Cowgirls Fourth, Cowboys Fifth In Preseason Cross Country Poll

Aug. 21, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The University of Wyoming cross country programs were picked to finish in the top five of their respective fields in the Mountain West Cross Country Preseason Coaches' Poll, released Thursday by the league.

Under the direction of third-year head coach Bryan Berryhill, the Cowgirls were slated fourth among 11 squads, while the Cowboys were picked to finish fifth out of eight programs. In a vote of the league's head coaches, the UW women tallied 63 points in the poll, while the men garnered 23.

The UW women's contingent looks strong heading into 2014, and returns six of its top seven runners from last season, including its top three finishers from the NCAA Mountain Regional meet. Senior Holly Page will spearhead UW's attack once again this fall, as she has led UW in every race the past two seasons. Junior Audra DeStefano looks to continue momentum from a superb track season and sophomore Ali Walker is back after missing most of last season with an illness. Sophomores Megan Brunette and Cassidy Meade return after both were solid top-seven finishers last season, while Devon England is one of just two seniors on the Cowgirls' 26-person roster this fall. Look for freshman Kerry White to contribute early and often.

As for the Cowboys, expect a good effort from the junior trio of Aaron Derner, Amos Bowen and Dylan Morin. Derner and Bowen finished in UW's top four in all six meets last season, while Morin was in the top seven in each meet. The Cowboys return a total of seven letterwinners from last season, including five of their top seven competitors. Junior Mike Seas was consistently in UW's top seven last fall, as was sophomore Michael Kesy, who was named the MW's Freshman of the Year. Several newcomers could work their way into Wyoming's top seven this fall as well. Redshirt sophomore Alex Pawlak is back after taking last season off, while Laramie native Jonah Henry looks poised to make an immediate impact.

The New Mexico men's and women's cross country teams were selected to win the 2014 Mountain West titles, respectively. The Lobo women have won six-consecutive MW Cross Country Championships, while the men have won five straight.

The 2014 cross country season begins Aug. 29. The 2014 Mountain West Championships will be hosted by Fresno State at Woodward Park in Fresno, Calif., on Oct. 31.

2014 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY COACHES' POLL
Place - Team (First-place votes) - Points
1. - New Mexico (7) - 97
2. - Boise State (4) - 92
3. - Colorado State - 82
4. - Wyoming - 63
5. - Utah State- 61
6. - Air Force - 58
7. - Nevada - 54
8. - Fresno State - 41
9. - San Diego State - 25
10. - San José State - 18
11. - UNLV - 17

2014 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY COACHES' POLL
Place - Team (First-place votes) - Points
1. - New Mexico (7) - 49
2. - Colorado State (1)- 40
T3. - Air Force - 35
T3. - Boise State - 35
5. - Wyoming - 23
6. - Utah State- 22
7. - Fresno State - 13
8. - San José State - 7