LITCHFIELD PARK, Ariz. — The University of Colorado cross country teams won the first ever Pac-12 Conference titles in any sport on Saturday morning, sweeping the men’s and women’s races at the Wigwam Golf Course.
The No. 6 CU men recorded 46 points in a very exciting race to defeat No. 4 Stanford by a narrow margin of seven points (53). The women entered the meet with a No. 16 national ranking and tallied a score of 50 points. No. 2 Washington was the runner-up with 73 points and No. 8 Stanford had 75 points in the team race.
“I would give each team an ‘A’ for today’s performance,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “They came out and raced what they were capable of and some even exceeded expectations. It was a good day and we couldn’t have asked for much more from either team.”
Senior Richard Medina led the Buffs in the 8-kilometer race with a third-place finish, crossing the line in 22 minutes, 54 seconds. He was quickly joined by teammate senior Andy Wacker who finished sixth overall in 23:24.
“It means a lot to win the first Pac-12 Championship,” Wacker said. “In a conference that has the history that this one does (being the old Pac-10) and that has such great competitors with so many nationally ranked teams, it means an incredible amount to show them what we have and what we bring to the table.”
“We’ve really been working really hard for this,” Medina said. “It’s so exciting to be able to say that we are the first team to win. It is a great feeling.”
Junior Joe Bosshard ran in his first cross country race this season and recorded a top-10 performance by coming in ninth overall. He completed the race in 23:30. Senior Christian Thompson was 13th (23:37) and freshman Ammar Moussa rounded out CU’s team score by taking 15th. He finished in 23:43.
Medina is the only member of the men’s team that has won a conference title. He was on the last team that won a championship in 2007 when the Buffs were a member of the Big 12 Conference.
“Everything was so new then and I didn’t realize how special it was to win a conference title,” he said. “So to not have it for three years and then come back and win my senior year was pretty amazing.”
Sophomore Shalaya Kipp was the top female to finish the 6k course for the Buffs. She took fourth overall and had a time of 19:54. Senior Emma Coburn was fifth overall and finished one second behind Kipp (19:55). The pair ran the entire race together and helped pull each other along. Coburn was also competing in her first cross country race this season and was able make it a memorable one with her top-five performance.
Senior Lara Darco recorded a ninth-place finish as she finished in 20:18. Freshman Rachael Baptista was 14th overall (20:25) and senior Katie Cumming was the fifth harrier for the Buffs (20:30), placing 18th.
“We are so excited,” Coburn said. “We thought we would have a good chance if we came out and raced today like we know we can. Shalaya and I really played well off of each other and our third, fourth and fifth runners really did well today.”
The sweep by the Buffs marks the 13th time in school history that the men and women have won both titles at the conference championship since the inception of a women’s program in 1976. This is the first time CU has won both titles since the Big 12 Championships in 2007.
After the men won their title, the women were given a little boost heading into their race.
“We all got chills watching the men’s race and were so excited for them,” Coburn said. “The mood was lightened and we got a better perspective on what this meet is about. Seeing the men win you understood what kind of occasion this is and how special it would be if we won too.”
The Buffs will be back in action at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah.
2011 INAUGURAL Pac-12 CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP
Wigwam Golf Course (Litchfield Park, Ariz.)
Men’s 8k Team Results
1. Colorado , 46; 2. Stanford, 53; 3. Oregon, 93; 4. UCLA, 122; 5. California, 140; 6. Washington State, 148; 7. Washington, 153; 8. Arizona, 190; 9. Arizona State, 195.
Men’s 8k Individual Results
1. Lawi Lalang, UA, 22:37; 2. Chris Derrick, SU, 22:45; 3. Richard Medina, CU, 22:54; 4. Jake Riley, SU, 22:55; 5. Luke Puskedra, UO, 22:58; 6. Andy Wacker, CU, 23:24; 7. Parker Stinson, UO, 23:28; 8. Kent Morikawa, UCLA, 23:29; 9. Joe Bosshard, CU, 23:30; 10. Brendan Gregg, SU, 23:32; 11. Collin Jarvis, Cal, 23:34; 12. Erik Olson, SU, 23:36; 13. Christian Thompson, 23:37; 14. Andrew Kimpel, WSU, 23:39; 15. Ammar Moussa, CU, 23:37.
Other CU Finishers:
22. Martin Medina, 23:52; 28. Blaker Theroux, 24:04; 36. Jonny Stevens, 24:45; 40. Dillon Shije, 24:30; 50. Matt Biegner, 24:44.
Women’s 6k Team Results
1. Colorado, 50; 2. Washington, 73; 3. Stanford, 75; 4. Oregon, 89; 5. Arizona, 104; 6. Arizona State, 168; 7. California, 190; 8. Utah, 205; 9. Oregon State, 249; 10. UCLA, 288; 11. Washington State, 291; 12. USC, 384.
Women’s 6k Individual Results (top 15 Individuals)
1. Katie Flood, UW, 19:32; 2. Kathy Kroeger, SU, 19:40; 3. Jordan Hasay, UO, 19:50; 4. Shalaya Kipp, CU, 19:54; 5. Emma Coburn, CU, 19:55; 6. Jennifer Bergman, UA, 20:00; 7. Stephanie Marcy, SU, 20:13; 8. Shelby Houlihan, ASU, 20:15; 9. Lara Darco, CU, 20:18; 10. Amanda Mergaert, UU, 20:21; 11. Jessica Tonn, SU, 20:23; 12; Christine Bobcock, UW, 20:23; 13. Elvin Kibet, UA, 20:25; 14. Rachel Baptista, CU, 20:25; 15. Claire Michel, UO, 20:25.
Other CU Finishers:
18. Katie Cumming, 20:30; 26. Camille Logan, 20:49; 35. Rachel Viger, 21:07; 51. Elizabeth Tremblay, 21:28; 69. Diana George, 21:55; 70. Courtney Bouchet, 21:56
Courtesy of CUBuffs.com