Reuben Mwei of Adams State claimed the DII Individual title by outkicking Harding's Daniel Kirwa to the finish. Photo courtesy of Eric R. Flores,Adams State Sports Information.
After years of dominating the overall performances at DII Nationals, Colorado's DII programs finally pulled off the major coup--a 1-2-3 team finish at the national championship meet.
Far ahead of everyone else, the Adams State men got a 1-5-6-10-11 finish (1-3-4-7-8 in terms of points) from Reuben Mwei (30:27), Aaron Braun, Brian Medigovich, Anthony Gauthier, and Luke Cragg to wrap up the national title with only 23 points.
Behind them were Western State with 86 and Colorado School of Mines with 153. Western State, led by Iain Donnan (31:41), had three finishers in the top 20. Colorado School of Mines, led by Aaron Swift (31:58) placed another one in the top 20. Altogether, Colorado schools claimed half of the top 20 positions in the meet.
Metro State, the only other Colorado team in the meet, finished 14th out of 24 teams.
On the women's side, the Adams State women extended their string of consecutive national titles to seven, but had to pull off an upset--at least so far as the rankings were concerned--to do it.
Not only did the Grizzly women have to overcome a #4 ranking coming into the meet, but they also had to overcome a disappointing performance from Kristen McGlynn, the team's top performer throughout the course of the season.
But, great teams have a way of answering the call in times of great need. The Adams State women did exactly that.
True freshman Alicia Nelson was the first finisher for the Grizzlies, taking ninth overall with a time of 21:07 for the 6K course. Vanessa Roy and Ashley Quintana finished in 13th and 20th, respectively, before Kristen McGlynn came in at 24th.
Michigan's Grand Valley State took second, eight points behind Adams State.
While the Western State women could not duplicate their third-place finish from 2008, they still managed to finish in 9th. Hillory Davis was the Mountaineers' top finisher in 33rd place.
Elsewhere among Colorado runners, Sydney Laws of Colorado School of Mines finished out her cross country eligibility on a high note, finishing 10th in 21:08 for the Orediggers.
Finally, from the DIII nationals, Jackson Brainerd of Colorado College finished 18th in 25:54, good enough for All-American honors. The Tiger men finished 25th in the 32-team field.