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CU Wins Men's & Women's Cross Country Big 12 Championships

Courtesy: Linda Sprouse, Assistant SID
Release: October 27, 2006
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Jennifer Barringer (right) was the Big 12 Women's Runner-up while Brent Vaughn (left) led...   By CUBuffs.com
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LAWRENCE, Kansas For the eighth straight year, the Colorado men’s and women’s cross country teams captured both team titles at the Big 12 Championships at Rim Rock Farm, hosted by the University of Kansas. The women scored 45 points in earning their 10th title and the men tallied 36 en route to their 11th straight championship. Jenny Barringer took second for the women in 20:45.52 and Brent Vaughn led the men with a third-place finish (24:39.40).


Barringer, a sophomore, ran with the lead pack the whole race and placed second for her second straight year. She came in behind Sally Kipyego, from Texas Tech, who won in 20:00.82.


“I feel amazing,” Barringer said. “I went out and I wanted to be real tough and give Texas Tech a run for their money and I feel like I ran the absolute best race I could have today. I finished strong and I ran the whole way strong. I’m always shooting for something higher, but I ran the best race I possibly could have run today.”


Junior Liza Pasciuto, was CU’s second across the line. She came in at 21:12.98, earning a fifth-place finish. Pascuito moved up from a sixth-place finish in 2005.


“Personally I was a little frustrated with my performance, but team wise, we did a really good job,” Pasciuto said. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season with this young team.”


CU’s freshmen came up big as Claire Maduza and Aislinn Ryan each earned their first All-Big 12 honors in the race. Maduza took sixth, right behind Pasciuto, with a mark of 21:21.38. Ryan finished in 21:26.94 to place ninth.


            Rounding out CU’s team score was senior and captain Erin Marston. Marston took 23rd in her first Big 12 Championship, finishing in a time of 22:09.63.


“I’m really excited about our team,” Barringer said. “Our team is young and excited and I really think we have a lot going for our team. I’m excited about girls who are moving up and girls who are learning things every time they come out to race. I think we are going to be tough to beat in the next couple of years.”


“I thought they ran very well as a group,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “I can’t think of any weak races. I know Rachel (Gioscia) came in with a really back cold and we had to moderate her race plan. But they rose up. This should have been a really close race and it ended up being not so close. They are a really young team and I have no complaints. It’s off to the next one.”           


On the men’s side, all five of CU’s scorers placed in the top 15. Besides Vaughn’s third-place finish, CU took sixth, seventh, ninth and eleventh. Billy Nelson finished sixth overall in 24:45.50 and Stephen Pifer was just over two seconds back, taking seventh in 24:47.60. Colby Wissel, Kansas, won the race in 24:34.40.


“I think we ran great,” Vaughn said. “We listened to Mark’s plan and went out slow as a team. We moved up during the race, maybe a little to fast, but it worked out.


“I still feel a little rusty, but I am starting to feel back in shape. Mark has done a really good job. He’s really good getting guys back who have been injured in the previous years. Every race I feel like I am going to get better.


            Erik Heinonen, despite suffering a broken nose in the first 1,000 meters, finished ninth for the Buffs. He crossed the finish in 24:50.40 to earn his first all-conference honor. Heinonen’s nose was broken due to a scuffle on the course with Oklahoma State’s David Jankowski. Jankowski was disqualified from the race after finishing 14th.


“I don’t know if I could run 7,000 meters with a broken nose and finish ninth in the conference,” Wetmore said. “He’s a courageous guy.”


James Strang rounded out CU’s men’s score with the 11th-place finish in 24:55.60.


            All five of CU’s team scorers crossed the finish before the reigning two-time Big 12 Champion Benson Chesang, who finished in 12th. 


            “We were the highest ranked team in the race, but I think we maybe dominated a little more than I expected,” Wetmore said. The men’s individual race could have gone to about 10 guys and if it couldn’t be one of mine, then I am happy for KU that their guy could pull away. They were all together at the end and the KU guy was just able to pull away at the end.”


            The Buffs will be back in action on Nov. 11 for NCAA regional action. The mountain regional will take place in Albuquerque, N.M.



Rim Rock Farm (Lawrence, Kansas)


1. Colorado 36; 2. Texas 80; 3. Kansas 82; 4. Oklahoma State 108; 5. Iowa State 114; 6. Missouri 156; 7. Texas A&M 196; 8. Baylor 234; 9. Oklahoma 246; 10. Texas Tech 254; 11. Nebraska 320; 12. Kansas State 331.



1. Colby Wissel, KU, 24:34.40; 2. Joe Thorne, Texas, 24:37.30; 3. Brent Vaughn, CU, 24:39.40; 4. Paul Hefferon, KU, 24:41.10; 5. Kevin Chelimo, TTU, 24:45.40; 6. Billy Nelson, CU, 24:45.50; 7. Stephen Pifer, CU, 24:47.60; 8. Kiel Uhl, ISU, 24:48.30; 9. Erik Heinonen, CU, 24:50.40; 10. Joe Gray, OSU, 24:54.50; 11. James Strang, CU, 24:55.60; 12. Benson Chesang, KU, 24:57.10; 13. Daniel Watts, OSU, 25:06.90; 14. Guor Majak, ISU, 25:09.60; 15. Tim Ross, MU, 25:12.00. Other CU Finishers: 21. Kenyon Neuman, 25:22.40; 26. Chris Pannone, 25:29.80; 28. Pete Janson, 25:30..40; 53. Brad Harkrader, 26:07.20.



1. Colorado 45; 2. Texas Tech 64; 3. Nebraska 110; 4. Oklahoma State 120; 5. Baylor 121; 6. Texas A&M 147; 7. Missouri 169; 8. Oklahoma 172; 9. Iowa State 247; 10. Texas 280; 11. Kansas 287; 12. Kansas State 290.



1. Sally Kipyego, TTU, 20:00.82; 2. Jenny Barringer, CU, 20:45.52; 3. Irene Kimaiyo, TTU, 21:06.04; 4. Jessica Eldridge, OU, 21:08.29; 5. Liza Pasciuto, CU, 21:12.98; 6. Claire Maduza, CU, 21:21.38; 7. Lisa Koll, ISU, 21:22.88; 8. Merideth Snow, A&M, 21:26.40; 9. Aislinn Ryan, CU, 21:26.94; 10. Nichole Jones, Baylor, 21:30.70; 11. Violet Chemakwila, TTU, 21:32.18; 12. Channing Anseth, NU, 21:32.21; 13. Ari Goldstein, NU, 21:33.76; 14. Mary Davies, OSU, 21:42.47; 15. Liliani Mendez, KSU, 21:47.48. Other CU Finishers: 23. Erin Marston, 22:09.63; 46. Hilary McClendon, 22:49.47; 52. Emily Hanenberg, 23:02.92; 62. Anna Chase, 23:27.56; 88. Rachel Gioscia, 24:38.99.





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