WSC Men's Cross Country Team Captures Ninth National Championship
Nov. 21, 2011 -- Ryan Haebe won in a time of 30:45.1 and Tyler Pennel finished three seconds behind him as Western State College of Colorado's (WSC) men's cross country won its eighth NCAA Division II national championship and ninth overall with a team score of 27 points at the Plantes Ferry Athletic Complex in Spokane, Wash. The Mountaineer women finished second with Lauren Kleppin in third overall.
It’s the first national championship for the Mountaineers since 2005. The men won the NAIA championship in 1986 and Division II titles in 1995, 1999-2002 and 2004-05. It's the 15th overall national championship in school history between wrestling (2) and men's and women's cross country (9 and 4, respectively).
Haebe became the first individual national champion for the Mountaineer men since 2001, and only the second student-athlete in Western history to win a men's cross country national championship. Michael Aish won national titles in 1999 and 2001.
The Mountaineers finished with all five scoring runners in the top 13 of the overall results and top 12 of the scoring runners. After Haebe and Pennel, David Goodman placed fifth in 31:05.1, Gabe Proctor in seventh in 31:11.7 and Trevor Blackman rounded out the scorers in No. 13 in 31:36.8. No other team had more than three runners in the top 20. Western State finished with six All-Americans after Adam Sinda placed No. 30 overall.
Kleppin finished third overall for the second straight year in 21:16.6. Sarah Lyle finished No. 14 overall in 21:45.1 before Sophie McNeeley and Kristen Meadors finished within a half-second of each other in 20th and 21st. Julianne Payton placed fifth on the team and 34th overall in her time of 22:12.8 for her third All-America honor.
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