2006 Season in Review
Dec. 7, 2006
For the fifth-straight year, the Wisconsin men's cross country team finished in the top two of the NCAA Championships after a second-place mark this season. Coming off a national championship run in 2005, the Badgers (142 points) placed second behind Colorado (94) in the 2006 event. Completing the Big Ten contingent was Michigan State (473) in 17th and Iowa (580) in 28th.
Individually, three Badgers and one Minnesota runner earned All-America status by finishing in the top 30 at the NCAA Championships. Wisconsin's Stuart Eagon led all conference runners with an 11th-place finish, followed closely by Big Ten champion Chris Rombough of Minnesota in 14th. Wisconsin's Tim Nelson and Matt Withrow finished 18th and 24th, respectively.
This year, the All-America squad consisted of the top 30 finishers at the NCAA Championships plus an equal number of U.S. athletes displaced by non-U.S. citizens in the top 25. Since 12 foreign-born athletes finished in the top 30 at the NCAA meet, this year's All-America Team consists of 42 athletes, which included Penn State's Dan Mazzocco (31st) and Indiana's Jordan Kyle (33rd).
On the women's side, a pair of conference teams finished in the top five for the first time in history, while three Big Ten squads placed in the top 10 for the second-straight year and just the second time since 1994. Michigan (233) finished third, followed by Wisconsin (262) in fourth and Illinois (304) in eighth. Minnesota (335) and Michigan State (358) placed just outside the top 10 in 11th and 12th, respectively, while Iowa (409) finished 17th.
Iowa's Diane Nukuri was the conference's top finisher as she placed eighth overall just ahead of Michigan State's Alissa McKaig, who finished 10th. Also earning All-America honors for top 25 finishes were Michigan's Nicole Edwards (12th), Wisconsin's Hanna Grinaker (13th) and Katrina Rundhaug (23rd) and Minnesota's Ladia Albertson-Junka (19th).
Receiving special All-America recognition for finishes outside the top 25 were Illinois' Angela Bizzari (28th), Minnesota's Emily Brown (29th), Iowa's Rachael Marchand (30th) and Michigan State's Michelle Rafferty (33rd).
Nine conference squads completed the 2006 campaign ranked in their respective polls. Wisconsin finished ranked first in the USTFCCCA Men's Top 30 Poll, followed by No. 24 Iowa and No. 26 Michigan State. On the women's side, the Spartans finished fourth in the USTFCCCA Women's Top 30 Poll, followed by Illinois (5th), Wisconsin (8th), Minnesota (9th), Michigan (10th) and Iowa (24th).