Nov. 19, 2007
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -
On Monday, junior Mark Korir earned All-American honors for the second time in his career, becoming only the third runner in University of Wyoming cross country history to do so. Korir placed 19th at this year's NCAA Cross Country Championships, held in Terre Haute, Ind.
The All-American Korir, was in the leader's pack the entire race, but got separated from the leaders when the top three made their final move. Josh McDougal from Liberty University was the overall champion in the race with a time of 29:22, while Korir, only 51 seconds behind, finished with a time of 30:13. In last year's race he ran a 31:24 on the same course, making this year's time an entire minute and 11 seconds faster than his 2006 20th place finish.
"Mark did a great job today, I am very proud of both our runners and what a great achievement for Mark to become an All-American for his second straight season," said UW head coach Randy Cole. "Mark finished today as the fourth best in the Mountain Region and he was atop all other runners in the Mountain West Conference, those two stats sum up just how good Mark is."
The men's team title went to the University of Oregon who had five runners finish in the top 40.
Cowgirl senior Gretchen Johnson, a Basin, Wyo. native, competed for the first time at the Championships and crossed the tape in 116th place out of 253 runners. Johnson, the lone senior on the cross country squad, ran a time of 21:41. She was the second Cowgirl to compete at the NCAA Championships since 1989, the other was Jennifer Thompson in 2004.
"Gretchen got caught up in the field and was unable to get out," said Cole. "She has had a great year and I am very proud of her, she did a great job."
The women's race went to Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech who captured her second title in two years. She was followed by Jenny Barringer of Colorado and Florida State's Susan Kuijken. The team title went to the University of Stanford for the third year in a row.
As the cross country season comes to a close, Korir and Johnson will start preparation for the indoor track and field season. The first meet for the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be Saturday, December 8th, in Laramie for the Wyoming Open.
For those fans who didn't get a chance to see the race live, it will be replayed at 9 P.M. MT on CSTV.