Wyoming Cross-Country Teams Head in Different Directions for Competition
LARAMIE – The Wyoming men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete in separate meets on Saturday in their final races before the Mountain West Championships.
The Cowboys will compete in the Pre-Nationals hosted by the University of Wisconsin, and the Cowgirls will compete in the Bronco Invite hosted by Santa Clara in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Seventy-one team — 19 nationally ranked — will compete in two separate races at the Pre-Nationals. The Cowboys will compete in the eight-kilometer Cardinals race, which features No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 3 Wisconsin, No. 5 Stanford, No. 9 Colorado State, No. 11 Colorado, No. 13 Oregon, No. 15 Southern Utah, No. 20 Michigan, No. 22 Ole Miss and No. 26 NC State. Entires from Utah State, Duke and Gonzaga also received votes in the latest USTFCCCA poll.
“We’re looking forward to some really good competition,” men’s cross country coach Scott Dahlberg said. “There are a lot of ranked teams, and we’re going to try to beat as many of them as possible so we can get some at-large points that can put us in the conversation of going to the national meet.”
The Cowboys last raced at the Notre Dame-hosted Joe Piane Invitational, and placed second as a team behind No. 2 BYU and ahead of then-No. 28 Furman. Junior Paul Roberts led the way with a third-place finish overall, while fellow junior Christopher Henry recorded another top-10 finish, crossing the line eighth. Roberts is ranked by FloTrack as the No. 24 runner in the nation, while Henry comes in at No. 89 on the same list.
The Cowgirls competition in the Bronco Invite provides a chance to run at sea-level in advance of the MW Championships, which will be run in San Diego, Calif.
The Cowgirls will compete inthe six-kilometer race along with Biola, Cal Poly, California, Chico State, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Gonzaga, Grand Canyon, Houston, Idaho, Loyola Marymount, Northern Colorado, Oregon State, Pacific, Pepperdine, Rice, Sacramento State, Saint Mary’s, San José State, Santa Clara, Seattle, Stanislaus State, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UCLA, UNLV and UTEP.
“We left last weekend with a lot of confidence from our meet in Denver, so I’m excited to see how they take that and use that in California,” associate head coach Amanda Clower said. “It’s going to be a fast, flat course. We’re not really used to that kind of course, but it’ll be good for them to change the way they think and run on a course like that heading in to the conference championships.”
The Cowgirls are fresh off their first team win in four years, scoring 19 points to claim the Roadrunners Invitational tile last weekend in Denver. The Cowgirls were just four points away from a perfect score as all five scorers placed in the top 10. Junior Ashley Back placed first among collegiate runners, and freshman Katelyn Mitchem was third among all scoring racers.