In Men's Cross Country, that is. And the Colorado Women came is second, surprising quite a few folks and just missing taking the top spot by only a few points. The 2013 men's championship makes it a three-peat for the team - first place in all three years that CU has been in the PAC 12 Conference.
This past Saturday, my good friend and running colleague Doug Laufer and I attended the Championships. It could not have been a better day for a cross country event - cool, crisp, cloudless, not a bit of wind, and a beautiful rolling course at the Coal Creek Golf Course. We got there early enough to stroll the course and check out good vantage points for watching the race develop - since it was a triple loop, the race was very spectator-friendly. And there were indeed a lot of spectators; not only many CU fans but folks from all of the PAC 12 universities were abundant, sporting their school's hats, shirts and jackets. Coming into the race, the CU men were ranked #1 in the country, so there was a bit of pressure to live up to their billing. Here is a pic of the CU men leaving their starting box, running nine and scoring the top five.
Note that Oregon was in the adjacent box, and Oregon runner Edward Chesereck was the overall winner at 24:36 for the 8K. But this is a team sport, and Colorado's Blake Theroux was third overall, finishing in 24:47. The next four CU runners were all on the top 10 - Connor Winter (fourth place), Ben Saarel (fifth), Pierce Murphy (seventh) and Ammar Moussa (ninth) and all were all within 28 seconds of Theroux. The scoring ended up with the Buffs having 28 points for the win, with Oregon (54 points) coming in second and Stanford (79) third. Doug and I knew that things were looking good when you see an abundance of Colorado jerseys in the lead pack, as below.
The CU women finished better than expected - they came in ranked 16th in the country, and 4th in the PAC 12. But they pushed top-ranked Arizona hard, with Arizona scoring just 6 points fewer than Colorado.
All in all, A Great Day for the Race.
Curmudgeon End-Note - CU Football PAC 12 Loss to UCLA, Front Page of Boulder Daily Camera Sports Section; CU PAC 12 Championship, Third Page