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COLFAX, Wash. – The Colorado Buffaloes continued their domination of Pac-12 Conference men’s cross country Friday, and the CU men were delighted to share center stage with the CU women.

“I knew we were capable of coming out with a ‘W’ today,” CU freshman John Dressler said, “but it’s even sweeter that our women’s program got the ‘W’ as well.”

Dressler, a true freshman from nearby Spokane, Wash., came in sixth to help the top-ranked CU men improve to 5-0 at the Pac-12 Championships since joining the conference in 2011. Senior Pierce Murphy placed fourth to lead the Buffaloes, who have won the past two NCAA championships. CU topped Stanford 46-57 in the team race, with Oregon third.

“As a team, I feel like we’re getting really strong,” Murphy said.

The third-ranked CU women edged No. 5 Oregon 45-51 to win the team title for the first time since 2011. Kaitlyn Benner, a sophomore out of Monarch High School, finished second behind Stanford senior Aisling Cuffe to lead four Buffaloes in the top eight at the Colfax Golf Club.

Murphy stayed with the leaders all four laps on the 8-kilometer (5-mile) men’s course. Oregon junior Edward Cheserek, the two-time defending NCAA champion, took off with a lap to go on the flat course and won by more than seven seconds in 23:06.3.

Cheserek, a Kenya native who attended high school in Newark, N.J., is the first male to win the conference meet three consecutive years.

“He’s not getting any slower,” Murphy said with a smile, “so it’s no surprise when he wins.”

Benner finished 2.4 seconds behind Cuffe in 19:55.5 on the three-lap, 6-kilometer (3.7-mile) women’s course. Like Cheserek, Cuffe waited until the final lap to make her move.

“I was surprised she didn’t go sooner, frankly,” said Colorado junior Erin Clark, who came in fourth for the second year in a row. “So when she pulled away like that, I wasn’t surprised.

“I was hoping I’d be able to go with her, but I didn’t have it today.”

The Buffaloes and Ducks compete in different regionals, so they won’t meet again until nationals Nov. 21 in Louisville, Ky. Longtime Colorado men’s and women’s coach Mark Wetmore said a national championship is a “reasonable goal” for the CU men and “an optimistic goal” for the CU women. Colorado’s men are the two-time defending champs.

“New Mexico’s (top-ranked women are) very, very good,” Wetmore said. “They’d have to stumble a bit to beat them.”

Benner said the Pac-12 victory is “a confidence booster” for CU’s women. She acknowledged that a national championship “would be very hard to do. But it’s always on our minds.”

Murphy said another national championship for the men is “the goal, of course. Every year, I feel like there’s more and more pressure on us. But coach knows how to train us and how to get us ready.”

Wetmore said he was particularly pleased with the performances of Dressel and seventh-place Melanie Nun, a sophomore from Legacy High.


An estimated 1,000 spectators turned out in temperatures in the 50s. … The Buffaloes return to action at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Nov. 13 in Albuquerque, N.M. Wetmore said he’s yet to decide whether to burn the redshirt year of two-time All-American Ben Saarel. Wetmore said Saarel is “fine” after recovering from illness. “We don’t want to use him if we don’t need him,” Wetmore said. …. Meet highlights will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks at 7 p.m. Monday. … Cuffe sat out last season with an injury after winning the 2013 Pac-12 meet at the Coal Creek Golf Course.


Pac-12 Championships

Colfax Golf Course (Colfax, Wash.)

Men’s 8K team results: 1. Colorado 46, 2. Stanford 57; 3. Oregon 83; 4. Washington 96; 5. UCLA 127; 6. Washington State 137; 7. California 157; 8. Arizona State 218; 9. Arizona 271.

Men’s 8K Individual Results (top 10 individuals): 1. Edward Cheserek, UO, 23:06.3; 2. Sean McGorty, SU, 23:13.7; 3. Izaic Yorks, UW, 23:15.0; 4. Pierce Murphy, CU, 23:15.1; 5. Lane Werley, UCLA, 23:19.1; 6. John Dressel, 23:19.4; 7. Ammar Moussa, CU, 23:22.4; 8. Joe Rosa, SU, 23:23.5; 9. John Whelan, WSU, 23:26.3; 10. Chris Walden, Cal, 23:26.8.

Other CU finishers: 14. Morgan Pearson, 23:31.9; 15. Connor Winter, 23:34.3; 24. Ryan Forsyth, 23:52.5; 38. Zach Perrin, 24:20.7; 44. Nick Harris, 24:28.6; 53. Paul Miller, 24:50.2; 68. Christian Martin, 25:17.7.

Women’s 6K team results: 1. Colorado 45; 2. Oregon 51; 3. Stanford 80; 4. Washington 92; 5. Utah 149; 6. Arizona State 162; 7. California 204; 8. Arizona 237; 9. UCLA 241; 10. Washington State 262; 11. Oregon State 321, 12. USC, 361.

Women’s 6K individual results (top 10 individuals): 1. Aisling Cuff, SU, 19:53.1; 2. Kaitlyn Benner, CU, 19:55.5; 3. Maddie Meyers, UW, 19:56.8; 4. Erin Clark, CU, 19:58.6; 5. Waverly Neer, UO, 20:00.6; 6. Alli Cash, UO, 20:05.3; 7. Melanie Nun, CU, 20:11.1; 8. Maddie Alm, CU, 20:14.5; 9. Carolina Johnson, UCLA, 20:17.5; 10. Hannah McInturff, Utah, 20:20.4.

Other CU finishers: 24. Dani Jones, 20:38.3; 27. Carrie Verdon, 20:40.2; 29. Val Constien, 20:42.5; 53. Lucy May, 21:14.1; 61. Eryn Blakely, 21:24.9