ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of Colorado men’s and women’s cross country teams punched their tickets to the 2009 NCAA Championships on Saturday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Golf Course.
The No. 6 ranked women’s team won the regional for the first time since 2006 and the No. 5 ranked men’s team took second; ending a streak of six straight regional titles. Senior Jenny Barringer also won the women’s race and was the first CU woman to win the individual title since 2004 when Renee Metivier took home the crown. (The top two teams automatically qualify for nationals while the top four individuals not associated with either of those teams also qualify.) The NCAA Championship is Monday, November 23, in Terre Haute, Ind.
The women all looked strong throughout the race and were very patient. The top five were in the top 25 for most of the race while No. 8 Texas Tech had its top five in the top eight at one point. The Red Raiders weren’t able to hang on to that and the Buffs capitalized as they recorded 48 points to edge TTU (53).
Barringer ran a different race this time. Instead of jumping out to a lead and leaving the pack in the dust, she ran with the top pack for the first 4k. Freshman Allie McLaughlin was in the lead pack with Barringer and the two ran side by side along with the top three harriers for Tech. McLaughlin was even able to lead the race for part of the way.
“I wanted to run with Allie for the majority of the race and then start to pull away with about 2k left,” Barringer explained.
When Barringer finally did pull away from the pack with 2k remaining, she won the race easily and had 12 seconds on the runner-up Cecily Lemmon from BYU. Barringer broke the tape in 20 minutes, 29.0 seconds and Lemmon finished in 20:41.1.
“It was really exciting,” Barringer said. “I ran at this course in 2006 as a sophomore and I remember having a great team and coming in and taking second to Sally (Kipyego) and I feel like that was so long ago. So, coming back here and being in a different position with an equally amazing team and this time pulling in the win was really fun.”