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Did Cusack beat Pre?

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  • Did Cusack beat Pre?

    Looking at the individual cross country results at Wiki, I noticed that there is a gap in Pre's string of NCAA cross country titles, interrupted by Neil Cusack of ETSU. Did Pre not run the NCAAs that year or did Cusack beat him?

    BTW, I couldn't find individual results, list of meet sites, etc., at NCAA website. Didn't look that hard, though. Are they there? I just saw team results.

  • #2
    Re: Did Cusack beat Pre?

    Originally posted by BillVol
    Looking at the individual cross country results at Wiki, I noticed that there is a gap in Pre's string of NCAA cross country titles, interrupted by Neil Cusack of ETSU. Did Pre not run the NCAAs that year or did Cusack beat him?

    BTW, I couldn't find individual results, list of meet sites, etc., at NCAA website. Didn't look that hard, though. Are they there? I just saw team results.
    The Munich Games were in late September (October?) of that year so it had been previously decided by Coach Dellinger and athlete that Prefontaine would redshirt the fall CC season.

    Pre finished 3rd in his first NCAA CC championship, then won two before skipping that chronological third and then returning for his fourth/third title in 1973. Touch of irony: The Oregon track specialist ( four 3-mile/5,000m. titles) finished his collegiate career on a golf course in neighboring rival Washington.

    1. 3rd at New York (Lindgren, Mike Ryan of Air Force; three 6-mile races caught up to the freshman).
    2. 1st win at ?
    3. 2nd win at Knoxville (incredible head-to-head battle with Bjorklund).
    4. 3rd win at Spokane (caught hard-running Nick Rose--like Bjorklund, an awesome, tough-as-nails competitor).

    Pre worked for all of these wins!


    [Anyone remember #2 above? Too lazy to look it up. ]

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    • #3
      Brian, thanks for the history lesson.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BillVol
        Brian, thanks for the history lesson.

        You're welcome. Believe/hope I'm remembering correctly!

        Much as I love track, CC is something special to me.

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        • #5
          Re: Did Cusack beat Pre?

          Originally posted by Brian
          1. 3rd at New York (Lindgren, Mike Ryan of Air Force; three 6-mile races caught up to the freshman).
          2. 1st win at ?
          3. 2nd win at Knoxville (incredible head-to-head battle with Bjorklund).
          4. 3rd win at Spokane (caught hard-running Nick Rose--like Bjorklund, an awesome, tough-as-nails competitor).

          Pre worked for all of these wins!


          [Anyone remember #2 above? Too lazy to look it up. ]
          #2, 1970, was in Williamsburg, Va.

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          • #6
            And speaking of Nick Rose... I think he then won it himself the next year, 1974, held at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was there, and still remember his very long hair streaming in the wind !

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            • #7
              Originally posted by dukehjsteve
              And speaking of Nick Rose... I think he then won it himself the next year, 1974, held at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was there, and still remember his very long hair streaming in the wind !
              I was there also! The Virg, Herb Lindsay, the Oregon Ducks who won...

              As I noted before, 3 of us hitchhiked to Chicago afterwards, in the dark, and had no problems getting rides. Those were the days.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dukehjsteve
                And speaking of Nick Rose... I think he then won it himself the next year, 1974, held at Indiana University in Bloomington. I was there, and still remember his very long hair streaming in the wind !
                Yes, Nick Rose took it. Over John Ngeno (Washington State), no less! Ngeno was pretty tough overland in those days--Hell, he was pretty tough everywhere!--and stormed back to take the AAU race a week or so later in California.

                But in what was one of my first "experiences" in high-level CC (reading about it as a high schooler, that is--in T&FN) happened the next year when Craig Virgin followed defending champ Rose over a hilly course (at Penn State I believe; I remember writers saying the course was more similar to the hills of Western Kentucky than the flat of Illinois) and then beat Rose in the last half-mile, Ngeno an out-of-it 3rd to the two studs.


                I used to love the T&FN prose-style coverage of the NCAA and AAU CC meets. And they always listed the top 50 finishers plus times in a horizontal column across the entire bottom of the page!

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