Racing: Rupp named athlete of the week by USATF

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

INDIANAPOLIS – 2008 Olympian and University of Oregon runner Galen Rupp has been named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week after winning the men’s individual national title Monday at the 2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

Rupp out-dueled Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University down the stretch to win his first NCAA individual title in leading his University of Oregon teammates to the NCAA team championship for the second consecutive year.

Over the final loop of the course, Rupp was content to let Chelanga lead until the pair hit the final straight away. With about 400 meters to go, Rupp made his final push and pulled clear for the title.

This marks the second consecutive week that Rupp has been named USATF’S Athlete of the Week. He previously earned the distinction on November 18 after compiling his second straight NCAA West Regional title on November 16 in Stanford, Calif. Rupp crossed the finish line in a blistering 27 minutes 41.24 seconds for the win on a course that was just 85m shy of 10,000 meters. With his victory, Rupp became the third Oregon runner to win back-to-back Regional titles, joining Jim Hill in 1982-83 and Karl Keska in 1995-96.
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Cross-country: Galen Rupp wins NCAA XC Title; Oregon Ducks win team title

Galen Rupp won the individual cross country title, and the University of Oregon Ducks men’s team repeated as champions in Terre Haute, Indiana, The Oregonian’s Doug Binder reports.

Rupp, who finished second in 2007, won in a time of 29:02. Oregon Teammate Luke Puskedra, a freshman, finished fifth, while Shadrack Kiptoo-Biwott took ninth to help the Ducks win the title.

Rupp leads Oregon to second consecutive NCAA Team Title
2008 Olympian Galen Rupp (Portland, Ore.) out-dueled Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University to win his first NCAA individual title Monday at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Running the 10 km course in 29:04, Rupp lead the University of Oregon to their second consecutive team title at the meet.

In cold, breezy conditions, Chelanga took the lead from the gun and led the field by five seconds at the mile, passing in 4:21. Rupp closed the gap and briefly ran alongside Chelanga, but the pair exchanged a few elbows before Chelanga surged to another five second lead. Rupp patiently made his way to rejoin Chelanga by 5 km.

Over the final loop of the course, Rupp was content to let Chelanga lead until the pair hit the final straight away. With about 400 meters to go, Rupp made his final push and pulled clear for the title.

“My coaches told me to sit back, be smart and stay focused,” Rupp said. “It was going to come down to a sprint and I relaxed until I was ready to go. I was more patient than last year, and when I made my move it was decisive. With about 800m to go I heard someone say ‘Remember last year,’ and that helped me win.”
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Cross-country: NCAA Division 1 Championships to be broadcast live

UPDATE: For post-race reporting, click here.

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

Galen Rupp, University of Oregon

The 2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships will be hosted Monday for the sixth time by Indiana State University at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country course in Terre Haute, Ind. This year’s races will be streamed live from 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. ET November 24th, 2008 on CBS College Sports. Click here to go to the broadcast.

On the men’s side, 2008 Olympian Galen Rupp of the University of Oregon, who finished as the runner-up in 2007, is a pre-race favorite following his astonishing win last weekend at the NCAA West Regional Championships where he ran 27:41 on a course just shy of 10 km. With five All Americans and seven runners who have participated in the NCAA Championships in the past, the Oregon men are considered one of the favorites to the men’s team title.

Challengers to Rupp include Liberty’s Sam Chelanga, a third-year sophomore from Kenya via Farleigh Dickinson who is 5-0 this year, and Oklahoma State’s German Fernandez, the 2008 Big 12 champion. Challenging Oregon for the team title should be Oklahoma State, Stanford and Wisconsin.

The dominant Sally Kipyego of Texas Tech looks to win her third consecutive title on the women’s side. Kipyego is undefeated in cross country over her entire collegiate career. The Washington women are favored over Stanford to win the team title heading into competition on Monday. Five of the Huskies women competed in either the U.S. or Canadian Olympic Trials last summer and they placed five runners in the top seven at last week’s West Regionals. Top teams to challenge Washington include Oregon, Florida State, Princeton and West Virginia.
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