Wissel, Hefferon Earn All-American as Kansas Places 20th
Nov. 20, 2006
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. –
Juniors Colby Wissel and Paul Hefferon earned All-America status for their performances at the 10k 2006 NCAA Cross Country Championships, guiding the University of Kansas men’s squad to a 20th-place finish. Wissel, the 2006 Big 12 Champion, finished 26th in a time of 31:34.3 and Hefferon finished 42nd in a time 31:47.7.
Seniors Erik Sloan and Matt French wrapped up their KU careers with with solid performances. Sloan placed 164th in a time of 33:12.1 and French ran a 33:35.6, good for 188th place. Junior Patrick McGowan rounded out the Jayhawks top-five finsihers, running a 34:20.0, good for 250th place. Seniors Benson Chesang and Tyler Kelly did not finish the race.
Head coach Stanley Redwine had mixed emotions following the event.
“Overall, I thought everyone ran to their potential,” Redwine said. “I am extremely proud of Colby and Paul for their performances and I also thought Patrick ran a very good race as well. In the end, I am somewhat disappointed with where we finished as a team, but I think our seniors had a good season and a great career at Kansas.”
Colorado won the men’s team title while BYU’s Josh Rohatinsky won the individual title in a time of 30:44.9. On the women’s side, Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego won the women’s individual crown in a time of 20:11.1 and Stanford took home the team title.
Wissel and Hefferon’s accomplishments capped off an impressive season for the duo. Hefferon won the Bob Timmons Invitational to start the season, his first career victory, and earned all-region honors for the second consecutive year with his 10th-place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regionals. Aside from winning the Big 12 Championship, Wissel also captured his second consecutive Kansas State Wildcat Invitational crown, running the 5k race in a sub-15 minute time. The Elm Creek, Neb., native also earned all-region status for the second-straight year with his eighth-place finish.
The event marks the end of Chesang, Sloan, French and Kelly’s cross country careers. The class leaves behind an accomplished career that saw Chesang capture two individual Big 12 championships (2004 and 2005) and helped reestablish the program at the conference, regional and national level. Sloan earned all-region honors in 2005 and 2006 and Kelly was named to the Academic All-Big 12 team the past two years.
Following the Thanksgiving break, most of the men’s and women’s cross country teams will reconvene to begin the indoor track and field season. The Jayhawks start the season Dec. 9 at the K-State All-Comers Meet in Manhattan, Kan. Stay tuned to kuathletics.com for all the details.