NCAA title for Oregon women headlines 2016 Pac-12 Cross Country season

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The OREGON women's cross country team captured the 489th overall national title for the Pac-12 Conference with the narrowest team title in event history at the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 19.

PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY - WOMEN’S REVIEW

Behind the fourth NCAA national championship in program history, including its second since 2012, OREGON led a banner postseason for the six Pac-12 women’s programs in the field. The league recorded three top-5 finishes at the NCAA meet, the most for a conference since the Big East in 2013, along with WASHINGTON placing 12th and UTAH posting its best national finish ever at 20th.

2016 PAC-12 WOMEN’S TEAM FINISHES AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
1. OREGON 125
3. Colorado 134
5. Stanford 255
12. Washington 352
20. Utah 493
28. UCLA 596

OREGON edged Michigan, 125-126, in the closest finish in event history. That margin was even more razor-thin when considering the Ducks’ final scorer, Maggie Schmaedick (64th place, 20:38.1), beat out the Wolverines last scorer, Jamie Phelan (65th place, 20:38.2), by just one-tenth of a second.

The Ducks’ title marked the 12th all-time for current Pac-12 members, which ties the Big East for the most national titles by a conference.

The Pac-12 also had the most All-Americans, finishers in the top 40 at the NCAA meet, for the fourth time in the past six years with 10.

2016 PAC-12 WOMEN’S ALL-AMERICANS
Katie Rainsberger, Oregon (4th)
Amy-Eloise Neale, Washington (8th)
Alli Cash, Oregon (14th)
Samantha Nadel, Oregon (21st)
Dani Jones, Colorado (22nd)
Kaitlyn Benner, Colorado (26th)
Fiona O’Keeffe, Stanford (37th)
Christina Aragon, Stanford (38th)
Mackenzie Caldwell, Colorado (39th)
Sage Hurta, Colorado (40th)

PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY - MEN’S REVIEW

Led by STANFORD’s runner-up finish at the NCAA National Championship, the Pac-12 turned in the top men’s performance by a league in 2016 with three teams in the top 10 and five in the top 15. The Pac-12 also had a national-best six entries in the 31-team field.

2016 PAC-12 MEN’S TEAM FINISHES AT NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Northern Arizona 125
2. Stanford 158
6. Colorado 223
9. Oregon 282
14. Washington State 370
15. UCLA 378
31. California 776

The Pac-12 also had the most All-Americans, finishers in the top 40 at the NCAA meet, for the sixth consecutive year with nine.

2016 PAC-12 MEN’S ALL-AMERICANS
Edward Cheserek, Oregon (3rd)
Grant Fisher, Stanford (5th)
Ferdinand Edman, UCLA (14th)
Ben Saarel, Colorado (21st)
Sean McGorty, Stanford (24th)
Joe Klecker, Colorado (28th)
Matthew Maton, Oregon (29th)
Michael Williams, Washington State (30th)
John Dressel, Colorado (33rd)

While OREGON senior Edward Cheserek didn’t capture an unprecedented fourth NCAA individual title, he did garner All-America honors for the fourth straight year after becoming the first male to win four consecutive Pac-12 individual crowns and Conference Athlete of the Year awards.

PAC-12 CROSS COUNTRY - CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS

The Pac-12 is the winningest conference in NCAA Cross Country history, as current league members boast:
• A national-best 28 NCAA Cross Country team titles (16 men, second-best among conferences & 12 women, tied for most among conferences)
• A national-best 28 NCAA Cross Country individual titles (25 men, most of any conference/3 women)
• 34 NCAA Cross Country runner-up team finishes (19 men/15 women)
• Current Pac-12 members boast nine total USTFCCCA men’s cross country national athlete of the year awards, with the next closest conference with three (Big South).

Since expanding to the Pac-12 in 2011, the league has produced the most competitive and successful NCAA teams and individuals in the country, highlighted by:
MEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
• 2 NCAA men’s team national champions, the most of any conference.
• 11 Top 5 men’s team finishes at NCAA Championship, the most of any conference. The ACC and Big Sky are second with four apiece.
• 4 NCAA men’s individual national champions, the most of any conference.
• 56 men’s All-Americans, the most of any conference. The ACC is second with 30.
• The most men’s All-Americans each year, highlighted by 15 in 2014, 12 in 2015 and nine in 2016.
• 28 men’s NCAA Championship participant teams, second-most of any conference behind only the ACC’s 29.
• The most men’s NCAA Championship participant teams in 2014 (five), 2015 (league-record seven) and 2016 (six).

WOMEN’S CROSS COUNTRY
• 2 NCAA women’s team national champions, tied with the Big East for the most of any conference.
• 10 Top 5 women’s team finishes at NCAA Championship, the most of any conference.
• 50 women’s All-Americans, the most of any conference. The ACC is second with 28.
• 33 women’s NCAA Championship participant teams, the most of any conference.
• Six consecutive years with at least five women’s NCAA Championship participant teams, the only conference in the nation with such a streak.
• The most women’s NCAA Championship participant teams in four of last six years: 2011 (seven), 2012 (five), 2015 (five) and 2016 (six).

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