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Top jock Bush: Honors NCAA 2005, 2006 champs U Colorado ski; West Point rifle; U Wisconsin, Stanford X-country; U Portland, U Maryland soccer; U Washington volleyball; Auburn swimming; U Maryland field hockey, (w) basketball; U Florida (m) basketball

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President Bush honors a string of champs today...

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

(Charlotte, North Carolina)

________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release April 6, 2006

Event Backgrounder:

The President Makes Remarks to the

2005 and 2006 NCAA Sports Champions

BACKGROUND

The President will congratulate 12 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) teams for winning national titles during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

TEAM BIOGRAPHIES

University of Colorado Men’s and Women’s Skiing Team

Colorado won its first NCAA title since 1999 and the school’s 16th in skiing on March 11, 2006. Overall, this is the school’s 17th national ski championship. The Buffaloes cruised to the fourth largest margin of victory in history in claiming the 53rd annual NCAA Championship. This was the 22nd title for university sports overall, with four in cross country (two men’s, two women’s) and one in football.

Richard Rokos, Head Coach

U.S. Military Academy Rifle Team

On March 22, 2005, the U. S. Military Academy won the 2005 NCAA Rifle overall team title. This was the closest team contest in the 26-year history of the championship. The top four teams, Army, Jacksonville State, Nebraska, and the defending champion Alaska-Fairbanks, were separated by just three points. The Army team managed to end Alaska’s string of six consecutive NCAA rifle victories. Army teams had placed second in three NCAA Rifle Championships (1981, 1985 and 1991) but had never won. This was the first NCAA Championship won by any Army sports team in 50 years.

University of Wisconsin Men’s Cross Country Team

The top-ranked Wisconsin men’s cross country team clinched its first NCAA team title since 1988 on November 21, 2005. The Badgers won their fourth NCAA team title with 37 points, breaking a three-year streak of second-place finishes. Simon Bairu, a team member, won his second consecutive individual national title.

Jerry Schumacher, Head Coach

University of Portland Women’s Soccer Team

On December 4, 2005, the No. 1 Portland Pilots became the 2005 NCAA National Champions after a 4-0 win against the No. 4 UCLA Bruins in the College Cup Final at Aggie Soccer Stadium. Senior striker Christine Sinclair scored twice, giving her 39 goals this season for a new NCAA single-season record. The Pilots (23-0-2) are only the second national champion (North Carolina, 10 times) to finish a season unbeaten. This is the second national title in any sport for the University, which won the 2002 NCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship.

Garrett Smith, Head Coach

University of Washington Women ’s Volleyball Team

The University of Washington (32-1) defeated the University of Nebraska (33-2) to claim its first-ever NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship on December 17, 2005, before 8,482 fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The Washington Huskies, the third seed, was competing in its first-ever title match. The volleyball team becomes just the third Washington program to win a NCAA national title, joining women’s crew and football. Coach Jim McLaughlin is the first coach to capture division I titles with both men and women after winning the national championship with the Southern California men in 1990.

Jim McLaughlin, Head Coach

Auburn University Women’s Swimming and Diving Team

Auburn won the 2006 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving title over the University of Georgia by three points (518.5-515.5) on March 18, 2006. It was the second-closest finish in NCAA history. The Lady Tigers won their fourth national championship since 2002. Rachel Goh (100 backstroke) and Hayley Peirsol (1650 freestyle) each won individual national titles for the Auburn women, who overcame a 53-point deficit in the final day of competition. The 18 women competing at the championships collectively earned 54

All-American honors.

David Marsh, Head Coach

Auburn University Men’s Swimming & Diving Team

After falling into second place on day two, Auburn swimmers rallied to regain the lead and finished as the 2006 champions. On March 25, 2006, Auburn reclaimed first place, two points ahead of Arizona, when Doug Van Wie and James Wike combined for 23 points by finishing seventh and eighth in the 200 backstroke. This was the fourth-straight title for Auburn. David Marsh is the only coach to lead two teams to NCAA swimming and diving titles in the same year. He has accomplished this feat three times.

David Marsh, Head Coach

Stanford University Women’s Cross Country Team

The Cardinal women won their third NCAA title in school history and their second title in the last three years with a resounding victory on November 21, 2005, at the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Arianna Lambie, the 2005 Pac-10 Cross Country Runner of the Year, was Stanford's top runner at the NCAA, gaining All-American status. Lambie was also Stanford’s top runner during the 2005 season. Stanford had entered the meet ranked No. 2 in the country but replaced Duke as No. 1.

Peter Tegen, Head Coach

University of Maryland Women’s Field Hockey Team

Jackie Ciconte scored the winning goal in the first half of the 2005 NCAA Championship, giving the team their fourth overall and first in six years on November 20, 2005. The Maryland Terrapins defeated third-seeded Duke, 1-0, in Trager Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. This was 18th-year Maryland head coach Missy Meharg’s third national championship.

Missy Meharg, Head Coach

University of Maryland Men’s Soccer Team

The Maryland Terrapins claimed the 2005 NCAA Championship, 1-0, on December 11, 2005, over New Mexico when Marc Burch scored in the 31st minute of the game. This was the Terrapins’s first national championship since 1968. Jason Garey was named the tournament’s offensive MVP, and Chris Seitz was named the defensive MVP. Maryland is the first team since 1992 to win the tournament as the No. 1 seed. Seitz is the first freshman goalkeeper to lead his team to the championship since 1990.

Sasho Cirovski, Head Coach

University of Maryland Women's Basketball Team

The Terrapins won their first NCAA women’s title on April 4, 2006, overcoming a 13-point deficit to force overtime and beat Duke 78-75. Freshman Kristi Toliver scored a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and made two free throws with 35 seconds left in overtime to give Maryland the lead. Maryland (34-4) was 6-0 in overtime games this season. This was the first time the title was determined in overtime since Tennessee beat Virginia in 1991.

Head Coach, Brenda Frese

University of Florida Men’s Basketball Team

The University of Florida men’s basketball team ended a strong season with a 73-57 victory over UCLA at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis on April 3, 2006, winning the school’s first NCAA Basketball Championship. The Gators (33-6) captured their final 11 games of the season, including a perfect 6-0 NCAA Tourney run, and ended the Bruins’ (32-7) winning streak at 12 games. Head coach Billy Donovan became the third person to play in a Final Four (for Providence in 1987) and then win an NCAA Championship as a coach.

Head Coach, Billy Donovan

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Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 6, 2006 11:43 AM.

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