Nov. 11, 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's cross country teams finished competition today at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet in Albuquerque, N.M. with Mark Korir and Gretchen Johnson receiving All-Mountain Region honors and Korir running a NCAA qualifying time. The Cowgirls ran first today on a 6,000m course and placed tenth, while the Cowboys followed on a 10,000m course and finished sixth.
"I was really pleased with the way we ran today," said head cross country coach Randy Cole. "I feel like we really took a step forward for both the men and women."
The Cowboys finished the day sixth place overall out of 15 teams. This marks the best finish for the 'Pokes at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet since 1995 when they also ended up in sixth place.
"I thought the men did an outstanding job today," said Cole. "We wanted to come down here and try to beat the teams who finished right ahead of us at the Mountain West Conference Championships and we did just that."
The University of Colorado also took home the meet title as they finished with 59 points. They were followed by Brigham Young (67), University of Texas El Paso (86), Southern Utah University (128) and Northern Arizona University, who finished out the top five teams with 160.
Once again, Wyoming sophomore Mark Korir finished the day near the top as he recorded his fourth top five finish of the season with his third place time of (29:56.7) on the 10k meter course. His third place finish not only got him All-Mountain Region honors, but earned him a ticket to the NCAA National Championships in Terra Haute, Indiana on November 20.
Korir was followed by sophomore Shadrack Too, whose 34th place time of (31:59.8) was arguably his best finish of the season on a 10k course. Junior Michael Huntington (32:06.1) also ran well as he finished in 39th place; while senior Philemon Tanui (32:28.1), who has been battling an Achilles injury for most of the season, crossed the line in 47th place. Sophomore Brett Schuler (33:07.7) came on strong and was able to finish in 64th place to round out the top five scorers for the Pokes. Freshman Dustin Gibson (34:10.4) and senior Chris Schabron (34:23.1) finished in 84th and 89th place respectively.
For the Cowgirls, junior Gretchen Johnson (21:31.1), who finished 22nd of 119 runners, earned her first All-Mountain Region honors as she led the way for the Cowgirls. The top 25 individual finishers in both the men's and women's events were awarded All-Mountain Region honors.
Johnson was followed by freshmen Brenna Dooley (22:18.6), who finished in 38th place, and Emily Higgins (22:33.0), who finished 44th. Both Dooley and Higgins have shown that they will definitely be a force to reckon with in the MWC in years to come. Following Dooley and Higgins were junior Nikki Peterson (24:00.2), who finished in 90th; senior Tanya Kienlen (24:29.2) finished 101st; sophomore Lauren Furtney (24:37.4) came across the finish line in 103rd place and freshman Erin Heffron (25:22.9) rounded out the line up for the Cowgirls with her 115th place finish.
"I thought the girls ran really well and fought hard to get a top ten finish in the region," said Cole.
The Cowgirls ended up tenth out of 17 teams who competed at this year's Regional meet. The University of Colorado took the meet title with 64 points. They were followed by Texas Tech University (87), Brigham Young (94), Colorado State University (96) and Weber State University (98) who rounded out the top five finishers.