Oct. 28, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -
The University of Wyoming cross country program finished competition at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah today with three individuals receiving All-Mountain West honors. Highlighting Wyoming's day was a runner-up performance by Cowboy Mark Korir. The Cowgirls finished fourth of nine teams, while the Cowboys ended up fifth out of six teams.
"I thought that we did a pretty steady job all the way around today," said UW head coach Randy Cole. "We just need to get rested and gear up for the regional competition in a couple weeks."
In the women's competition, BYU took home the meet title for the second year in a row with 35 points. They were followed by Colorado State (44), New Mexico (94), Wyoming (113), TCU (121), Utah (156), Air Force (159), San Diego State (203) and UNLV (266).
For the women, junior Gretchen Johnson led the way with her 12th place time of (21:51), which was good enough for second Team All-Mountain West honors. Johnson is only the second female harrier to receive this honor since UW joined the MWC. Not far behind Gretchen were freshman Emily Higgins (22:38) and Brenna Dooley (22:39), who finished in 19th and 20th respectively. Sophomore Lauren Furtney (22:40) followed the two freshmen in 22nd place, while junior Nikki Peterson (24:23), senior Tanya Kienlen (24:42) and freshman Erin Heffron (25:29) round out the Cowgirls' finishers in 47th, 52nd and 57th places respectively.
"Our first four finishers really ran solid," said Cole. "The women weren't far off the third place spot. Gretchen really ran hard; she got right up in the mix and was able to finish strong."
On the men's side, BYU also took home the meet title for the second year in a row with 27 points. They were followed by Air Force (76), Colorado State (88), New Mexico (89), Wyoming (93) and TCU (153).
The Pokes were only five points out of a third place finish and were able to bring home two Cowboys who received All-Mountain West honors in sophomore Mark Korir and senior Philemon Tanui. Korir was selected to the First Team All-MWC, while Tanui was selected to the Second Team All-MWC.
For the Cowboys, Korir led the way with his second place time of (24:06). He was followed by Tanui (25:17), who finished 14th. Sophomore Shadrack Too (25:51) came across the finish line as the number three point getter for the Cowboys as he finished 23rd. He was followed by junior Michael Huntington (26:06), who finished 29th, senior Chris Schabron (26:08), who finished 30th, sophomore Brett Schuler (26:50) finished 40th and sophomore Eric Love (28:49) crossed the line in 49th place respectively.
"It was a solid performance by the men," said Cole. "It just goes to show how much of a team sport cross country is when five points separates you between third place and fifth place."
Korir's second place finish was arguably the best conference finish for any Cowboy since the MWC began. Mark got out to a strong start and continued his pace throughout the race. He and BYU senior All-American, Josh Rohatinsky, were neck and neck heading into the final lap when Rohatinsky pulled away to win his second consecutive individual MWC title.
Next up for the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be when they travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on November 11. The start times for the meet will be announced at a later date.
2006 Mountain West Conference Women's All-Conference Teams
Kassi Andersen, Jr., BYU
Calandra Stewart, Sr., TCU
Nicole Feest, Sr., Colorado State
Timmie Murphy, Sr., New Mexico
Amber Duffin, So., BYU
April Thomas, Jr., Colorado State
Amy Fowler, So., BYU
Leslie Luna, Jr., New Mexico
Breanne Sandberg, Sr., BYU
Kirsten Anthony, So., Colorado State
Danielle Korb, Sr., Colorado State
Gretchen Johnson, Jr., Wyoming
Anne Heiner, Sr., BYU
Heather Loseke, Jr., Colorado State
Runner of the Year - Kassi Andersen, BYU
Freshman of the Year - Vanessa Ortiz, New Mexico
Coach of the Year - Patrick Shane, BYU
2006 Mountain West Conference Men's All-Conference Teams
Josh Rohatinsky, Sr., BYU
Mark Korir, So., Wyoming
Kyle Perry, So., BYU
Juan Ortega, Jr., New Mexico
Jeremy Johnson, Jr., New Mexico
Chandler Goodwin, Jr., BYU
Dustin Bybee, Jr., BYU
Rob Watson, Sr., Colorado State
Richard Elmore, Sr., Air Force
Jacob Gustafsson, So., BYU
Alden Bahr, Fr., BYU
Matt Williams, So., Air Force
Festus Kigen, Fr., TCU
Philemon Tanui, Sr., Wyoming
Runner of the Year - Josh Rohatinsky, BYU
Freshman of the Year - Ed Eyestone, BYU
Coach of the Year - Ed Eyestone, BYU