Colorado Men, UO's Cheserek win NCAA cross country titles

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Men's Results | Women's Results

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The COLORADO men claimed the first NCAA title of the 2013-14 campaign, winning the cross country championship on Saturday at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Ind. OREGON’s Edward Cheserek wom the men’s individual crown, becoming the first-ever Oregon freshman to claim the individual national crown. Pac-12 schools have won 460 all-time national team championships across all sports to lead the nation.

COLORADO claimed its fourth all-time NCAA title placing three runners in the top 25. The Buffs won their first men’s national title since 2006, after posting back-to-back third-place finishes the last two years and top-six finishes the last four years. The championship also marks the first men’s title for a Pac-12 team since Oregon won in 2008. It is the 14th national championship crown won by Pac-12 teams in the sport of men’s cross country. The four national titles for the Buffs ties for sixth-most all-time in NCAA history.

The three-time Pac-12 Champions, Colorado’s win came on the strength of three top-25 finishers, with freshman Ben Saarel (Park City, Utah) recording the best finish for the Buffs, coming in eighth place with a time of 30:14.1. Sophomore Morgan Pearson (New Vernon, N.J.) was 17th with a time of 30:25.0, with senior teammate Blake Theroux (Chesapeake, Va.) crossing the finish line at 30:34.6 for 23rd place.

Edward Cheserek (Newark, N.J.) won the title with a time of 29:41.1 to claim Oregon’s sixth all-time individual title, the second most in NCAA history behind Washington State’s NCAA-record seven individual champions. Cheserek is the first individual winner for UO since Galen Rupp’s victory in 2008. Cheserek was in second place for most of the race, trailing defending NCAA Champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech. Cheserek, however, made his move at the 8,000-meter mark then pulled away in the final 2k to win by an 18-second margin.

Cheserek’s individual win is also the 23rd men’s cross country title for a Pac-12 school and the 1,460th individual title for the Conference across all sports. Three of the last six men’s individual cross country champions have come from a Pac-12 school, with ARIZONA’s Lawi Lalang winning the title in 2011.

Notable finishers in the men’s race were Stanford’s Jim Rosa (West Windsor, N.J.), who placed fifth with a time of 30:08.9, and WASHINGTON’s Aaron Nelson (Walla Walla, Wash.), who received an at-large bid, placed 20th overall with a time of 30:27.4.

In the women’s competition, ARIZONA posted its best-ever finish, placing second with 197 points, behind NCAA Champion Providence (141). All five Pac-12 teams placed in the top 20, including COLORADO (7th, 265), STANFORD (11th, 322), OREGON (14th, 340) and WASHINGTON (17th, 376). 

Pac-12 individual champion junior Aisling Cuffe (Cornwall-on-the-Hudson, N.Y.) of Stanford was the Conference’s highest finisher, coming in fourth place with a time of 20:09.3, just nine seconds off the winning time. The Wildcats had two top-25 finishers as senior Elvin Kibet (Eldoret, Kenya) was the team’s top placer at 15th (20:27.7) and junior Nicci Corbin (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.) came across the finish line with a time of 20:33.0 for 22nd place.

Other notable finishers were ARIZONA STATE’s Shelby Houlihan (Sioux City, Iowa), who was an at-large runner, was eighth in her first-ever national championship appearance with a time of 20:20.9, followed by the Buff’s Shalaya Kipp (Salt Lake City, Utah), who placed ninth with a time of 20:21.7, and CALIFORNIA’s Kelsey Santisteban (Castro Valley, Calif.) was 10th with a time of 20:21.7.

(Champion and Pac-12 Teams only)

1. Colorado 149
5. Oregon 274
19. Stanford 417


Individual Results – Men
(Champion and Top 25 only)
1. Edward Cheserek, Oregon (29:41.1)
5. Jim Rosa, Stanford (30:08.9)
8. Ben Saarel, Colorado (30:14.1)
17. Morgan Pearson, Colorado (30:25.0)
20. Aaron Nelson, Washington (30:27.4)
23. Blake Theroux, Colorado (30:34.6)


(Champion and Pac-12 Teams only)

1. Providence 141
2. Arizona 197
7. Colorado 265
11. Stanford 322
14. Oregon 340
17. Washington 376


Individual Results – Women
(Champion and Top 25 only)
1. Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth (20:00.3)
4. Aisling Cuffe, Stanford (20:09.3)
8. Shelby Houlihan, Arizona State (20:20.9)
9. Shalaya Kipp, Colorado (20:21.7)
10. Kelsey Santisteban, California (20:21.7)
15. Elvin Kibet, Arizona (20:27.7)
16. Jessica Tonn, Stanford (20:28.7)
22. Nicci Corbin, Arizona (20:33.0)


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