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close individual races top dramatic history of men's races nike slides in Terre Haute The University of Oregon's quest for a return to the top of cross country for the first time since the glory days of Steve Prefontaine in the 1970s and the drama involved is the most memorable moment of the seven men's NCAA Championship races that have been contested at Terre Haute's LaVern Gibson Championship Course. In 2007, Oregon celebrated its first NCAA men's cross country title since a Bill Dellinger coached team held off UTEP in 1977. The Ducks would win a second straight title in 2008. Olympic team, had a battle to remember. Olympian, Lopez Lomong, whom they left behind prior to engaging in a runner's duel to remember. Earlier this week, Liberty coach Brant Tolsma recalled the key points of the race. "Josh had about 10 or 15 meters on Galen," Tolsma said. "Galen caught him and tried to pass him right as they hit that long, home stretch. "It was one of the most epic battles. They were just beating each other up for 500 meters. Then you could see Josh just pick up his tempo, arms flailing everywhere. It was 30 meters from the finish before I think Galen knew he was going to lose." McDougal collapsed after crossing the finish line, taking a title away from Rupp, who still helped the Ducks accomplish their goal of a national championship. "Coming back up on him was a big boost mentally," Rupp said. "Right when I caught him, I tried to pick it upand bury him there. He did a great job of hanging on." Tolsma enjoys looking at it as a Cinderella story for the small school. "We kind of spoiled the perfect day for Oregon, which means for Nike as well. Even [Nike co founder] Phil Knight was at the race. To win that team title was huge for them, but they would have loved to have both," Tolsma said. Rupp proved his mettle in 2008, leading the Ducks to a second straight team title and securing the individual title in his final collegiate cross country race. Rupp had the chance to defeat a Liberty runner, Kenyan born Sam Chelanga. Chelanga set the pace with a 4 minute, 24 second opening mile, but Rupp gradually pulled him in. Rupp eventually pulled ahead with about 10 meters to go, learning from the race the year before. "I caught back up to Josh heading into that straightaway. The first instinct when you see that finish line is to start sprinting, you know 'go to the line,' but I was patient [this year]," Rupp said. "When I 6pm nike made my move, I made sure it was decisive and I would be able to hold it all the way through." Oregon coach Vin Lananna, exclaimed that "Oregon distance is back," following the second straight win. The McDougal Rupp battle was "epic," Tolsma said. ISU's John McNichols, who helped bring the LaVern Gibson Course to reality in Terre Haute, said recently it may have been one of the great moments in American distance running. "That McDougal Rupp duel down the straightaway well the whole race with the whole crowd backed away so they could watch the thing," McNichols said. "It was one of the more dramatic moments in racing history for our country." 2. Wisconsin breaks through in big way Wisconsin's 37 points in 2005 is the lowest point total in men's championship racing at LaVern Gibson and the lowest in men's history going back to the 31 that Arkansas put up in 1993. Akransas was runner up with 105 points. Simon Bairu won a second straight individual championship for the Badgers, making him the first repeat men's winner since Godfrey Siamusiye of Arkansas won in 1995 and 1996. Bairu bided his time for his second triumph, flying past Westly Keating of Texas Pan American, McDougal and Iona's Richad Kiplagat near the 8,000 meter mark. While Kiplagat stayed with Bairu, the Canadian got separation about 1,000 meters later. "At about 9K, I decided I was just going to go for it and put it all on the line," said Bairu, who also made one look back that day. "Just seeing if I had it. It's pretty unbelievable looking back and knowing you have the win." Wisconsin's Chris Solinsky, the current American 10,000 meter record holder with a nike shoes quikr time of 266:59.60, was third for the Badgers, who had six runners finish in the top 18.