Archive for Saturday, October 29, 2005

Chesang Big 12 champ

October 29, 2005

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— Kansas University junior Benson Chesang was crowned Big 12 cross country champion for the second straight year Friday.

Chesang, a 5-foot-9 junior from Kenya, finished the 8,000-meter course in 23 minutes, 45 seconds, finishing just ahead of Texas' Joe Thorne (23:48) and Erik Stanley (23:51) and Texas Tech's Kevin Chelimo (23:56).

His performance paced the KU men to a third-place finish, the squad's best since the inception of the Big 12. KU's women placed eighth.

"It feels great to repeat," Chesang said. "I'm really impressed with my team right now. I didn't win this thing by myself. I had all my guys behind me and we just kept supporting each other."

In addition to Chesang, the men's team had two other runners garner All-Big 12 honors by finishing in the top 15. Colby Wissel placed 10th in 24:20 while Paul Hefferon finished 13th in 24:21. Erik Sloan, who placed 20th, and Joshy Madathil, who was 24th, also scored points.

Chesang is the first KU runner to win back-to-back conference crowns since Al Frame in 1954 and 1955.

"I was very excited with both teams' performance," KU coach Stanley Redwine said.

The women's team placed 10th at league a year ago. The eighth-place finish is KU's best since sixth in 2002.

Sophomore Lisa Morrisey was KU's top finisher -- 39th in a time of 22:43. Laura Major (43rd) and Dena Seibel (44th) finished in 22:46 and 22:48. Angela Pichardo placed 47th, and Connie Abbott was 49th.

Colorado won the team titles.

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