Sean Jefferson Earns All-America Honors At 2004 NCAA Championship
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Junior Sean Jefferson placed 34th overall with a time of 31:45.7 to earn All-America honors and lead the Indiana men's cross country team at the NCAA Championship on Monday afternoon. As a team, the Hoosiers finished in a tie with Minnesota for 18th overall on what was a muddy, wet and challenging course at the LaVern Gibson Cross Country Course hosted by Indiana State University.
"The strategy I had the team follow ended up not working for the conditions of the course," said men's head coach Robert Chapman. "I had them go out slower and try to move in the second half of the race, but the mud made that too hard.
"For the guys to finish 18th overall using that strategy was a great accomplishment. If I had instructed them to go out faster in the first half, they probably would have placed higher as a team."
Even though Sean Jefferson was not in the top 25, he was the 24th American-born runner to cross the finish line. The first 25 overall runners and the first 25 American-born runners to cross the finish line earn All-America status. It marks the second time in his cross country career Sean has been named as an All-American (he earned All-America honors in 2003 with a 19th-place finish), becoming just the fourth IU cross country athlete in school history to earn All-America accolades at least twice in his career. Pat Mandera was the first to achieve the feat, winning the award in 1972 and 1973, while Jim Spivey (1978, 1979, 1980 and 1982) and Bob Kennedy (1988, 1989, 1990, 1992) also were multi-year All-Americans.
The Hoosiers were unable to get into a groove on the 10,000m course. Sean, along with twin brother John Jefferson, remained close to the lead group through the two-mile marker. However, John began to slow towards the end, and placed 122nd overall in a time of 32:50.8.
Junior Stephen Haas came in just behind John Jefferson, placing in 131st in a time of 32:54.5. Senior Tom Burns placed 148th overall in a time of 33:05.4, while Eric Redman rounded out the scoring for the Hoosiers, finishing 165th in 33:16.4.
The Colorado Buffaloes (90 points) took home the 2004 NCAA title, topping the University of Wisconsin (94 points) by four points. Wisconsin's Simon Bairu took the individual title in a time of 30:37.7.
"I am really proud of our effort overall throughout the entire year," said Chapman.
This marked the final race of the 2004 cross country season.
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