Wyoming Cross-Country Teams Headed to Utah for MW Championships
From the desk of Sean O'Sullivan/Wyoming Athletic Department
LOGAN – The Wyoming men’s and women’s cross country teams look to build off last year's steps forward in the Mountain West Championships Friday in Logan, Utah. The men’s 8-kilometer race is scheduled for 10 a.m., while the women’s 6-kilometer race is slated for 10:45 a.m. at Steve and Dona Reeder Cross Country Course.
“Both teams, what we want to see is improvement over last year,” said head cross country coach Scott Dahlberg. “Our conference is so strong that it forces us to step up our game every year, but that makes us better. We’re looking forward to competing in a smaller field size. The last few meets have been much larger for both the men and the women. Finding ourselves early on and then progressing throughout the race will be key.”
Last season, Paul Roberts was the Mountain West individual champion, the second-ever Cowboy to win the race, joining Mark Korir in 2008. Roberts’ first-place finish guided the Pokes to a fourth-place finish as a team, which was its best finish since 2015.
“We’ll have to run really well as a pack,” Dahlberg said. “The frontrunners are just going to have to really take care of business. Then, we’re going to have to have the guys that are sitting behind them run together and make sure there’s not too big of a gap between our members.”
Wyoming will compete against No. 18 Boise State and No. 22 Utah State for the conference crown. This season, Roberts was Wyoming’s top finisher for the first two races of the season, the Wyoming Invite and the Joe Piane Invitational. Roberts earned USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week honors after finishing first at the Wyoming Invite. Harry Ewing was UW’s top finisher at the Nuttycombe Invitational two weeks ago.
For the Cowgirls, last season the team placed eighth for the second season in a row. Katelyn Mitchem finished top for Wyoming at the race a year ago, finishing 30overall, finishing the 6k course in 22:09.6. Kacey Doner was UW’s third finisher, crossing the line in 44.
“The ladies have been running really well as a team all year,” Dahlberg said. “If we can stick close to those teams that we’re battling in that four-through-eight range and pick off as many as possible, things should go well.”
The Cowgirls will go up against No. 11 New Mexico, which has won 11 MW titles in a row, No. 13 Boise State and No. 14 Air Force during the race. This season, Doner has been Wyoming’s top finisher twice at the Wyoming Invite and the Joe Piane Invitational, while Mitchem cross the line in sixth at the Bronco Invite, leading the Cowgirls to a second-place finish ahead of four Mountain West teams.
Fans can follow @wyo_track on Twitter for race updates throughout the day.