NCAA Champions!

The Colorado men's and women's cross country team put together "perfect days" and swept the NCAA Championship crowns in Terre Haute, Ind., Monday. Renee Metivier paced the women's team with a second-place individual finish, while Brent Vaughn finished fourth in the men's race. It was CU's fourth team championship, all coming under head coach Mark Wetmore.

"I thought that if a perfect day was had by both teams, then we could win," Wetmore said after the races. "And everyone ran well, everyone contributed."

Colorado's title wins also mark the fifth-straight season that a CU team and/or individual has claimed national championship honors. The streak is second in the sport only to that of Villanova, which took a combined 12 women's team and individual crowns from 1989 to 1994. It is also the sixth and seventh titles for the Buffs since the 2000 season, and seventh and eighth since Adam Goucher's individual crown in 1998 started the crowning achievement.

Providence's Kim Smith (20:08.5) had the women's race lead from the starting gun to the finish line, and Metivier was second over the entire 6k loop. It is Metivier's second national runner-up finish in this race, as she finished second in 2001 as well.

"I was confident that I could be second, but in a race like this, you never know what's going to happen," Metivier said. "I ran the best race that I could. I'm so excited about the team title. I was thinking about it the whole race. To have our top five runners in the top 30 is really exciting. As soon as I crossed the finish line, I started looking for my teammates."

The men's race was a battle for both the individual and team titles from the start. At the halfway mark, a lead pack of 10-plus runners were separated by one second with Arkansas' Josphat Boit in the lead and Vaughn in 15th. Vaughn had taken sole possession of fourth place at the 8k turn, having caught 13 runners in a 3k span. Teammate Bret Schoolmeester picked off several runners too, pushing up through the pack and coming in just behind Vaughn in fifth place.

"It was pretty even throughout the entire race," said Vaughn. "I went out slow and conservative and tried to catch people. At the end I did what I needed to do for team to win."

2004 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
MEN'S TEAM SCORES (of 30 teams): 1. COLORADO, 90-pts.; 2. Wisconsin, 94; 3. Arkansas, 202; 4. Butler, 243; 5. BYU, 267; 6. Stanford, 269; 7. Iona 279; 8. Arizona State, 315; 9. New Mexico, 330; 10. Cal Poly, 333.

MEN'S FINISHERS: 1. Simon Bairu, Wis., 30:37.7; 2. Matt Gonzales, UNM, 30:40.9; 3. Josphat Boit, Ark, 30:41.8; 4. Brent Vaughn, CU, 30:48.7; 5. Bret Schoolmeester, 30:56.3; 6. Simon Ngata, UGA, 30:56.5; 7. Benson Chesang, KU, 30:59.4; 8. Nef Araia, Stanford, 31:05.4; 9. Robert Cheseret, Arizona, 31:05.8; 10. Rod Koborsi, Georgtown, 31:06.4.

Other CU Finishes: 21. Jon Severy, 31:26.9; 44. Stephen Pifer, 31:56.8; 49. James Strang, 31:59.9, 80. Jared Scott, 32:25.0; 121. Bradley Harkrader, 32:50.7.

WOMEN'S TEAM SCORES (of 31 teams): 1. COLORADO, 63-points; 2. Duke, 144; 3. Providence, 164; 4. Notre Dame, 170; 5. Stanford, 175; 6. Michigan, 246; 7. Villanova, 277; 8. BYU, 293; 9. Arizona State, 333; 10. North Carolina, 336.

WOMEN'S FINISHERS: 1. Kim Smith, PC, 20:08.5; 2. Renee Metivier, 20:26.4; 3. Caroline Bierbaum, Columbia, 20:30.7; 4. Laura Turner, BYU, 20:37.5; 5. Maureen McCandless, Pitt, 20:38.2; 6. Lindsay Donaldson, Yale, 20:40.0; 7. Carol Henry, UNC, 20:41.9; 8. Marina Munca, Vill, 20:42.8; 9. Angela Homan, Auburn, 20:43.8; 10. Fiona Crombie, PC, 20:45.9. Other CU Finishers: 13. Liza Pasciuto, 20:48.1; 14. Christine Bolf, 20:48.1; 28. Sara Slattery, 21:06.45; 30. Natalie Florence, 21:07.2; 78. Amber Smith, 21:44.3


BuffStampede Top Stories