LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Due to the threat of frost, the men's race has been pushed back to 11:30 a.m. MT and the women's race to 12:15 p.m. MT.
The University of Wyoming men's and women's cross country teams begin their postseason Friday at the Mountain West Championships in Reno, Nev. The Cowboys race an 8-kilometer course at 11 a.m. MT, while the Cowgirls compete in the 6-kilometer run at 11:45 a.m. at Montreux Golf Club. Live results and live video will be available at GoWYO.com.
Wyoming will rely on the talents of senior Amos Bowen and sophomore Kerry White, as both are seeking their second-straight All-Mountain West honors. Bowen was Second Team last season and would become the first Cowboy with two-straight all-conference honors since 2010-11, while White was Second Team last season as well. White looks to be fully recovered from an early-season foot injury, but the Cowgirls could be without the services of several other injured runners. That's part of the reason the UW women were picked fourth in the midseason coaches poll, while the UW men were fifth. The other reason is the conference meet also includes a New Mexico women's team ranked first in the nation and Boise State ninth. On the men's side, Boise State is No. 16, while Air Force is No. 26 and Colorado State No. 30.
"Amos has to go out there and run with confidence," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "He's had a great fall as far as training goes. The biggest thing is he has to get to the front of that race. He can run stride for stride with anyone in the men's race. Same for Kerry in the women's race. She has been training at a very high level. The women's race will be tough at the top, but she can run with them and will have to two weeks later at the regional meet."
Wyoming History at the Mountain West Championships
The Wyoming men's highest team finish at the MW meet is fourth place, including the last time in 2010, while their lowest point total was 85 in 2011. Mark Korir owns the highest individual placing by a Cowboy, as he won in 2008. The Cowgirls finished third last season to tie their highest team placing ever, and totaled 79 points, their lowest ever. Holly Page has the best individual finish with a third-place showing last season
Last season, the Cowboys placed sixth thanks to a ninth-place individual finish by Amos Bowen for All-MW Second Team. The Cowgirls were third as a team with a third-place individual showing from Page. She became the only Cowgirl ever to collect more than one All-MW First Team honor, as she collected her third.
Last Time Out: Fast Times Not Enough for Wyoming in Louisville
Several Cowboys and Cowgirls ran record times at the Louisville Pre-National Invite on Oct. 17, but it wasn't enough for the University of Wyoming men's and women's cross country teams against multiple ranked squads at Tom Sawyer State Park.
Sophomore Kerry White ran 20:49 over the 6-kilometer course for the third-fastest time in Cowgirl history, but the Wyoming women finished 38th in the 45-team field. No. 5 Michigan edged out No. 2 Colorado and No. 4 Oregon for the team title. Junior Megan Brunette also had a race for the ages, as she ran 21:08 for 11th in Cowgirl history and 99th on the day. She was followed by sophomore Lauren Hamilton in 21:51 for 219th, while junior Cassidy Meade was 238th in 22:00. Freshmen Isabella Pape and Kiah Leonard rounded out UW's runners in 22:09 and 22:33 for 262nd and 290th, respectively. The Cowgirls were without senior Audra DeStefano due to illness and junior Ali Walker, who didn't finish the race due to a leg injury.
It was more of the same for Wyoming in the men's race. Senior Aaron Derner completed the 8-kilometer course in 24:24, good for 10th in Cowboy history, but the Cowboys placed 34th of 42 in the team race. No. 1 Colorado won the team title over No. 3 Oregon and No. 13 Arkansas. Sophomore Jonah Henry was UW's second runner at 24:40 for 155th, while senior Amos Bowen was one second behind in 159th. Senior Dylan Morin placed 168th in 24:43, redshirt freshman Ricky Faure was 203rd in 24:57, junior Alex Pawlak 222nd in 25:03 and redshirt freshman Jesse Gray 275th in 25:45. Several of Wyoming's runners fell around the 400-meter mark, as a large group of runners went down early in the race.
2015 Louisville Pre-National Invite
Men's Team Results
1. No. 1 Colorado - 89
2. No. 3 Oregon - 151
3. No. 13 Arkansas - 164
4. No. 13 UTEP - 197
5. No. 10 Georgetown - 214
34. Wyoming - 804
Wyoming Men Individual Results
119. Aaron Derner -- 24:24
155. Jonah Henry -- 24:40
159. Amos Bowen -- 24:41
168. Dylan Morin -- 24:43
203. Ricky Faure -- 24:57
222. Alex Pawlak -- 25:03
275. Jesse Gray -- 25:45
Women's Team Results
1. No. 5 Michigan - 131
2. No. 2 Colorado - 151
3. No. 4 Oregon - 175
4. No. 9 Stanford - 244
5. RV Mississippi State - 247
38. Wyoming -- 852
Fast Times for Wyoming
Two Cowgirls and a Cowboy notched marks in Wyoming's all-time top 15 at the Louisville Pre-Nationals on Oct. 17. Sophomore Kerry White ran the third-fastest 6 kilometers, while junior Megan Brunette posted the 11th-fastest time. For the Cowboys, senior Aaron Derner logged the 10th-fastest 8 kilometers. Overall the current Cowgirl roster has seven marks in Wyoming's all-time top 15 for 6 kilometers, including three entries by White, while the current Cowboys have four entries for 8 kilometers, including two by senior Amos Bowen.
The Injury Bug
Wyoming has been a bit unlucky this season in terms of injuries. Seniors Audra DeStefano and Mike Seas are doubtful for the Cowgirls and Cowboys this weekend. Both have been diagnosed with mononucleosis. DeStefano was UW's top runner in the first two meets this season, while Seas was in UW's top eight. Junior Ali Walker is a race-day decision after suffering a leg injury at the Louisville Pre-Nationals. Sophomore Kerry White, the Cowgirls' top returner this fall, has been battling a foot injury she suffered in the first meet of the season, but should be close to 100 percent at the MW Championships.
Wyoming in the USTFCCCA Regional Polls
The Cowgirls and Cowboys both dropped to 10th in the latest USTFCCCA regional polls, after starting the season ranked in the same spot. The Wyoming women finished last season fifth (second Mountain West team) in the Mountain Region, after climbing as high as fourth. The Cowboys were 10th (fifth MW team). The polls are on page three of the notes.
Returning NCAA Qualifier
The Cowboys return all seven of their top runners from a season ago, but more importantly they welcome back someone with experience at the national meet. Senior Amos Bowen will look to qualify for the national meet for a second-straight season. He is the first Cowboy to return after competing at the NCAA Championships since Mark Korir went three-straight seasons from 2006-08. Bowen will also be looking to take down Korir's school record in the 8,000 meters of 23:41. Bowen was two seconds shy at last season's Washington Invite.
Wyoming races at the NCAA Mountain Regional on Nov. 13 in Albuquerque, N.M.