Colorado, Providence win titles
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Oregon's Edward Cheserek and Dartmouth's Abbey D'Agostino overcame wind chills in the teens and a muddy course to win NCAA cross-country titles on Saturday.
The No. 3 Colorado men and top-ranked Providence women won the team titles.
Oregon's first freshman NCAA cross-country champion, Cheserek surged past defending champion Kennedy Kithuka of Texas Tech to win the 10,000-meter race by 18 seconds in 29 minutes, 41.1 seconds.
"I knew he was the defending champ, didn't want to give him a chance to kick," said Cheserek, a native of Kenya who called the conditions "no big deal."
D'Agostino won the fifth NCAA title of her distance running career but first in cross country, catching Kate Avery of Iona and Emma Bates of Boise State with less than 1.2 miles left.
"This is my last cross-country race running for Dartmouth, and I had to give it all I had," said senior D'Agostino, the 2012 runner-up. "It's incredible. I know I couldn't have done it without my team here."
This was Colorado's fourth men's title, all since 2001 under coach Mark Wetmore. The Buffaloes had 149 points at the LaVern Gibson Championship Course to hold off No. 1 Northern Arizona (169). No. 2 Oklahoma State, winners of three of the past four NCAA titles, finished a distant third with 230 points.
"I'll admit, I thought it was a three-team race," said Wetmore, whose team also won in soggy conditions in 2006 in Terre Haute.
The Providence women took the title in the 6,000-meter race. The Friars had 141 points, No. 2 Arizona had 197 and No. 13 Butler tallied 200 in third.
Big East champion Emily Sisson led the Friars with a seventh-place finish, while senior Laura Nagel was 27th and sophomore Sarah Mary Collins was 39th. Providence was runner-up in 2012.
"The women were brilliant," Providence coach Ray Treacy said. "It was a difficult course with tough conditions."
The previous best freshman finisher for the Ducks was three-time NCAA champion Steve Prefontaine, who was third in 1969. Cheserek is the fourth Oregon individual champion overall and first since Galen Rupp won in Terre Haute in 2008.