UW Cross Country To Make Season Debut In Wyoming Invitational

Aug. 31, 2011

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

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The UW cross country program will begin its 2011 season Friday with a home event, the Wyoming Invitational, hosted by Jacoby Golf Course.

The college action begins at 6 p.m. with the women's 2.5-mile race, and the men will begin their 4.25-mile race at 6:30 p.m. High school races will precede the college races, with a girls race at 4:45 p.m. and a boys race at 5:15 p.m. The college teams scheduled to participate will include UW, Colorado State, Northern Colorado, Utah Valley and Carleton (Minn.) College.

In last season's Wyoming Invitational, the UW men finished second to CSU and the women were third overall.

"Our teams are excited to knock off the rust and get our racing going with our home meet this Friday," Wyoming head coach Randy Cole said. "The main thing is taking care of business in our preparation and trying to race smart. We know we are going to get a lot better as we go on through the season.

"It's great to open up at home. We have a great venue at Jacoby Golf Course and it's great the university provides that for us. It's a fun event."

It appears as if last season's teams gained recognition. In the US Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association preseason rankings the Cowboys were ranked sixth in the Mountain Region, while the women were 15th.

The leading returner for the women will be sophomore Christine Nelson, who is the reigning MW Freshman of the Year and was an All-Mountain Region honoree. She finished third last season in her first collegiate race. Nelson will be joined by senior Brooke Hughes and sophomore Andrea Klimowski, along with several newcomers.

The men will lean on senior Greg Miller, who was third in last year's race. He was an All-Conference performer in 2010. Senior Nick Ekel and sophomore Garrett Zans also will be in hot pursuit.

Another meet highlight will be the presence of Pete Burns, a member of Wyoming's inaugural cross country team, which was established in 1946. Burns, 84, ran in the first-ever Wyoming Invitational. He will be recognized prior to the start of the collegiate races.