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2014 Division I Men’s Cross Country

Colorado’s best team ever? A second-straight title has their coach thinking they could be.

One year ago, after hoisting the 2013 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships trophy above his head, University of Colorado, Boulder, runner Blake Theroux reflected on the mark his team made in the storied history of Buffs cross country. That season, he and his teammates had emerged from the shadows of successful teams before them, he explained, and showed that “Colorado is definitely going to be around for a long time.”

On Nov. 22, one year later, Theroux and his teammates backed up that statement by defending their NCAA title at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute, Indiana. It is the fifth national title for the Buffs cross country program and the school’s 27th title overall.

Individually, University of Oregon sophomore Edward Cheserek also repeated as national champion with a time of 30:19.4. Colorado’s top finisher, junior Ammar Moussa, crossed the line 10 seconds later in fifth, followed by teammates Ben Saarel in seventh and Blake Theroux in ninth.

Colorado coach Mark Wetmore praised the way his team handled the pressure of being the team to beat all season. “It’s hard to be the favorites,” he said. “It’s so hard to have the attention. It’s so hard for nine or 10 21-year-old men to keep their egos in check, and they really did it. They were talking each other up the whole time.”

As for where this group stands among others he’s coached in his 22-year tenure? “This is probably our best team ever,” Wetmore said. “They belong in the Pantheon.”


The Results

Team Scores
1st: Colorado, 65
2nd: Stanford, 98
3rd: Portland, 175

Individual Scores
1st: Edward Cheserek, Oregon, 30:19.4
2nd: Eric Jenkins, Oregon, 30:23.2
3rd: Futsum Zienasellassie, Northern Arizona, 30:25.3

Elite 89 Honoree
Christian Heymsfield, University of Arkansas

About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.