Oh those blasted Cardinal.
For the second consecutive year, Wisconsin's men's cross country team finished second at the NCAA Championships, this year by an even more substantial margin than in 2002.
Stanford placed four runners in the top five, six in the top 11 and ran away with the team championship, held Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, scoring 24 points, 150 better than the Badgers. The Cardinal outpaced Wisconsin 47-107 last year.
The 24-point total (compiled by adding the place values of the teams' top five finishers) is the second lowest in NCAA history, bested only by UTEP's 17 at the 1981 national meet.
Wisconsin was led by Big Ten individual champion Simon Bairu, a sophomore, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Chris Solinsky, who finished seventh and 12th respectively. Bairu finished the 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) course in 29 minutes and 33.8 seconds, the third-best finish by a runner not from Stanford. By finishing in the top 30, Solinsky (who finished in 29:48.5) and Bairu each earned All-American honors.
Freshman Tim Nelson (48th place, 30:33.0), junior Josh Spiker (52nd, 30:34.3), Great Lakes Regional Champion sophomore Bobby Lockhart (55th, 30:36.1), junior Tim Keller (99th, 31:04.4) and sophomore Ben Gregory (146th, 31:31.6) rounded out Wisconsin's field.
Colorado's Dathan Ritzenhein provided the only blemish on Stanford's record sheet today, winning the individual crown in 29:14.1. Colorado finished sixth overall with 261 points. Rounding on the top six teams were Northern Arizona (190), Iona College (191) and Arkansas (215).
Stanford's Ryan Hall finished second individually in 29:15.4, followed by teammates Grant Robinson (29.19.2), Ian Dobson (29:24.7) and Louis Luchini (29.28.2) in the top five. All seven Stanford runners earned All-American status, with Seth Hejny, finishing a very respectable 26th (30:13.3) to round out the Cardinal field. Adam Tenforde (29:44.9) and Don Sage (29:45.8) finished 10th and 11th, respectively.
The solace for Wisconsin is that of Stanford's seven competitors in this year's championships, six are seniors. Only Hall, a junior, will be returning next season. The Badgers, meanwhile, did not field a single senior and raced through all but one competition this year without junior Matt Tegenkamp, the 2002 Big Ten Champion and a 2001 and 2002 All-American. Tegenkamp injured his shin after the first meet of the season.
Women's team finishes 26th
Guiney finished the 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) race in 46th place (20:59.0) followed by teammate Edmondson in 47th (21:02.5). The Badgers tallied 528 points. Stanford won the women's race with 120 points, followed closely by Brigham Young (128). North Carolina's Shalane Flanagan (19:30.4) earned individual honors. The Tar Heels finished eighth overall.
The race marked the final cross country meet in Badger coach Peter Tegen's storied 30-season tenure at Wisconsin.