Running Shots

 

 

The men's individual race of the 2008 NCAA Cross-Country Championships became one of the most anticipated races not seen in recent memory. Unlike a lot of years when there were a handful of favorites for the title, this year there was two clear favorites, a rivalry reminiscent to the one that played out between Salazar vs Rono.

Samuel Chelanga (Liberty), a third-year sophomore from Kenya. He was 16th at the NCAAs as a freshman in 2006, is unbeaten in five races this year, including the pre-national meet (above) in Terre Haute in October that did not include Oregon. After a  4:18 opening mile his lead would continue to 44.2 seconds.

He broke last year's NCAA champion Josh McDougal's course record of 22:56.4 by running 22:51.3!!

Similarly, the senior from Portland, Ore., Rupp ripped through the West Regional - Scorching a sub-28:00 for 10,000 meters.

Rupp's 27:41 on a course that was 85 meters short of 10k - is still worth sub-28:00. His margin of victory was: 51.07 seconds!

The Race:

Oregon wore black singlets for the first time instead of the usual yellow with green shorts.

The Rupp-Chelanga matchup lived up to its billing as a classic battle.

Chelanga, went out hard again. This time it was 4:21 for the first mile.

By 3K, Rupp, had closed to within three seconds.

They were together by 5K.

2007 NCAA XC Championships

Rupp, who came out on the losing side of a duel to the closing metres with Liberty University's Josh McDougal.

They battled the entire final 400m straight, but in the end, McDougal held on for the 1 second victory.

Chelanga & Rupp ran shoulder-to-shoulder the last half of the race until Rupp made his move with 200 meters remaining.

Rupp learned from last year and kicked away from Chelanga, another Liberty runner, but this time with a smile on his face!

After near misses, Rupp captures his first NCAA title by shadowing Chelenga for 9,600m and then outkicking him on the straight to lead Oregon to the team win.

Rupp’s winning time of 29 minutes, 3.2 seconds was nearly two seconds better than the course record (29:04.7) set by Colorado’s Jorge Torres @ 2002 NCAA XC Champs (Above).

(Torres placed 47th as a frosh for Colorado in 1999).

Rupp becomes the third Oregon runner to win an NCAA men's cross country title race,

He joins Oregon legends Steve Prefontaine, a three-time winner in 1970-71 and 1973, and Alberto Salazar, who was the Ducks’ last individual champion in 1978 (Link to video).

Like the men's individual race, there was a lot of hype over the battle for top frosh.

The chase pack, racing for 3rd place.

In the mix: Luke Puskedra (Oregon, 466), German Fernandez (Oklahoma State, 435) and Chris Derrick (Stanford, 575).

Near 4½ miles.

Unfortunately the moment Fernandez goes down with a calf injury.

Some past true frosh placings... And...

1) Kennedy (1988)
2) Goucher (1994)
3) Pre (1969)
4) Ritz (01)

3), 4), 5) Puskedra (08)!

How they finished:

1) 467 Galen Rupp SR Oregon .....................29:03.2
2) 277 Samuel Chelanga SO Liberty .............29:08.0
--Pictured above--
3) 226 Andrew Ledwith SR Iona ...................29:25.4
4) 493 David Kinsella SR Portland ................29:26.5
5) 466 Luke Puskedra FR Oregon ................29:27.8
6) 225 Mohamed Khadraoui SR Iona ............29:29.3
7) 575 Chris Derrick FR Stanford .................29:29.4
8) 438 John Kosgei JR Oklahoma State .........29:32.4
9) 461 Shadrac Kiptoo-Biwott SR Oregon ....29:43.4
10) 102 Kyle Perry SR BYU .........................29:46.1

A total of 252 runners.

The unassuming Utah native went from 5th in Foot Locker

to 5th in NCAAs in one year!

With Rupp first, freshman Luke Puskedra finishing fifth Oregon has three runners finish in the top 10 for the first time since 1974 (Paul Geis 4th, Dave Taylor 5th and Terry Williams 6th).

The team title was Oregon’s sixth overall and the school’s first back-to-back championship since 1973-74.

 

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The Men's NCAA Division I Varsity Cross Country Meet Began in 1938

Monday, November 21, 1938 - First Annual National Collegiate Athletic Association Varsity Cross Country Run - 4-Miles @ East Lansing Michigan.

Results (Top 3) - Weather: Clear, Cold and Strong Wind.
1) Gregory Rice (Notre Dame) ........... 20:12.9.
2) William Feiler (Drake) .................... 20:16.
3) James A. Whittaker (Ohio State) .... 20:20.

*The race was held on the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Greg Rice (Notre Dame)
Only 5' 5", Greg Rice was nicknamed "Little Dynamite" and the University of Notre Dame graduate dominated the distance running scene in the early 1940s. At one point, he won 55-straight races and his exploits earned him the 1940 Sullivan Award as the nation's top amateur athlete. Rice was particularly dominant indoors. Overall, he lowered the world indoor bests for the two and three miles eight times. He improved the record in the two-mile run by more than six seconds from March 1940, when he clocked 8:56.2, to March 1943, when he ran 8:51.0. During his career, he won nine national titles, including five outdoors. As an undergraduate at Notre Dame, Rice was a six-time All-American and two-time winner of the NCAA two-mile run (in 1937 and 1939). Like many during that period, Rice was prevented from competing in the Olympics because of the outbreak of World War II. Rice's last race occurred at the 1943 National AAU outdoor championships when he lost to Sweden's Gundar Haegg. Rice remained active in track for many years as an official.
(PB's) 2M. - 8:51 - American Record: 3M. - 14:13 (December 28, 1941) (From: usatf.org, LINK)

 

A few past NCAA Varsity (Div I) Cross Country Individual Men's Winners...

Walter Mehl (Wisconsin) NCAA XC Champ 1939
Gil Dodds (Ashland)  NCAA XC Champ 1940
Fred Wilt Indiana NCAA XC Champ 1941

Nov 27, 1939 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Walter Mehl (Wisconsin) - 20:30.9

Nov 25, 1940 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Gil Dodds (Ashland) .. 20:30.2

Nov 24, 1941 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Frederick Wilt (Indiana) .. 20:32.1

 

Oliver Hunter (Notre Dame)  NCAA XC Champ 1942

1943 - No Meet

Wartime Cancellation

Fred Feiler (Drake)  NCAA XC Champ 1944 Fred Feiler NCAA XC win 1945 Fred Feiler NCAA XC win 1945

Nov 21, 1942 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Oliver H. Hunter III (Notre Dame) - 20:18.0
**CR record despite losing more than 15 seconds making wrong turn (straying 50 yards off course).

In preceding years -Hunter was 2nd (40-41)!!

Nov 25, 1944 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Fred Feiler (Drake) - 21:04.2

Nov 24, 1945 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Fred Feiler (Drake) - 21:14.2

 

Quentin Brelsford (Ohio Wesleyan) NCAA XC Champ Jack Milne (North Carolina) NCAA XC Champ Robert Black (Rhode Island) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 25, 1946 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Quentin Brelsford (Ohio Wesleyan) . 20:22.9
...
6) Fred Feiler (Drake) ... 20:56

*Quentin would slip to 3rd next year ('47).

Nov 24, 1947 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Jack Milne (North Carolina) - 20:41.1

Milne, a dark horse, capitalized on two mistakes in the last quarter mile.  Defending champion, Quentin Brelsford had a 15-yard lead one quarter mile from the finish line when he slipped and fell at an icy curve on the slushy course. The pack ran around or hurdled him (Brelsford got 3rd). Robert Karnes (Kansas) took the lead after Brelsford fell, but the Kansas runner lost out when he took a wrong turn in the homestretch (ending up 5th).  That’s when the sure-footed & quick-witted Milne pulled out ahead to win!

Nov 22, 1948 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing - 11:30 a.m.

 Robert Black (Rhode Island)  - 19:52.3
*Robert was 7th last year (21:07)

 

Robert Black (Rhode Island) NCAA XC Champ
Herb Semper Kansas first of two titles
Herb Semper Kansas NCAA XC Champ

Nov 28, 1949 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Robert Black (Rhode Island)  - 20:25.7

Nov 27, 1950 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Herb E. Semper (Kansas) - 20:31.7
*Semper was 20th last year (21:08).

Nov 26, 1951 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing - 11:30 a.m.

Herb E. Semper (Kansas) - 20:09.5 (4M)

 

Nov 24, 1952 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Charlie Capozzoli (Georgetown) - 19:36.7

Nov 23, 1953 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Wes Santee (Kansas) - 19:43.5

Nov 22, 1954 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing - 11:30 a.m.

Al Frame (Kansas) - 19:54.2 (4M)

Frame was 18th last year (20:33.5)

 

Charles "Deacon" Jones (Iowa) NCAA XC Champ
Henry Kennedy (Michigan State) leads Charles Jones (Iowa) and Max Truex (#269, USC)
Walter McNew (Texas) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 28, 1955 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Charles "Deacon" Jones (Iowa) - 19:57.4
Henry Kennedy (Michigan State)-19:57.5
* (.1) smallest victory margin

1955 - NCAA XC Action - 3½ Miles

Henry Kennedy (Michigan State) leads Jones as Max Truex (#269, USC) runs himself to exhaustion, hits the wall, finishes 9th -losing 26 seconds in the closing 880 yards!

Nov 26, 1956 - NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Walter McNew (Texas) - 19:55.7

McNew would drop to 8th in '57 (20:00.1)

 

Max Truex (USC) NCAA XC Champion Max Truex (USC) NCAA XC Champion Crawford Kennedy NCAA XC Champ 1958 Crawford Kennedy NCAA XC Champ 1958

November 25, 1957, Monday - 11:30 a.m.

19th Annual NCAA Varsity Cross Country Championships @ Michigan State University, East Lansing. Four Miles

Max Truex (USC) wins the individual NCAA cross country title in 19:12.3
***NCAA Cross County Record and Course and Meet Record.

Truex was 9th as a soph ('55).

Nov 24, 1958 -NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -11:30 a.m.

Crawford E. Kennedy (Michigan State) - 20:07.1 (4M) - (Billy Mills 5th -20:35)

Kennedy Last year: 5th ('57), Then 3rd in '59.

 

Nov. 23, 1959, 11:30am.

NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing - 4 Miles

Nov. 21, 1960, 11:30am.

NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing - 4 Miles

Nov. 27, 1961, 11:30am.

NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -Four Miles

Al Lawrence Houston Sophomore winner Al Lawrence wins second title Barefoot Dale Story

The winner:

Barefoot Dale Story (OSU) 19:46.6

Al Lawrence, University of Houston Sophomore, wins individual title in 20:35.7

Lawrence is a native of Sydney Australia.

*Billy Mills 6th (21:08)

Al Lawrence ( Houston) defended his title in 19:28.2 (CR)

*Billy Mills 5th (20:05)

Story ran barefoot in 32-degree, icy 20-mile an hour wind, finished 30-yards ahead with a time 19:46.6, fifth best time in the 23-year history of the NCAA meet, and led his Oregon State teammates to the team title.

Oregon State entered the 23rd NCAA Championship for the first time. It was very successful. (News Article LINK)

*Defending individual champion, Al Lawrence of Houston was 59th in the field of 134 runners. Lawrence was slowed by a sore achilles tendon.

 

Tom O'Hara (Loyola) NCAA XC Champ
Vic Zwolak (Villanova) 1963 NCAA XC Champ
Elmore Banton (Jr, Ohio) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 26, 1962 -NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -11:30 a.m.

Tom O'Hara (Loyola) - 19:20.3 (CR)

Nov 26, 1963 -NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -11:30 a.m.

Vic Zwolak (Villanova) - 19:35.0

Previous NCAA appearances: 4th in '62 & 14th in '61.

Nov 23, 1964 -NCAA XC @ Michigan State University, East Lansing -11:30 a.m.

Elmore Banton (Jr, Ohio) ... 20:07.5

Banton dropped 7th the next year, '65.

 

John Lawson Kansas NCAA XC Champ
Gerry Lindgren NCAA XC Champ Gerry Lindgren enroute to second NCAA XC title

Nov 22, 1965 -NCAA XC @ University, Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas -11:30 a.m. Course Length changed to 6-Miles.

John Lawson (Kansas) - 29:24.0 (CR)

Nov 21, 1966 -NCAA XC @ University, Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas -11:30 a.m.

Gerald Lindgren (WSU) - 29:01.4 (CR)

Nov 27, 1967 -NCAA XC @ University, of Wyoming, Laramie Country Club -11:30 a.m.

Gerald Lindgren (WSU) ... 30:45.6

 

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November 25, 1968 -NCAA XC @ Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, New York City -11:00 a.m. Temp 47° -Winds 15-20 MPH

Photos courtesy/available at: runmoremiles.com

Start of the 1968 NCAA Cross Country /217 finishers   Frank Shorter is in front pack
Frank Shorter #567, Yale finishes in 19th place After 6M, Mike Ryan (Air Force Acad), a junior, wins in 29:16.8 (CR)
Frank Shorter (#567, Yale), a junior, would finish 19th in 30:07

After 6M, Mike Ryan (Air Force Acad), a junior, won in 29:16.8 (CR)

Ryan was 3rd last year in Wyoming (31:06) and 2nd in '69 (29:01.0)

 

Gerry Lindgren (WSU) NCAA XC Champ
  Steve Prefontaine (Oregon) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 24, 1969 -NCAA XC @ Van Cortlandt Park,

Bronx, New York City -11:00 a.m. Temp 45°

Gerald Lindgren (WSU) ... 28:59.2

 

Nov 23, 1970 -NCAA XC @ College of William & Mary, Kingsmill Plantation, Williamsburg, Virginia - 11:00 a.m. Temp 49°

Steve Prefontaine (Oregon) ... 28:00.2

 

Steve Prefontaine (Oregon) NCAA XC Champ   Neil Cusack (East Tennessee) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 22, 1971 -NCAA XC @ Tennessee, Fox Den, Knoxville, Tennessee - 11:00 a.m.

Steve Prefontaine (Oregon) ... 29:14

 

Nov 20, 1972 -NCAA XC @ University of Houston, Glenbrook Golf Course - 11:00 a.m.

Neil Cusack (East Tennessee) ... 28:23

 

November 19, 1973 -35th Annual NCAA XC @ Hangman Valley, Spokane WA - 6M - 11:30 a.m. Temp 38° - Clear & Sunny

Photos courtesy/available at: runmoremiles.com

Steve Prefontaine contemplates running his last college race (219 starters & 4,000 (est) spectators).

Everyone was out to beat Prefontaine...

He faced an eager field, filled with hungry foreigners like last years champion Neil Cusack, AAU six-mile champion Gordon Minty, Nick Rose of England/Wn Ky & John Ngeno of Kenya/WSU.

Pre contemplates his last race for Oregon

(first mile was 4:20)

(R)
8:57 at 2-Miles...

(L-R)
Nick Rose, Pre & John Ngeno

The leaders at the two-mile mark
Nick Rose pushes the pace Nick Rose sprints away.
Pre and Ngeno chase Rose

Rose's lead stretched to 70 yards!

Along a series of rolling hills late in the 3rd mile, Pre makes his move (R).

Pre makes his move to catch Rose
Pre chases down Rose

Rose led past 4 miles, but a half mile later Pre was close-by.

(R) With less than a mile to go, the two traded strides.

As Pre & Rose reached a short climb with 400 yards to go... Pre charged up the last hill and Rose had to let him go (paying for his bold pacesetting).

 

Pre and Rose trade strides
Pre breaks away from Rose (R) Pre wins his 3rd College Harrier title. Pre wins his third college harrier title
Pre

Results (Top 3) - 6-miles
1) Steve Prefontaine (Ore) .... 28:14.8
2) Nick Rose (Wn Ky) ......... 28:20.0
3) Gordon Minty (En Mich) .. 28:22.0

Oregon won the team title.

10) Craig Virgin (Frosh, IL) .. 28:47.8

Pre and Rose warm down Pre and Rose warm down

 

Nick Rose (Western Kentucky) NCAA XC Champ
Craig Virgin (Illinois) NCAA XC Champ Henry Rono (WSU) NCAA XC Champ

Nov 26, 1974 -NCAA XC @ Indiana University - Six Miles

Nick Rose (W Kentucky) ... 29:22.00

12) Craig Virgin (IL) ... 30:15.84

Nov 24, 1975 -NCAA XC @ Penn State, Blue Golf Course - Six Miles

Craig Virgin (Illinois) ... 28:23.3

Nov 22, 1976 -NCAA XC @ North Texas State University -*Distance 10,000 Meters

Henry Rono (#415, WSU) ... 28:06.60 CR

2) Samson Kimombwa (WSU) .. 28:16.78
3) Craig Virgin (IL) .................... 28:26.53

 

Nov 21, 1977 -NCAA XC @ Hangman Valley, Spokane, WA - 10,000m

Henry Rono (WSU) ........ 28:33.5 CR

9) Alberto Salazar (Oregon) ...... 29:20.8

Nov 20, 1978 -NCAA XC @ Yahara Hill's Snow-Covered 10,000m golf course in icy 19° - Madison, Wisconsin

Alberto Salazar (Oregon) ...... 29:29.7 CR

*Rono twisted an ankle & jogged to 237th (34:10)

Nov 19, 1979 -NCAA XC @ Lehigh University's Saucon Valley Fields, Bethlehem Pennsylvania - 10,000m (grass) - 11:00 A.M.

Henry Rono (WSU) ....... 28:19.6 CR

2) Alberto Salazar (Oregon) ...... 28:37.4

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