BYDGOSZCZ, Poland – Former Dartmouth track & field and cross country standout Ben True ’08 was the top American finisher at the 2013 IAAF World Cross Country Championships Sunday morning at Myslecinek Park as Team USA shocked the running community with a second-place showing.
It was the best finish for the American team since 1984 when it last claimed second place at Worlds and marked the first time medaling in the 12-kilometer race since 2001.
True’s sixth-place individual finish was the highest by an American since 1995 and came after he used a conservative approach in the final kilometers to work his way into the top-10 before crossing the line in 33:11. He improved his position in each of the five laps as he led the team to a silver.
Ethiopia won the championship with 38 points, while Team USA was second with 52 and Kenya third with 54. The Americans had not finished ahead of the Kenyans at the Cross Country World Championships since 1984, before any of the current runners on Team USA were even born.
An All-American while at Dartmouth, True is still the program record holder in both the mile and 1500m at his alma mater.
"Watching Ben's progress from high school, to his college years with us, and now as a professional has been phenomenal,” head coach Barry Harwick ’77 said. “It is great that his hard work and talent are now being recognized on the world stage.
“Since his return to Hanover two years ago, his running career has just exploded. Our current men's and women's cross country teams watched the race online and they erupted when he crossed the finish line. It was a big day for Ben and for Dartmouth cross country."
True remains a fixture around the Big Green track & field and cross country programs as assistant coach Mark Coogan works closely with him while training in Hanover.
“I am so proud of Ben,” Coogan said following the race. “He works so hard and deserves everything that comes to him. When I think about everything he has accomplished I am proud to say I am associated in any small way with helping him prepare.”