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Dathan Ritzenhein
Height: 5'7"
Year: Sophomore
City/State: Rockford, Mich.
High School: Rockford

Wetmore on Ritzenhein, 'Dathan was the best high school distance runner in 2000, the best college freshman... maybe ever.  He missed last year due to an unfortunate injury, but he's healthy and has resumed training and will soon be back to the Ritz everyone saw in ‘01.'  2002:  Redshirt his sophomore season due to a right femur stress fracture.  2001:  Ritzenhein established a Buffalo Ranch freshman course record on the way to a RMS win (24:27) and finished third at the Pre-NCAA Invitational.  He became Colorado's second Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in three years when he tied a freshman conference-best  second-place finish in Norman, Okla. He became the second-highest finishing CU freshman in a national qualifying race when he finished second by five-tenths of a second in Provo, Utah (then-freshman Adam Goucher won the race in ‘94).  He quickly proved who the best freshman in the nation was when he finished fourth at the NCAA Championships.  He moved into third with 1,000-m to go on the Furman Golf Course but was passed by Arkansas' Allistair Cragg in the final stretch.  It was the best finish by a freshman since Colorado's Adam Goucher's runner-up  in Fayetteville, Ark. in 1994, third-best ever.  In the offseason he finished fifth in the 12k U.S. Championships in Vancouver, Wash., qualifying for the World Championships (his second straight) in Dublin where he finished 24th in the senior men's 12k, the highest-finishing American-born runner.   High School:   Ritzenhein was a four-time all-state performer and All-Ok-Red Conference and all-region his junior and senior seasons.  He finished third in the FootLocker Regionals in Racine, Wis. as a sophomore before taking the regional crown as a junior and senior, setting course records in both, the latter in 14:35.  He finished eighth at the FootLocker National Championships as a sophomore before becoming the first prep athlete to win back-to-back national titles as a junior and senior.  His resume expanded to the international scene following his senior cross season when he finished second at the 2001 US Cross Country Championships, earning him a trip to the IAAF World Championships where he finished third, becoming the first American junior to medal (bronze) in the race since ‘81.  He ran in his first USA TF Championships in Eugene, Ore. the summer after graduation, finishing 11th (13:44.70) in a 5k field that contained CU All-Americans and National Champions Adam Goucher, Alan Culpepper and Jorge Torres.  It was the best effort by a prep runner since Jerry Lingren's 13:44.00.   In The Classroom:  A history major, he has eclipsed the 3.00 mark all four semesters.    Personal:  Dathan James Ritzenhein was born December 30, 1982 in Grand Rapids, Mich.  He is the son of Jerry Ritzenhein of Rockford and Rae Marie Langlois of Grand Rapids, Mich.  He has an older sister (Brienne), four stepbrothers and one stepsister.  He was once an avid scuba diver and competed in a pair of triathlons.

 

2001 In Review....................... Fin/CU....................... Time

Rocky Mountain Shootout....................... 1/2....................... 24:27

Pre-National Invite....................... 3/2....................... 24:11

Big 12 Championships....................... 2/2....................... 23:47

NCAA Mountain Region....................... 2/2....................... 30:52

NCAA Championships....................... 4/2....................... 29:11

 

Honors

1999, 2000 FootLocker Midwest and National Champion

2001 Big 12 Newcomer of the Year

2001 First-Team All-Big 12

2001 All-Region

2001 All-American

 

TRACK PRs

1,500-m            3:42.99          2002 Cardinal Qualifier (outdoors)

3,000-m            8:01.72          2002 Big 12 Indoor Championships

5,000-m                        13:27.77                        2003 Cardinal Qualifier (outdoors)

 

 

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