Nov. 15, 2008
FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
For the third time in as many years the University of Wyoming Cross Country team will be represented at the NCAA Championships as senior Mark Korir automatically qualified with his third place finish at this year's NCAA Mountain Region Championship on Saturday. UW junior Emily Higgins plays the waiting game for an NCAA bid with her 13th place finish in Fort Collins, Colo.
"Mark will have an opportunity to three-peat as an All-American while Emily will wait and see how many teams from the Mountain Region get selected as at-large teams," said UW head coach Randy Cole. "This was one of the best team efforts on both sides this season for the Brown and Gold."
Korir finished the 10k race in 29:33, 15 seconds behind the winner, David McNeill of Northern Arizona. He led the `Pokes to a sixth place finish out of 15 teams and a total of 182 points.
Fellow senior, Michael Huntington broke the 31-minute barrier with his 39th place finish and time of 30:54. Freshmen Greg Miller, Eliud Chirchir and sophomore Seth Grossman all ran great races with their 49th, 52nd and 54th place finishes respectively.
Senior Brett Schuler ran a 31:57 and finished his last Mountain Regional Meet in 61st place. While freshman Ryan Griesbach, Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year, concluded the running for the Cowboys in 82nd place.
"The men had a nice pack early and actually through 8-kilometers had run times faster than most of the season," said Cole. "They really hung tough and finished strong. With six guys breaking the 32-minute mark, this is what we expect out of them throughout the track and field season."
For the Cowgirls, they earned two All-Mountain Region honors in Higgins and sophomore Alysha Davis who finished the 6k race in 23rd place in a time of 21:17. Following Davis was junior Erin Heffron and sophomore Emily Byra in 50th and 54th place respectively. Rounding out the field for the Cowgirls were sophomore Irene Masai in 96th place and senior Nikki Peterson in 109th place. Peterson has been plagued by injury much of this season.
"It was a great race for the Cowgirls as they all set their own personal bests in the 6k race," said Cole.
The Cowgirls as a team finished in ninth place with a team total of 234 points out of the 18-team field. Higgins should find out either Sunday or Monday if she will be joining Korir at the Championships on the 24th of November in Terre Haute, Ind.