Oklahoma St, Villanova win NCAA running titles
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Oklahoma State runners and their coach basked in victory this time at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Teammates at the finish chanted, "OSU, OSU" on Monday when it became obvious that the Cowboys had repeated as men's team champions.
"Last year I was just relieved," Oklahoma State coach Dave Smith said. "I was so stressed going in, and felt the pressure."
Individual titles went to Samuel Chelanga, a Kenyan representing Liberty, and Sheila Reid, a Canadian running for Villanova.
Villanova's women repeated as champions, too, beating runner-up Florida State 120-154. Texas Tech was third with 165 and Georgetown fourth with 167.
Florida State was also second in men's standings, scoring 193 behind Oklahoma State's 73. Wisconsin was third with 223 and Stanford fourth with 237.
Oklahoma State placed five men in the top 40 to turn what was projected to be a duel with top-ranked Stanford into a runaway. Girma Mecheso was seventh, German Fernandez eighth, Colby Lowe ninth, Tom Farrell 29th and Johnathan Stublaski 36th.
The Cowboys were among pre-race favorites in 2008 but stumbled to eighth. Last year's championship was their first since 1954.
"This year, I think we learned from the last two years," Smith said. "How to do it, and how not to do it."
He said the Cowboys featured a "3-1-3" formation with three front-runners, Farrell in the middle and three others trailing. The windy conditions contributed to their victory, Smith said, because the lead pack never separated far from the others.
Chelanga, in repeating as individual winner, said he was expecting a windy day.
"I saw it not as a problem. Just a challenge," he said.
On an unseasonably warm day, with temperatures in the 60s, he ran the 10,000-meter course in 29 minutes, 22.2 seconds. Arizona's Stephen Sambu was second in 29:26.5, Oregon's Luke Peskedra third in 29:38.0 and Iona's Lenoard Korir fourth in 29:42.0.
In the 6,000-meter women's race, Reid won a three-way stretch run against Georgetown's Emily Infeld and Oregon sophomore Jordan Hasay. All three overtook early leader Rose Tanui of Texas Tech.
Reid's time was 20:06.9, followed by Infeld in 20:09.2 and Hasay in 20:13.0. UTEP's Risper Kimaiyo was fourth and Tanui fifth.
"If you had told me two years ago that I would be here, I don't think I would have believed it," said Reid, who had surgery in 2008 to repair a hip she injured in a training accident.
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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