Rupp leads Oregon to second consecutive NCAA Team Title
2008 Olympian Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) out-dueled Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University to win his first NCAA individual title Monday at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Running the 10 km course in 29:04, Rupp lead the University of Oregon to their second consecutive team title at the meet.
In cold, breezy conditions, Chelanga took the lead from the gun and led the field by five seconds at the mile, passing in 4:21. Rupp closed the gap and briefly ran alongside Chelanga, but the pair exchanged a few elbows before Chelanga surged to another five second lead. Rupp patiently made his way to rejoin Chelanga by 5 km.
Over the final loop of the course, Rupp was content to let Chelanga lead until the pair hit the final straight away. With about 400 meters to go, Rupp made his final push and pulled clear for the title.
“My coaches told me to sit back, be smart and stay focused,” Rupp said. “It was going to come down to a sprint and I relaxed until I was ready to go. I was more patient than last year, and when I made my move it was decisive. With about 800m to go I heard someone say ‘Remember last year,’ and that helped me win.”
On the women’s side, Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech won her third consecutive individual title, running 19:29 over the women’s 6 km course to become the winningest women’s cross country runner in Division I history. Susan Kuijen of Florida State managed to stay within striking distance through half-way, but Kipyego easily pulled away for a six-second win. The University of Washington won the women’s team title over Oregon with 79 points.
“It was cold and windy and the hardest of my three wins,” Kipyego said. “I tried to stay positive and run my best race. It’s an amazing feeling and a wonderful opportunity.”
Adams State sweeps D-II Championships
Adams State College swept the national team titles while Scott Bauhs won the men’s individual title Saturday at the NCAA Division II Men’s Cross Country Championships at Cooper’s Lake Campground in Slippery Rock, Pa.
2008 World XC team member Scott Bauhs of Chico State led the men’s 10 km race from start to finish, cruising to the win in 30:23 with runner-up Aaron Braun of Adams State finishing 13 seconds back in 30:36. Bauhs is the Wildcats’ first cross country national champion.
The Adams State men won over rival Western State by 21 points (67 points to 88) with Chico State (Calif.) finishing third with 120 points. Two-time defending champion Abilene Christian finished fourth with 128 points.
The Adams State women won their sixth straight and 14th overall NCAA Division II National title, finishing with 79 points, ahead of runner-up Grand Valley State (102) and third-place Western State (183).
Middlebury, Cortland win D-III titles
The SUNY Cortland men’s cross country team won its first NCAA Division III title while the Middlebury College women’s team picked up their fifth crown, outdistancing 32-team fields Saturday at the 2008 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships at the L.S. Ayers Complex in Hanover, Ind.
Middlebury ended the race with 179 points, 59 points ahead of second-place Calvin (237). Williams (240), Wartburg (284) and Wisconsin-Eau Claire (310) rounded out the top five. SUNY Cortland won the men’s title with 80 points, while North Central of Illinois was second with 115 points and Williams College finished third with 129 points.
Hamilton College’s Peter Kosgei, the 2007 runner-up, won the men’s individual title, covering the 8 km course in a season best 24:22.03. He is the first cross country national champion in school history. Willy Kaul of Wisconsin-Oshkosh took runner-up honors, finishing in 24:32.67, and Wartburg’s Brian Chenoweth was third in 24:34.04.
Bethel junior Marie Borner brought home the women’s individual title, finishing the 6 km race in 20:43.91, more than nine seconds ahead of her nearest competitor and more than a minute faster than her performance at the national meet a year ago in Northfield, Minn. Amherst’s Elise Tropiano was second in 20:52.96 and Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Ayla Mitchell was third in 21:02.91.