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Buffaloes Win Six Big 12 Outdoor Titles In 2002
Colorado's distance runners had a weekend to remember at the 2002 Big 12 Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Columbia, Mo. By winning six titles and breaking records in the process, the Buffaloes continued to show why they have one of the elite distance programs in the country.
The following is a wrap up of that weekend in 2002, taken from reports by the Boulder Daily Camera and CU Sports Information Releases.
May 20, 2002
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Led by record-setting performances from Jorge Torres, Leslie Higgins and Sara Gorton, the Colorado Buffaloes crowned six individual champions Sunday on the final day of competition at the Big 12 Track and Field Championships.
Colorado then swept the steeplechase events when senior Lesley Higgins won the women’s event, storming to a Big 12 meet record 10:26.16 to win her first Big 12 outdoor title. CU freshman Natalie Florence was right behind, taking second in 10:30.26 in her first-ever steeplechase.
Junior Ed Torres provided the highlight of day one for the Buffaloes, taking second place in the men’s 10,000 meters, finishing just over a second behind winner Mike Mwangong of Iowa State. Torres, Mwangong and Marcus Witter of Nebraska traded the lead throughout the first 24 laps of the race, but it was Mwangong’s kick down the last 100 meters that proved to be the difference.
Running in a pack of three for much of the race, Torres and Mwangong pilled away from Witter with 800 meters to go, running the 24th lap in just under 66 seconds. Torres pulled ahead of Mwangong at the 300-meter mark, however the ISU runner grabbed the lead from Torres with roughly 40 meters to go, out-kicking him on the homestretch. Torres’s time of 29:48.48 was just behind the 29:47.25 mark posted by Mwangong. Witter was just under 12 seconds behind with his time of 30:00.20. This marked the second-straight year a buff took second in the men’s 10K, as Sean Smith was the runner up a year ago in College Station.
In women’s 10,000-meter action, junior Tera Moody took third behind Debbie Thornhill and Kara Newton of Baylor. The two Bears led for the entire race with roughly a 100 meter lead on the pack led by Moody, who broke ahead of Trisha Culbertson of Kansas State down the stretch to earn third place. Senior Jen Fazioli ran a strong race as well, finishing sixth and fourth in the second pack of runners. Moody finished in 35:33.58, with Fazioli turning in a time of 35:38.82.
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