Oct. 2, 2010
BOULDER, Colo. -
The University of Wyoming cross country teams came out firing in the Rocky Mountain Shootout, and each brought home a top-four finish.
The men's team took second in the Division I standings with 40 points, trailing one of the best programs in the nation in No. 4 Colorado, which scored 18 points.
Wyoming was third overall in a field that included Adams State and Western State, the No. 1 and 2-ranked teams in Division II, respectively.
The women's team scored 48 points to take second in the Division I standings and fourth overall.
Two weeks removed from the last event, both the Cowboys and Cowgirls wanted to make sure the time off was spent looking forward, not back. Wyoming coach Randy Cole believes the focus was there from the starting gun.
"It was a very consistent effort and there was no letdown," Cole said. "That's what we were looking for."
Junior Greg Miller led the Cowboys, finishing sixth overall in the 8K with a time of 25 minutes, 22 seconds. Junior Nick Ekel wasn't far behind, finishing 14th in 25:48, and freshman Garrett Zans was 18th with a time of 26:00.
Senior Taylor Kelting and sophomore Michael Banks rounded out the scoring for the Cowboys, finishing 25th (26:11) and 49th (26:48), respectively. Junior Ryan Griesbach was 58th in 27:05 and sophomore Mitch Brauneis took 77th in 27:26.
"It was a very solid effort by the guys," Cole said. "The best is yet to come."
The women's team showed off the progress it has made, as each student-athlete who ran at the event last year set personal records for the course this time around.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was the effort of freshman Christine Nelson, who notched the all-time best mark for a Wyoming woman in the event. Running in only her third collegiate meet, her time of 21:32 in the 5.8K put her in eighth place.
Senior Alysha Davis, who Cole described as "really coming on" in the last few weeks, finished 21st in 22:16. Fellow senior Francis Gipson was 32nd with a mark of 22:38, and sophomore Maya Martinez and Brooke Hughes finished 40th and 42nd, respectively.
Martinez had a mark of 22:57 and Hughes came across the line with a 23:04.
"Those girls did a really solid job," Cole said. "It was good to see everyone (running) close together."
After three events, Cole has begun to see the real strength of his squads, and he believes it's in the willingness to learn.
"We're looking forward to continuing to build up from this," he said.
The Wyoming harriers will hit the course again Oct. 16 in the Chile Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark.