Wyoming Cross Country Teams Headed to Salt Lake for NCAA Mountain Regional
From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan/Wyoming Athletic Department
LARAMIE – The Wyoming cross country teams are set to compete at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships this Friday, Nov. 1, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The women’s 6-kilometer race will begin at 11 a.m., while the men’s 10-kilometer race starts at Noon. Both races are held at Rose Park Golf Course.
The men’s race is stacked at the top with the top three teams in the nation competing in three-time defending national champion No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 BYU and No. 3 Colorado. Additionally, Mountain West champions No. 20 Utah State and MW runners-up No. 25 Colorado State will compete in the strong field.
“With the strength of the region on the front end, we’re hoping to better our place from last year,” said head coach Scott Dahlberg. “If we do that, we’ll beat a couple teams that have at large points, and we can take a shot at going to nationals.”
Last year, the men’s team placed sixth at the race and earned a trip to the NCAA National Championships. Seniors Paul Roberts, Christopher Henry and Harry Ewing each earned all-region honors by finishing inside the top-25. This year, Roberts was Wyoming’s top finisher during the first two races of the year, while Ewing has led the way for the Pokes in each of the final two.
The women’s race is arguably deeper than the men’s race, as there are six nationally-ranked teams in contention. No. 3 BYU is the highest ranked team, but defending national champions No. 8 Colorado, No. 9 Utah and No. 10 New Mexico all have a strong chance to win. No. 15 Air Force and No. 16 Northern Arizona will also look for the region title.
“We’re ranked 14 in the Mountain Region right now with more ranked teams in the region than last year, and we do believe we can place higher than that,” Dahlberg said. “The whole goal of the season is to keep progressing everywhere, and the next step is to place higher than we did last year.”
Last year, the Cowgirls finished 12 at this meet. Senior Ashley Bock was Wyoming’s top finisher last year at 37 overall, and sophomore Katelyn Mitchem was 45. This year, senior Kacey Doner was Wyoming’s top finisher at the first two meets of the season, while Mitchem has been Wyoming’s top scorer in each of the last two meets. Bock also raced for the first time this season at the MW Championships, after recovering from an injury.
Fans can follow @wyo_track on Twitter for race updates, as well as to find links for live streams and live results.