UW's Cross Country Teams Hope To Turn Heads at Mountain West Championships

Oct. 28, 2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. -

Coach Randy Cole and the UW cross country teams will pack their running shoes this weekend for theMountain West Championships in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday. TheCowboys and Cowgirls come into this meet riding high after their best meet of the year two weeks ago.

The Cowgirls have been led all year by senior Jennifer Thompson. The Cheyenne, Wyo. native is coming of her best race ever at the Chile Pepper Invite, where she ran a personal best time of 21:36 at 6000-meters. Thompson will look to fuel off that race and carry it into this weekend where it just so happens that the course at the MWC Championships is the same distance. Although Thompson has led the Cowgirls in each race, it has been the solid pack behind her keeping them high in the standings each meet. This pack includes seniors Tanice Barnett and Natalie Kean, juniors Emerald Reid, Brooklan Grimes, and Michelle Kvernmo, and freshmen Gladys Jerotich and Gretchen Fagley. This middle pack have stepped up and played a very important role to the Cowgirls success this season.

"If we run the way we have been, we have a tremendous chance to finish in the top three," said University of Wyoming's head cross country coach Randy Cole. "I feel as though we have five girls who have the potential to finish in the top-25 and Jennifer Thompson is determined to have a good conference meet."

On the men's side, the Cowboys have been led by junior Brian Knight of Boise, Idaho. Knight is coming off one of his best races at the Chile Pepper Invite where he finished 24th in a time of 30:48. That race was run on a 10000-meter course and at the MWC Championships the race will be run on only a 8000-meter track. Even though Knight has been the leader for the Pokes this season, he has been pushed by a group who has steadily improve throughout the year. This group includes seniors Brian Harnisch and Jeremy Thompson, juniors Ragan Driver, Matt Hudson, and Nick Cramer, and sophomore Chris Schabron.

"I am looking for our guys to go down there and compete as hard as they can," said Cole. "I feel as though Brian Knight has a good shot at all-conference if he runs the way he has been.

"All in all I feel pretty good going into the conference meet. We are coming off our best meet and are feeling good physically."

The championships will be held at Morely Field in San Diego, Calif. on Saturday. The women's 6000-meter race will begin at 9 a.m. PST and the mens 8000-meter race starts at 10 a.m. PST.