The CU men’s and women’s cross country teams have won their eighth straight Big 12 Championship. This runoff of consecutive championships has placed CU in an elite class of Big 12 dynasties.
For the last nine years Colorado has dominated the Big 12 Cross Country scene. The men have won the past nine and the women have won eight of the last nine.
“My interest is in coaching cross country. My hobby is coaching cross country. I don’t play golf or make ships in bottles,” Head Coach Mark Wetmore said.
His dedication to his coaching profession is quite clear.
“Colorado emphasizes distance running in its scholarships expenditures for track and field, but there are two or three other schools in the Big 12 that emphasize distance running as well,” Wetmore said.
Boulder’s elevation has also helped the cross country team.
“Boulder is unbeatable in the opportunities we have to train at different places from day to day,” Wetmore said. “We can go up high to 10,000 feet, we can run the prairies, we can run soft and flat, we can run locally on the mesa trail, and we can drive 15 minutes to Nederland and train at 10,000 plus feet.”
Weiberg has been the Big 12 Commissioner for the past nine years.
The first dynasty that stands out is one that is still in the making. The University of Texas men’s swimming program has won the Big 12 championship for the past nine years. This winning streak equals that of Colorado’s cross country program.
Staying with Texas’ swimming programS, the women’s program has nearly matched the consecutive win totals of the men’s with seven in a row. UT appears to have a choke hold on the swimming program within the Big 12 as well.
Moving to land sports, Nebraska’s women’s soccer team has put together a dynasty of their own which has recently subsided. The Cornhuskers won five consecutive Big 12 championships starting in 1996 and were stopped short in 2001, but recovered for six championships out of seven in 2002.
As of recently, Texas A&M and Colorado have held Nebraska off from claiming more Big 12 titles for women’s soccer.
Nebraska also created a dynasty within men’s indoor track winning every year since 1997 except for 1999.
The final dynasty that is within the last ten years is Oklahoma State’s wrestling program. OSU’s team is within the top three teams every year. Their dynasty began in 1997, winning every year except 1999, thus coming out on top of eight of the past nine Big 12 championships for wrestling.
When asked how Colorado’s cross country dynasty compares to others that have occurred within different sports in the Big 12, Wetmore isn’t sure how to compare them.
“I wouldn’t even know where to begin because I don’t know much about other sports. I don’t know what it takes to create a swimming or wrestling dynasty. All I know is how to do well in cross country,” Wetmore said.
If the CU men’s cross country program was to win again next year it would be the first time in years that a school has been able to run off ten consecutive championships within the Big 12. This would be a feat for the record books that would surely be looked upon as nothing else but a dynasty.