Cowboys and Cowgirls Run Strong at Pre-National Invite

Oct. 18, 2008

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The University of Wyoming cross country teams took to the course in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday to compete in the Pre-Nationals Invitational. The men were led by two-time All-American Mark Korir with a seventh-place finish as the Cowgirls were led by junior Emily Higgins and her sixth-place finish.

The Cowboys ran in the blue race and finished the 41 team field in 27th-place. Korir's seventh-place finish gave him the fastest time by any Mountain West Conference runner at the meet. Korir ran a 23:43 in the 8k race which was also good for second fastest in Wyoming history.

Korir was followed by fellow senior Brett Schuler with his 159th-place finish and time of 25:23 out of 273 competitors. Redshirt freshman, Greg Miller and sophomore Seth Grossman grouped nicely behind Schuler with times of 25:27 and 25:29 respectively. Freshman Eliud Chirchir rounded out the top five for the Pokes with his time of 25:52.

"Mark ran a very solid race and was out with the lead pack from the get go," said UW head coach Randy Cole. "Our guys are right there, they need to step it up just a bit and that may mean just 20 seconds or so in order for us to make some noise at conference in two weeks."

For the Cowgirls, Higgins set the pace with her sixth-place finish and time of 21:42 in the 6k open race. Higgins was followed by sophomore Alysha Davis with her 15th-place finish and time of 21:58.

Sophomore Emily Byra and junior Erin Heffron ran together and finished in 44th and 47th with times of 22:36 and 22:38 respectively. Irene Masai and McKynzie Maher rounded out the field for the Cowgirls with times of 23:24 and 23:54 respectively.

"I felt like the women really gained some race experience and also gain some much needed confidence heading into the conference meet," said Cole. "They ran very well, each Cowgirl set their own personal best today in this very exciting meet."

Up next for the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be two weeks until the MWC Championships held in San Diego, Calif., where last year they finished fifth and fourth respectively.

"We have two weeks to get healthy and sharpen up before we take on our conference foes," finished Cole.