Chesang Defends Big 12 Crown
Oct. 28, 2005
WACO, Texas –
Returning All-American Benson Chesang repeated as Big 12 champion on Friday at the Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas. The junior out of Eldama Ravine, Kenya, finished in a time of 23:45, a full three seconds ahead of the second place finisher. Chesang is the first KU runner to win back-to-back conference crowns since Al Frame did so in 1954 and 1955. In addition to Chesang, the men’s team had two other runners garner All-Big 12 honors by finishing in the top fifteen. Sophomore Colby Wissel finished 10th overall in a time of 24:20 while sophomore Paul Hefferon finished 13th overall in a time of 24:21.
“It feels great to repeat,” Chesang said after the race. “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.”
The men’s team, currently ranked No. 13 in the country, finished third overall, their best conference finish since the inception of the Big 12. Junior Erik Sloan, 20th, and senior Joshy Madathil, 24th, also scored points for the Jayhawks. University of Colorado won the team crown.
“I was very excited with both team’s performance,” Head Coach Stanley Redwine said after the race. “Benson repeating as individual champion was very thrilling. Coach (Doug) Clark has done an awesome job with the team and we’re looking forward to continuing on with our season.”
The women’s team packed well and finished eighth overall on Friday. They improved upon their 10th-place performance at last year’s Big 12 Championships. This year’s eighth-place result is their best Big 12 finish since 2002, when they finished sixth.
Sophomore Lisa Morrisey, who finished 39th overall in a time of 22:43, led the team’s performance. Juniors Laura Major (43rd) and Dena Seibel (44th) finished close behind her in times of 22:46 and 22:48, respectively. Senior Angela Pichardo (47th, 22:57) and sophomore Connie Abbott (49th, 22:58) also scored points for the team. University of Colorado won the women’s team title as well.
“Both teams had a total team effort,” Redwine added. “If you look at both team’s performance from the one through five runners, we were exactly where we thought we would be. We’re very excited about the effort today”
Both teams will be off until Nov. 12, when they will travel to Iowa City, Iowa, for NCAA Midwest Regional Championships.