The women really all ran better or what we hoped they would do today."
The men were 5-6-7 with their top three in the race. Wacker had a great race for the Buffs and was the first non-OSU runner to finish the 8k race. He crossed the finish line in 24:14.78.
"Andy is a real good blue-collar guy," Wetmore said. "He has put in a lot of good hard running in the last couple of years and is getting better every season. Anyone that knew him a couple of years ago would not have expected him to be one of the better runners in the country by now. He has a year to go and we are really proud of how he is doing."
Joe Bosshard, who was celebrating his birthday on Saturday, took home a sixth-place finish with a time of 24:36.87. This was the first race this season he didn't lead the team.
"Joe has a bad head cold and we might have considered sitting him out, but he knew if he didn't run that we wouldn't have had a shot at the top three if he didn't run," Wetmore said about Bosshard's performance. "I was surprised by how high up he finished and how long he stayed in it."
Bosshard was satisfied with his race, but will look to do better when he is feeling better.
"I think I did as well as I could have hoped for today," he said. "OSU went 1-2-3-4 and we would have liked to split them up a little bit, but as a team I think we really performed well today. Beating Oklahoma was a big goal and we took care of that."
Christian Thompson was seventh overall and finished his race in 24:28.40 as CU's No. 3 scorer. A very pleasant surprise in this race was the performance by Aric Van Halen. He placed 10th overall and ran a time of 24:35.14.
"Aric had a really nice race at pre-nationals and honestly I was afraid that he would not be able to duplicate it," Wetmore explained. "But he came here and surpassed that. At one point he was leading the race. He is starting to think of himself as a top level runner and he is going to be a future guy for us."
Matt Tebo, also running in his final Big 12 race, was the No. 5 scorer for CU. He placed 18th overall and finished in 24:54.95.
"I think we did pretty well today," Wacker said about the team's finish. "It was nice to execute when we needed to. This is a very important race for us and the last time we are going to be in the Big 12.
"Our team really came through today. The Big 12 is definitely one of the better conferences in the country and these teams are going to be our competition at nationals. Being able to beat OU this time was very nice. Coming short of Oklahoma State was hard, but our spread was really small, just a couple of seconds."
Colorado has had a rich tradition of winning the Big 12 Championship, whether individual or team titles. This becomes just the second time in the 15 year history of the conference that CU did not come away with a title, but a pair of second-place finishes is something they can be proud of. In total, the men have won 12 team titles and eight individual titles, while the women have taken home 11 team trophies and nine individual crowns.
Both rosters will be cut to seven over the next couple of weeks before the NCAA Mountain Region Championships, Saturday, November 13, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the NCAA Championships, November 22, in Terre Haute, Ind.
2010 BIG 12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP
OSU Cross Country Course (Stillwater, Okla.)
Women's 6k Team Scores:
1. Texas Tech, 44; 2. Colorado, 53; 3. Iowa State, 79; 4. Oklahoma State, 90; 5. Texas, 147; 6. Kansas State, 166; 7. Kansas, 204; 8. Nebraska, 219; 9. Texas A&M, 229; 10. Baylor, 247; 11. Missouri, 271; 12. Oklahoma, 314.
Women's Top 15 Individuals:
1. Rose Tanui, TTU, 20:04.34; 2. Betsy Saina, ISU, 20:18.55; 3. Aliphine Tulimuk, ISU, 20:19.86; 4. Laura Tremblay, CU, 20:20.48; 5. Emma Coburn, CU, 20:27.86; 6. Caroline Jepleting, TTU, 20:28.81; 7. Caroline, Karunde, TTU, 20:33.39; 8. Shalaya Kipp, CU, 20:33.79; 9. Mihaela Susa, OSU, 20:37.28; 10. Lara Crofford, NU, 20:37.28; 11. Laura Thweatt, CU, 20:38.15; 12. Rebeka Stowe, KU, 20:43.44; 13. Winrose Karunde, TTU, 20:44.28; 14. Felicity OSU, 20:46.88; 15. Sydney Messick, KSU, 20:49.85.
Other CU Finishers: 25. Camille Logan, 21:20.98; 37. Katie Cumming, 21:39.25; 50. Rachel Viger, 21:51.49; 55. Diana George, 22:01.09; 105.. Liz Tremblay, 24:09.39
Men's 8k Team Scores:
1. Oklahoma State, 19; 2. Colorado, 46; 3. Oklahoma, 61; 4. Texas, 127; 5. Iowa State, 133; 6. Nebraska, 195; 7. Kansas, 200; 8. Baylor, 234; 9. Texas A&M, 242; 10. Texas Tech, 259; 11. Missouri, 320; 12. Kansas State, 356.
Men's Top 15 Individuals:
1. Girma Mecheso, OSU, 23:56.94; 2. German Fernandez, OSU, 23:58.20; 3. Colby Lowe, OSU, 23:58.37; 4. Tom Farrell, OSU, 24:06.63; 5. Andy Wacker, CU, 24:14.78; 6. Joe Bosshard, CU, 24:25.41; 7. Christian Thompson, CU, 24:28.40; 8. Kevin Schwab, OU, 24:32.65; 9. Joseph Manilafasha, OSU, 24:34.37; 10. Aric Van Halen, CU, 24:35.14; 11. Robert Sorrell, OU, 24:35.14;
12. George Alex, OU, 24:37.28; 13. Don Wasinger, KU, 24:40.04; 14. Kevin Williams, OU, 24:44.11; 15. Ryan Prentice, OSU, 24:45.36.
Other CU Finishers: 18. Matt Tebo, 24:54.95; 24. Cameron Clayton, 25:14.23; 47. Matt Biegner, 25:46.30; 51. Dillon Shije, 25:52.85; 56. Martin Medina, 26:01.37