Oregon cross country’s Edward Cheserek makes history by claiming third crown at the Pac-12 Championships
Edward Cheserek went into the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships looking to make history, and after a blistering win Friday morning in Colfax, Washington, the star junior was able to do just that.
Cheserek has become the first man ever to claim three consecutive Pac-12 individual titles. Two other runners own three career titles, Oregon’s Steve Prefontaine (1970-71, ’73) and Washington State’s Henry Rono (1976, 78-79), but neither was able to do it consecutively.
Cheserek ran a strong race for Oregon, pacing the field for most of the way. He ran an average mile time of 4:38.9. Stanford’s Sean McGorty, Washington’s Izaic Yorks and Colorado’s Pierce Murphy challenged him throughout, but Cheserek was able to hold on for the win, crossing in 23:06.3. McGorty finished second in 23:13.7.
For Cheserek the win gives him his eighth NCAA title in his collegiate career.
As a team the Oregon men finished third in a conference meet that features some of the top teams in the country. Colorado won (46), Stanford took second (57) and Oregon settled for third (83).
Rounding out the results for the Ducks was Travis Neuman (13), Matthew Maton (17), Jake Leingang (23) and Matthew Melancon (29).
The Duck women came into the race with high expectations after returning all five runners who scored in the 2014 Pac-12 Championships. The goal was to finish as repeat champions, something they have done since 1990-91.
In the end they settled for second (51), placing behind Colorado (45) and ahead of Stanford (80).
The top-five Duck finishers were Waverly Neer (5), Alli Cash (6), Molly Grabill (11), Frida Berge (14) and Maggie Schmaedick (15). Neer finished with a team-fastest 20:00.6, just 7.6 seconds behind first place finisher Aisling Cuffe of Stanford.
Oregon will now turn its attention to the NCAA West Regionals, which will take place on Friday, November 13 at 12:00 p.m. The race will be held at Jefferson Park in Seattle, Washington.
Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.