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Portland has Record Day at NCAA Cross Country Championships

Nov. 24, 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. --- University of Portland senior David Kinsella bested his own school record by finishing fourth individually at the 2008 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Monday and the Pilots matched another school record by finishing seventh as a team. Kinsella, whose eighth place showing last season was the previous best in school history, picks up his second consecutive cross country All-America honor.

Portland's seventh place team showing is the fourth top 10 finish ever for the Pilots and matched the 2001 team for the highest finish in school history.

Kinsella bettered his time of last season by 25 seconds, clocking in at 29:27 at the 10K LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course. Also earning All-America honors for the Pilots was newcomer Alfred Kipchumba (29:55), who finished 18th overall, the fourth best finish in school history. Junior Tommy Betterbed also had a strong performance and finished 52nd individually.

"David Kinsella's performance is nothing short of spectacular," Portland head coach Rob Conner said. "A week ago he was in the emergency room at Stanford following the regional race and didn't know if he'd even be able to run this."

Loyola Marymount sophomore Tara Erdmann, the 2008 WCC Champion, competed as an individual in the women's race and had a strong showing with a 78th place finish.

Oregon senior Galen Rupp won the individual title and helped the Ducks win their second consecutive team championship with 93 points. Rounding out the top five in the team scoring was Iona (147), Stanford (227), Wisconsin (229) and Auburn (264). Portland finished with a team score of 293.

Kinsella and Kipchumba give the Pilots seven All-America honors on the men's side during head coach Rob Conner's 19-year tenure.

"Alfred pulled through huge today," Conner added. "With 3000 meters to go he was in 33rd and passed 15 guys. To finish 18th is a great starting spot in his career."

Last year, Betterbed finished 194th overall with a time of 31:58. He crossed the line Monday in 30:30, much to the pleasure of Conner.

"Tommy definitely had the race of the day for us," noted Conner. "He has been injured for the last three weeks and has barely run during that time. He really ran tough."

Portland redshirt freshman Matt Frerker performed well in his NCAA Championships debut and placed 130th. Senior Justin Houck rounded out the Pilots scoring with a 159th place finish.

"The competition and conditions were so difficult that for us to match our best ever team placing is very satisfying. I am really proud of the dedication and hard work that everyone has put in. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."

2008 NCAA Division I Cross Country ChampionshipsLaVern Gibson Cross Country Course (Terre Haute, Ind.)November 24, 2008

Team Scores: 1. Oregon 93, 2. Iona 147, 3. Stanford 227, 4. Wisconsin 229, 5. Auburn 264, 6. Northern Arizona 281, 7. Portland 293, 8. Oklahoma State 305, 9. BYU 310, 10. Georgetown 319, 10. Alabama 319, 12. Colorado 372, 13. Tulsa 377, 14. Virginia 383, 15. Minnesota 385, 16. William & Mary 412, 17. Iowa State 435, 18. Washington 438, 19. Notre Dame 446, 20. Providence 465, 21. N.C. State 473, 22. California 477, 23. Cal Poly 513, 24. Michigan 522, 25. Penn State 547, 26. UCLA 576, 26. Florida State 576, 28. Arkansas 579, 29. Butler 602, 30. Texas A&M 609, 31. Villanova 643.

UP Individuals: 4. David Kinsella (29:26.5), 18. Alfred Kipchumba (29:54.8), 52. Tommy Betterbed (30:29.8), 130. Matt Frerker (31:05.7), 159. Justin Houck (31:23.0), 201. Colin Longmuir (31:48.6), 230. Mike Quackenbush (32:24.5).