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XC COUNTDOWN: #1 Colorado Men

XC COUNTDOWN: #1 Colorado Men

Head Coach:

Mark Wetmore (20th Year)
Last Year:
1st Pac-12
2nd Mountain Regional
1st NCAA 
Probable Top Five:
SO Ben Saarel (3:41 1500m, 7:52 3k, 13:48 5k, 8th NCAA XC '13)
SR Jake Hurysz (3:40 1500m, 7:50 3k, 13:38 5k, 32nd NCAA XC '12)
JR Morgan Pearson (8:06 3k, 13:38 5k, 17th NCAA XC '13)
SR Blake Theroux (4:01 Mile, 7:54 3k, 13:57 5k, 8:49 3k Steeple, 23rd NCAA XC '13)
JR Pierce Murphy (8:03 3k, 13:48 5k, 29:36 10k, 39th NCAA XC '13)
Impact Freshman/Recruits:
Chris Herrick - Hellgate, MT (9:17 3200m)
Reiny Barchet - West Chester Henderson, PA (4:16 1600m; 9:06 2 Mile; 2x NXN, 127th, 21st)
Ethan Gonzales - (4:16 1600m; 9:00 3200m)

*All incoming freshman are redshirting according to TFRRS 
Not since the last 70's and early 80's, when Coach Ted Banks of UTEP was rolling out his African laden teams (they once almost perfected scored the NCAA meet), has there been a prohibitive men's favorite like the University of Colorado is for the 2014 season.
Coach Mark Wetmore brings back his top seven from last year's national championship team and gets even stronger with the addition of last year's redshirt All American, Jake Hurysz, who was 32nd in 2012 and has run 13:38 for 5k on the track.
Watching last year's race and seeing all of that gold and black, almost running in tandem, and moving through the pack so smoothly, was like watching a video of how to destroy the competition with as much ease as possible.
Now a sophomore, Ben Saarel was terrific in 8th last year, and the Park City, Utah star focused more on the 1500m on the track. His PR of 3:41 shows what kind of wheels he has. He will likely be the alpha dog on this year's team.
Follow Saarel with last year's 17th finisher, junior Morgan Pearson, who ran a 13:38 5k on the track, senior Blake Theroux, who was 23th last year, junior Pierce Murphy, who was 39th and threw down a 13:48 5k on the track, and you get the idea that adding Hurysz to the mix only makes them that more intimidating. There are no foreigners for the Buffs on this team, and Wetmore has made an outstanding career out of developing young Americans. He has created NCAA cross country championships with the results.
What's even more interesting (and scary) is the fact that Hugh Dowdy, Connor Winter, Ammar Moussa, and Zac Perrin have not even been mentioned in this preview yet. Dowdy was 9th in the Pac-12 meet in 2012 and has run 8:50 for 3k Steeple. Connor has legit chops himself and a good case can be made for him to be a scorer for the buffs. Winter has run 3:44 for 1500m, 8:02 for 3k, and 13:55 for 5k. Not to mention a 65th NCAA finish in Terre Haute in 2012. And Moussa has been in their top 7 during his first 2 years of eligibilty.
The boys from Boulder are tough and tested. Wetmore won't make any mistakes with this group and it will most likely be a rerun of last year's movie with gold and black moving with confidence through the pack and claiming that top podium spot again, a dynasty in the making.

#1 Michigan State Women
#2 Stanford Men
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