Wyoming Men Take Big Win In Cross Country Event

Sept. 18, 2010

LINCOLN, Neb. -

The University of Wyoming cross country teams turned in impressive performances Saturday, and one team took an event title home.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls shined at the Woody Green Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., which was hosted by the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan. The Wyoming men's team won its first-ever team title in the event with 33 points, beating the reigning champs from Nebraska, who finished with 34 points.

"They ran a very patient, controlled team race," Wyoming coach Randy Cole said.

"It's a neat thing for them to have a plan and see it executed."

Junior Greg Miller was the top finisher for the Cowboys, turning in a time of 25 minutes, 18.6 seconds, which was good enough for fourth place. Junior Nick Ekel ran his first race as a Cowboy, and the transfer from Saginaw Valley State was fifth with a mark of 25:21.4.

"That was a very good opener (for him)," Cole said of Ekel's race.

Freshman Garrett Zans grabbed his second top-10 finish in his first collegiate season, finishing seventh with a time of 25:31.2. Senior Taylor Kelting was 13th with a time of 25:44.9 and sophomore Michael Banks, another transfer, was 22nd with a mark of 26:00.2.

Sophomore Nik Deininger was 63rd, 26:58.1; junior Ryan Griesbach was 64th, 26:58.1; sophomore Mitch Brauneis was 75th, 27:07; sophomore Sean Wilde was 88th, 27:19.6; sophomore Tyler Gifford was 105th, 27:33.3

The Wyoming women weren't far behind, finishing second in the university standings and fourth overall with 58 points. The Nebraska women won their sixth straight title in the event with 20 points.

"It was a very nice job," Cole said. "I was really pleased with the way everybody competed."

Freshman Christine Nelson led the way for the Cowgirls, finishing fourth in a loaded field. Her time of 21 minutes, 52.2 seconds in the 5K marked her second top-four finish in her debut season for Wyoming. In what Cole called "one of her better collegiate races," senior Alysha Davis was right behind Nelson, finishing sixth with a time of 22:12.

Senior Francis Gipson was 15th with a time of 22:49.4, followed by sophomore Maya Martinez in 27th with a time of 23:13. Sophomore Brooke Hughes finished 37th, 23:42.8; sophomore Felicia McAfee was 38th, 23:43.2; freshman Emily Swigart was 70th, 24:32.4; and freshman Andrea Klimowski was 77th with a mark of 24:39.8.

"They stepped it up," Cole said. "Now we need to have that second group close the gap a bit. Obviously, they were pretty excited after the race. I saw a lot of good spirits over the last mile.

"It bodes well for the future. They'll use this as a stepping stone."

The cross country teams will be in action again at the Rocky Mountain Shootout on Oct. 2 in Boulder, Colo.