TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Jonah Henry placed 40th in a stacked field of 263 athletes at Saturday’s adidas Pre-National Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind., leading the University of Wyoming Cowboy cross country team to a 20th-place finish in a 40-team field. Henry finished the 8-kilometer race in 24 minutes, 44.5 seconds to take third among Mountain West individuals in the race, while teammate Harry Ewing recorded a solid 76th-place finish despite battling illness.
Wyoming assistant cross country coach Amanda Clower was impressed with Henry and the team as a whole. “We told the guys that they had to get out in the first mile,” she said Saturday. “Jonah did an amazing job of that. He put himself in a great position and made up spots right through the finish. He was running with some of the top guys in the country.”
Henry’s time was over a minute faster than his time from the Roy Griak Invitational, helping him to his third team-leading finish of the season. Ewing, displaying a clear ability to fight through adversity, finished in UW’s top five for the fourth consecutive meet to begin his career, recording a time of 25:07.5.
Senior Mike Seas was the third finisher for the Brown and Gold, taking 108th overall with a time of 25:21.3. Sophomore Ricky Faure crossed the finish line not long after Seas, taking 142nd with a time of 25:36.3.
Clower was also impressed with Henry’s younger brother, Christopher Henry, who placed 171st overall in 25:47.9 to finish in Wyoming’s top five for the first time in his young career. “Chris made a huge improvement from the Griak Invitational,” she said after the younger Henry shaved nearly two minutes off his 8K time from Griak.
Daniel Hintz was 190th, clocking in at 25:55.8, while Jesse Gray finished in 201st with a time of 26:00.7. Every individual in Wyoming’s lineup improved his time from the Roy Griak Invitational, with all but Ewing shaving off at least an entire minute. The Cowboys had a big improvement in their pack split, with just over a minute elapsing between the finishes of the Henry brothers.
“We’ve got some things to improve on, but in two weeks’ time we should be ready to go [for the conference championships],” Clower said of the team’s performance.
Led by three-time defending NCAA individual cross country champion and Saturday’s individual champion Edward Cheserek, the Oregon men took home the team title at Indiana State’s LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course, the site of the 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Six ranked teams finished in the top ten squads, with Arkansas, Colorado, Michigan and Indiana rounding out the top five. Wyoming finished ahead of 15th-ranked Eastern Kentucky and Louisville, who received votes in the latest USTFCCCA Division I National Coaches’ Poll.
After splitting up to compete at two different meets this weekend, the Cowboys and Cowgirls will reunite at the 2016 Mountain West Cross Country Championships on Oct. 28 at the Falcon Crest Golf Club in Kuna, Idaho. Stay tuned to @wyo_track on Twitter for updates leading up to the conference championships.