TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Senior Richard Medina raced to an eighth-place finish on the cross country course as the No. 6 University of Colorado men’s team placed third overall at the 2011 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday.
“Third is a very good run for the men,” coach Mark Wetmore said. “I can’t think of anyone who had a bad race. That is very nearly the highest we could have hoped for. We were just five points out of second, which is really just a blink of an eye in this race, so that was very good run for them.”
The men recorded 144 points in the team race and finished just five points behind No. 2 Oklahoma State (139) at the La Vern Gibson Championship Cross Country. No. 1 Wisconsin won the meet with 97 points. The No. 6 CU women finished 11th overall with a team score of 335. Georgetown took the women’s title with 162 points and Washington was second (170)
Medina crossed the 10k finish in 29 minutes, 27.8 seconds for his first All-American cross country finish, improving from a 57th-place finish in 2009. Medina led CU in four of the five varsity meets this season.
“Richard has looked very good since the middle of last spring,” Wetmore said. “He’s had no interruptions, just banking his training. I knew he was a top-10 guy here today. I’m not sure he knew it, but he found it out. It was a great run for him.”
“I’m happy to end my cross country career at CU on this note,” Medina said. “To do well individually and as a team is a great feeling. I’m so proud of my team and everything we have accomplished.”
Two other Buffs, Andy Wacker and Joe Bosshard, earned All-American honors as well. Wacker placed 20th overall (29:44.8) and Bosshard was 24th (29:53.7). This was the second honor for Wacker and Bosshard as both finished in the top-40 at last year’s championships. Wacker was 37th and Bosshard was 26th.
“You can’t argue with a guy like Andy who keeps getting better year after year after year,” Wetmore said. “Joe improved a couple of positions from last year. He had a viral infection that cost him five or six weeks early in the season so we knew that he was just doing team duty, but he bite the bullet and did a great job.”
Christian Thompson just missed his first All-American honor, placing 49th in 30:22.3 as CU’s No. 4 scorer. Ammar Moussa was CU’s fifth harrier. He was 88th overall (30:42.4) in his first NCAA meet.
The CU women were led by Shalaya Kipp and Emma Coburn. Kipp was 19th overall to earn her second All-American cross country certificate and Coburn was 20th to earn her first honor. Both finished the 6k course with a time of 20:08 but Kipp was just ahead of Coburn at the finish line. Kipp improved from a 40th-place finish last season and Coburn improved from 53rd a year ago.
“I’m very happy with my race today,” Kipp said. “I’ve been working all year for this and to improve from last year is a great feeling. We would have liked to finish higher as a team, but I’m excited about the future since we will have a great team again next year.”
Lara Darco was CU’s third scorer, finishing 97th in 21:00.3. Katie Cumming had her best finish at nationals, crossing the line in 137th (21:17.8). Camille Logan rounded out CU’s score by taking 165th (21:28.9).
“We aren’t ecstatic about the women finishing 11th,” Wetmore said. “We know they are a better team than that, but those two front women had real good runs. Despite Emma’s track credentials she has never been a stellar cross country runner, and also in her case she had a very long last 14-16 months. They both equaled our highest expectations. Behind them it wasn’t a great day. It is an inexperienced team. Some of them had never been here before. This meet is very intimidating from the time you arrive to the middle of the race.”
The Buffs did come away from the meet with the highest combined team score (14). The second best team was Stanford (15). The Cardinal men finished fifth and the women were 10th.
CU graduates three men (Richard Medina, Andy Wacker and Christian Thompson) and two women (Emma Coburn and Lara Darco) from this year’s team.
2011 NCAA DIVISION I CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIP
Monday, November 21
Lavern Gibson Cross Country Course
Wabash Valley Family Sports Center, Terre Haute, Ind.
MEN’S TEAM TOP-10 10K RESULTS (of 31 teams):
1. Wisconsin, 97; 2. Oklahoma State, 139; 3. Colorado, 144; 4. BYU, 203; 5. Stanford, 207; 6. Oklahoma, 213; 7. Indiana, 257; 8. Portland, 259; 9. Iona, 265; 10. North Carolina State, 282
MEN’S TOP-10 INDIVIDUAL FINISHERS:
1. Lawi Lalang, Arizona, 28:44.1; 2. Chris Derrick, Stanford, 28:57.5; 3. Leonard Korir, Iona, 29:02.5; 4. Cameron Levins, Southern Utah, 29:04.8; 5. Mohammed Ahmed, Wisconsin, 29:06.7; 6. Luke Puskedra, Oregon, 29:09.3; 7. Diego Estrada, Northern Arizona, 29:24.7; 8. Richard Medina, Colorado, 29:27.8; 9. Henry Lelei, Texas A&M, 29:29.1; 10. Colby Lowe, Oklahoma State, 29:31.4.
OTHER COLORADO FINISHERS:
20. Andrew Wacker, 29:44.8; 24. Joseph Bosshard, 29:53.7; 49. Christian Thompson, 30:22.3; 88. Ammar Moussa, 30:42.4; 173. Martin Medina, 31:26.9; 183. Blake Theroux, 31:31.4.
WOMEN’S 6K RESULTS (of 31 teams):
1. Georgetown, 162: 2. Washington, 170; 3. Villanova, 181; 4. Florida State, 189; 5. Oregon, 281; 6. Vanderbilt, 282; 7. Iowa State, 290; 8. West Virginia, 297; 9. New Mexico, 322; 10. Stanford, 332. 11. Colorado, 335.
WOMEN’S TOP-10 INDIVIDUAL FINISHERS:
1. Sheila Reid, Villanova, 19:41.2; 2. Jordam Hasay, Oregon, 19:41.8; 3. Abbey D’Agostino, Dartmouth, 19:42.9; 4. Emily Infeld, Georgetown, 19:44.3; 5. Alex Banfich, Princeton, 19:45.0; 6. Bogdana Mimic, Villanova, 19:45.7; 7. Katie Flood, Washington, 19:47.9; 8. Kate Harrison, West Virginia, 19:49.5; 9. Betsy Saina, Iowa State, 19:50.7; 10. Tara Erdmann, Loyola Marymount, 19:51.3.
OTHER COLORADO FINISHERS:
19. Shalaya Kipp, 20:08.1; 20. Emma Coburn, 20:08.6; 97. Lara Darco, 21:00.3; 137. Katie Cumming, 21:17.8; 165. Camille Logan, 21:28.9; 169. Rachel Viger, 21:33.5; 170. Rachel Baptista, 21:34.3