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Colorado Athletics | November 23, 2013

Colorado captures national title


TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Colorado captured its fourth national championship in school history, coming from behind throughout the race to end up on top in cold and windy conditions at the LaVerne Gibson Cross Country Course.

The Buffs were 10th as a team at the 3K split and then made their move. By the halfway point at 5K, the Buffs were third and at the 8K split they were up to second and closing on Northern Arizona. By the time all the dust settled, the Buffs knocked off Northern Arizona by 20 points.

It’s the Buffs first national championship since 2006, fourth in men’s cross country history and the Buffs now have six overall cross country titles along with two women’s titles, all coming under coach Mark Wetmore.

True freshman Ben Saarel led the Buffs with an eighth-place finish, becoming the first true freshman All-American since assistant coach and Olympian Billy Nelson finished 20th in 2002. Saarel’s finial time was 30:14.1 and he moved up throughout the race, including three spots in the final 2K of the race.

Northern Arizona came in as the runner up with 169 points.