Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bizzarri upset at NCAA xc championships

Per usual (since 2000) I followed the NCAA cross country championship meet on Letsrun.com. That was a mistake this year. In the past all the cretins have put down their hatchets, maces, and spitballs for a few hours and celebrated one of the greatest (and deepest) running races--short of a world or African championship--in the world. The idiots on the message board went berserk, and tracking the race was near impossible, with 30% to 50% of the comments being mean, nasty, or irrelevant.


I need a mobile phone with video feed for these things.

Anyway, it was a day for upsets as favorite Stanford flamed out (except for Chris Derrick's 3rd place finish) and finished 10th in the men's race, which was won by Oklahoma State. OSU's victory wasn't a total surprise, they're loaded, but sophomore phenom German Fernandez's 97th place was a bit of a shocker. Oregon, which has struggled all year, finished a close 2nd in another surprise. Pre-race favorite Samuel Chelanga of Liberty University (Jerry Falwell's school) via Kenya won the overall championship in a record time, followed by Australian David MacNeill of Northern Arizona. Chelanga, a 27:20 10K runner, set a blistering pace (14:10 at 5K) and held on throughout (10K in 28:41).

Now the women's race sounded totally weird. Heavy favorite and American steeplechase record holder Jenny Barringer of Colorado took the lead and held it through 3K, only to falter, stumble, crawl, get back up and wobble her way to a 163rd place finish. Not since the great Henry Rono (who held 4 world records at the time and had been undefeated for a year) jogged into a 4th from last finish in 1978 has a champion of that caliber so inexplicably melted down. Unheralded Angela Bizzarri of Illinois ended up winning the individual race (6K in 19:46) while Villanova was the unexpected team champion.

The jackals are having a field day at Barringer's expense--she was one of the last great heroines with not a lot of mud thrown upon her. Sounds like she may have hyperventalated, which could explain the lightheadedness. She'll be back, be certain of that.


More yet from the People’s Republic of Boulder:

I know nothing about Bizzari but will have to do a little research.

Okay, 15:33 5K PR and 4:16 1500, not to mention an academic star.
Bizzarri's Bio


Blogger Werner Hoefler said...

I was really hoping that Chris Derrick would repeat his feat from Pre-Nats. It was inspiring as it was jaw dropping.

10:32 AM  

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