ALBURQUERQUE, N.M. - Amos Bowen and senior Holly Page both placed sixth individually to pace the University of Wyoming cross country teams at Friday's NCAA Mountain Regional and earn individual bids to the NCAA Championships. Both runners, along with freshman Kerry White, earned All-Region honors with their top-25 finishes.
"Qualifying two individuals today really shows the Wyoming program is moving in the right direction," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "Amos will run in the NCAA meet and come back next year as we return each of our top-five runners. Holly gets to end her cross country career on a high note after being a great leader for us the past two seasons."
Page becomes the first Cowgirl to qualify for the NCAA Championships since 2007 and just the sixth Wyoming female ever to accomplish the feat, while Bowen is the second Cowboy to qualify in as many seasons after Garrett Zans competed in the NCAA meet last season. The last time Wyoming had a male and female representative at the national meet was 2007.
Page earned her second-straight All-Region accolade by leading Wyoming for an 18th-consecutive race. Her time of 21:18 over the 6-kilometer course placed her sixth in the field of 133 runners, the highest finish ever by a Cowgirl at the race. Gretchen Johnson held the previous best showing by a UW female with a 10th-place finish in 2007. The Cowgirls claimed fifth out of 20 as a team with 157 points, just one place shy of their highest finish ever at the meet and three points shy of their lowest point total ever. White was next to cross the line in 21:47 for 21st and was followed by junior Audra DeStefano in 22:07 for 31st. Sophomore Megan Brunette placed 47th in 22:25 and sophomore Ali Walker rounded out UW's scorers in 22:29 for 52nd.
"The women ran a great overall race today," Berryhill said. "We finished where we were projected to, but I am proud of the fact that we moved up from 13th as a team last year. That is a huge jump in one season. They all bought into our game plan this year and I'm proud of their progress as a team."
Bowen was just as impressive in the men's 10-kilometer race of 106 runners, as his sixth-place finish in 28:56 was the highest showing by a Cowboy since Mark Korir's third in 2008 and the fourth-fastest time by a Cowboy since 1990. Junior Dylan Morin crossed the line in 31:24 for 49th and senior Aaron Derner followed in 31:28 for 52nd. Freshman Jonah Henry was one place back in 31:31 and sophomore Michael Kesy was UW's final scorer in 32:39 for 83rd. The Pokes placed 10th as a team with 243 points out of 17.
"I thought the men ran well today as well," Berryhill said. "They finished better than they were projected to and performed better than at the conference meet. What is excited about the men is they not only got a representative through to the NCAA meet for a second-straight season, but will return the top five for next season."
The NCAA Championships will be hosted by Indiana State on Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind.
2014 NCAA Mountain Regional
Men's Team Results
1. No. 1 Colorado - 45
2. No. 10 Northern Arizona - 68
3. No. 15 BYU - 121
4. No. 30 Southern Utah - 128
5. Colorado State - 140
10. Wyoming - 243
Women's Team Results
1. No. 12 Colorado - 43
2. No. 9 New Mexico - 56
3. BYU - 112
4. Northern Arizona - 149
5. Wyoming - 157
Wyoming Women Individual Results
6. Holly Page - 21:18
21. Kerry White - 21:47
31. Audra DeStefano - 22:07
47. Megan Brunette - 22:25
52. Ali Walker - 22:29
95. Lauren Hamilton - 23:13
96. Devon England - 23:14