CU Sophomore Ritzenhein Claims Cross Country Title

University of Colorado redshirt sophomore <b>Dathan Ritzenhein</b> overcame a snow-peppered course and temperatures hovering just above zero degrees Fahrenheit, winning the NCAA Division I Men's Cross Country Championship at the Irv Warren Golf Course in Waterloo, Iowa Monday, edging out Stanford's Ryan Hall by a single second; claiming the title with a final time of 29:15. The women finished fifth overall and the men sixth.

"I was pretty confident that Dathan could win it, but it was closer than I thought it would be, but obviously he's a huge talent. He's a hero today," said Colorado head coach Mark Wetmore. "I'm a little disappointed with sixth obviously, but we knew with Bret (Schoolmeester) sick that we were in a little bit of trouble and that we wouldn't be hitting on all cylinders. And Brent (Vaughn) keys off him, so they both ended a little buried and a little too far back at the 2k mark."

Ritzenhein's men's team finished sixth on the day, with Stanford claiming the all-around team title after controlling the day's events from the tournament outset. The Cardinal finished ahead of Wisconsin (174), Northern Arizona (189), Iona (207), Arkansas (213) and Colorado (259).

"This wasn't the race that I had wanted, and I wasn't feeling too good, but the outcome was good," said Ritzenhein. "This was a hard season and I won them all. It was hard to get back into racing after taking that much time off. Every race was hard, but this was the hardest with Ryan pushing me all of the way to the end."

The CU women's team tied their fifth place finish of a year ago behind Stanford (120), BYU (128), Providence (222) and Michigan (232). North Carolina's Shalane Flanigan claimed the all-around women's title for the second consecutive year in 19:30.

A televised version of the NCAA Championships will air on FOX Sports on Wednesday, Dec. 3 at 1 p.m. (MT).

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