Monday, November 24, 2008

Rupp and Oregon Win XC Titles

This season he picked where he left off last season in terms of success and winning. Olympian Galen Rupp managed his first individual NCAA Div I Cross Country Championship title. The 2008 Olympian covered the 10k course in 29:04, leading the University of Oregon to a second consecutive title. Liberty Universities' Samuel Chelanga led the race from the gun up until the 400-meters mark when Rupp pulled ahead to put away the victory.

"My coaches told me to sit back, be smart and stay focused," Rupp said. "It was going to come down to a sprint and I relaxed until I was ready to go. I was more patient than last year, and when I made my move it was decisive. With about 800m to go I heard someone say 'Remember last year,' and that helped me win."

The Red Raider football team isn't the only of the schools sports to discover winning ways this season. Sally Kipyego solidified her three consecutive women's title. In flying over the 6 km course in 19:29, Kipyego became the winningest women's cross country runner in Division I history.

Susan Kuijen of Florida State managed to stay within striking distance through half-way, but Kipyego easily pulled away for a six-second win. The University of Washington won the women's team title over Oregon with 79 points.

"It was cold and windy and the hardest of my three wins," Kipyego said. "I tried to stay positive and run my best race. It's an amazing feeling and a wonderful opportunity."

Jay Hicks for Prerace Jitters.

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