Oregon men, Washington women win titles

Updated: January 8, 2009, 10:22 AM ET
Associated Press

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Oregon's Galen Rupp overtook Liberty's Sam Chelanga to win the men's NCAA cross-country title and the Ducks grabbed their second consecutive championship on Monday.

Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech won her third straight women's title and top-ranked Washington captured the women's championship.

Rupp, a member of the U.S. Olympic team in the 10,000 meters this summer, won in 29 minutes, 3.2 seconds -- about 20 seconds better than his runner-up time in the 2007 championship race. Chelanga of Kenya jumped out to an early lead over Rupp, but finished 5 seconds behind in the 10,000-meter race.

Rupp was prepared for Chelanga's quick start.

"You know he's been doing that all year. So, it wasn't completely unexpected," Rupp said. "I think going in, we knew it was a real possibility that he might do that. Coach just told me to sit back and not panic."

Kipyego's winning time of 19:28.1 in the 6,000-meter women's race was nearly 7 seconds faster than second-place finisher Susan Kuijken of Florida State.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Kipyego, a senior. "I am absolutely happy for just being able to come here and win three in a row. It's a blessing to me."

Iona was runner-up to Oregon for the men's title for the second straight year. The Oregon women's team also finished second for a second consecutive year.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press