UW Cross Country To Begin 2006 Season with Wyoming Invite

Aug. 31, 2006

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

The University of Wyoming cross country teams will begin their seasons by hosting the only home meet of the season at the Jacoby Golf Course on Friday, September 1, for the Wyoming Invitational. The women will run a 2.5 mile course, while the men will go a distance of 4.25 miles.

The field of teams that will be competing in the event are Air Force, Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado State, Northern Colorado, Metro State, Wyoming and a number of UW alumni. The alumni pariticipants will be led by one of Wyoming's natives and top runners, Joe Hall.

"It's going to be a great meet as far as the quality of competition and a nice size field in both races," said UW head cross country coach Randy Cole. There will be 55 women and 81 men competing in this year's Invitational.

The 2006 Wyoming Cross Country teams expect to continue their progression towards a Mountain West Conference championship under third year coach Randy Cole . This year, the Pokes will look to compete at a higher level with returning veterans who placed well at last years MWC Championships. Both the men and women's teams were picked to finish fourth in the MWC in the preseason coaches poll that came out just two weeks ago.

As for the Wyoming Invite, The invite will give the coaching staffs an idea of who will be a strong competitor for their programs while showcasing the athletes' level of fitness. The women will begin from the corner of 30th and Willet at 6:00 p.m. with the men following at 6:30 p.m. Parking will be available outside the new Louis S. Madrid Sports Complex at the corner of 30th and Willett Dr.

The Cowgirls

The women's cross country team will look to get some experience at the 2006 Wyoming Invitational having five freshmen on this year's squad. Those freshmen will be looking for guidance from senior Tanya Kienlen and juniors Gretchen Johnson (Fagley) and Nikki Peterson. Johnson finished in 17th place at the 2005 MWC Championships while Peterson finished in 16th. Both are considered top returners for the Cowgirls in 2006. The women hope to improve on last years season where they finished fourth at the MWC Championships and 11th of 13 teams at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships.

The Cowboys

On the men's side, the Pokes will look to improve on their fourth and 11th place finishes at the 2005 MWC and Mountain Region Championships. With veteran returners to the program, the men will look to continue their strong showing from 2005. While Shadrack Too, who was the top finisher for the men at last years Wyoming Invitational, looks to continue his success as a sophomore, seniors Chris Schabron and Philemon Tanui will take on new leadership roles while continuing their success from last season. Tanui earned All-Mountain West Conference honors in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field last season and showed that he will definitely be a force to reckon with in 2006.