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Stanford Women Defend, Colorado Men Upset Wisconsin at NCAA XC Champs
By Mike Scott
(c) 2006 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

TERRE HAUTE, IN (20-Nov-2006) -- The Stanford University women and University of Colorado men won the team titles at the 2006 NCAA Division I Men's & Women's Cross Country Championships hosted by Indiana State University at the LaVerne Gibson Championship Course here.  Brigham Young's Josh Rohatinsky and Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego each won their first NCAA crowns over the muddy course under clear skies with temperatures in the low 40s (5C).

Kipyego, a Kenyan who was 8th in the junior race at the 2001 World Cross Country Championships, lined up for the race undefeated.  She and compatriot Salome Kosgei, representing Iona College, rocketed off from the field at the start, opening up a huge lead after just 400-meters.  While Kosgei started to falter after the first kilometer, Kipyego continued to extend her lead, passing the halfway mark of the 6 km course in 9:45.

The chase pack, which included Arianna Lambie (Stanford), Julia Lucas (NC State), Francis Koons (Villanova), Kosgei, Lindsay Donaldson (Yale), Jenny Barringer (Colorado), and Kassi Anderson (BYU), were 21 seconds behind..

While Kipyego continued to dominate out front, Lambie ventured off from the pack just after 4-K with Lucas, Barringer, Donaldson, Anderson, and the rest strung out behind her.  But the battle was for second, as Kipyego cruised through the final kilometers to win in a mud-slowed 21:12.

"I just wanted to get out and run my own race," said Kipyego.  "I've worked hard this season and I knew I'd be fine.  It was an advantage to be out front; I could see the footing."

Behind Kipyego, Colorado's Barringer, the NCAA steeplechase champion last spring as a freshman, had Lambie in her crosshairs as she entered the final straight.

"I don't think I've ever run that hard for 500-meters in my life," Barringer said later.

Barringer surged past Lambie to claim runner-up honors in 20:38.  Yale's Donaldson also passed Lambie in the final 100 to grab third in 20:43, leaving Lambie to finish fourth just one second back.  Lucas claimed fifth in 20:48.

Stanford University's women's team entered the season as the defending champions and were never ranked lower than first in the coach's polls.  However, second year coach Peter Tegen wasn't about to claim the win ahead of time.

"Once the gun goes off, you throw the rankings out the window," said Tegen.  "We didn't want to do anything extracuricular, anything heroic, anything special," said Tegen.  "We knew if we just ran to our ability, that would do the job."

At 3-K, Stanford led the field with a score in the 130s, about 100 points ahead of Michigan and Providence.  However, Stanford's Katy Trotter, who was among the leaders at 3-K, struggled in the second half and would only finish 78th.

The Cardinal held on for the win over surprising Colorado.  Stanford's winning score of 195 was reported as the highest in the NCAA history.

"I'm not sure we want to continue to see how high we can score and still win," quipped Tegen, referring to the fact that his 2005 squad also won with a relatively large team score.

Colorado finished strongly over the second half of the course to claim second with 223 points, while Michigan finished third with 233 and Wisconsin finished fourth with 262.


While Kipyego ran away with the women's race from the starters gun, BYU's Rohatinsky waited until the final kilometer before making his move.

The men's field stayed bunched together for most of the first half the race, with Providence's Martin Fagan and Farleigh Dickson's Samuel Chelanga leading a pack of 13 together at halfway, passed in 15:19.

"Yesterday, my coach (former NCAA champion Ed Eyestone) said he thought the race would start breaking apart at 7K", said Rohatinsky.  "I didn't feel that good for the first 5K, but I just told myself to hang in there.  I started to feel better and better during the second 5K."

Rohatinsky and Stanford's Neftalem Araia started to break away during the eighth kilometer, passing 8K in 24:33.  By 9K, the duo were clear from the field.

Rohatinsky was able to establish a clear lead with 600 remaining and continued to pull away  to win in 30:45.

Araia held on for second in 30:53, while Southern Utah's Jeff Baumgartner moved up to claim third in 30:54.  Northern Arizona's Lopez Lomong and Providence's Fagan finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 31:00 and 31:01.

Wisconsin had entered the meet as the defending champion and pre-meet favorite.  However, the Badgers' Chris Solinsky, the top returnee with a third place in 2005, struggled during the final two kilometers.  At the 8-K mark he was only seven seconds behind the leaders, but he faded badly to finish 73rd.

The Colorado Buffalos, who won here in similar muddy conditions in 2004, took advantage of Wisconsin's misstep to claim their third title this decade with 94 points.

"We had five guys who had pretty good days," said Coach Mark Wetmore after the race.  "That's not an easy thing to do.  The other teams are going to say that they had this person or that person struggle."

Wisconsin finished a distant second with 142 points, while Iona placed third, their highest team placing ever, with 172 points.  Stanford, who had finished second to Oregon at both Pac-10s and the West Regional, returned the favor here by one point as the Cardinal finished fourth and Oregon fifth.

The NCAA harrier championships will return here to Terre Haute for the fourth straight year --and the fifth out of six years-- in 2007.

Results Summary:

 1. Josh Rohatinsky, SR, BYU, 30:44.9
 2. Neftalem Araia, SR, Stanford, 30:52.6
 3. Jess Baumgartner, JR, Southern Utah, 30:53.2
 4. Lopez Lomong, SO, Northern Arizona, 30:59.8
 5. Martin Fagan, SR, Providence, 31:01.0
 6. Galen Rupp, SO, Oregon, 31:03.0
 7. Jacob Korir, SR, Eastern Kentucky, 31:03.5
 8. Peter Kosgei, SR, Arkansas, 31:04.4
 9. Aaron Aguayo, SR, Arizona State, 31:06.6
10. Robert Cheseret, SR, Arizona, 31:09.3

 1. Colorado, 8 + 10 + 15 + 27 + 34 = 94 points
 2. Wisconsin, 7 + 9 + 13 + 49 + 64 = 142
 3. Iona, 12 + 22 + 35 + 46 + 57 = 172
 4. Stanford, 195
 5. Oregon, 96

 1. Sally Kipyego, SO, Texas Tech, 20:11.1
 2. Jenny Barringer, SO, Colorado, 20:37.9
 3. Lindsay Donaldson, JR, Yale, 20:42.7
 4. Arianna Lambie, JR, Stanford, 20:43.8
 5. Julia Lucas, SR, NC State, 20:47.1
 6. Kassi Andersen, JR, BYU, 20:53.8
 7. Aine Hoban, SR, Providence, 21:04.3
 8. Diane Nukuri, JR, Iowa, 21:05.7
 9. Irene Kimaiyo, SR, Texas Tech, 21:06.3
10. Alissa McKaig, SO, Michigan State, 21:06.7

 1. Stanford, 3 + 27 + 45 + 58 + 62 = 195 points
 2. Colorado, 2 + 14 + 37 + 39 + 131 = 223
 3. Michigan, 10 + 40 + 41 + 50 + 92 = 233
 4. Wisconsin, 262
 5. Arkansas, 286

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