LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's and women's cross country teams begin their postseason Friday at the Mountain West Championships in Fresno, Calif. The Cowgirls race a 6-kilometer course at 11 a.m. MT, while the Cowboys compete in the 8-kilometer run at 11:45 a.m. in Woodward Park. Live results and video will be available at GoWYO.com.
Wyoming has exceeded expectations this season, but stumbled in its last race Oct. 18 at Indiana State's Pre-National Invite. The Cowboys and Cowgirls competed against a tough field that included multiple ranked opponents, but finished 19th and 32nd, respectively, in the team standings. Both squads will look to return to their early-season form behind Holly Page and Amos Bowen. Page is looking for her third All-MW First Team accolade, a feat never accomplished by a Cowgirl, while Bowen has shown front-running potential as well this season.
"Anything that has happened this season up to this point doesn't matter because our two championship races are coming up," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "These are the two races we train all year for. The women have a realistic chance to finish in the top three at conference and even as good as second if we have a great day. If they want to be in that top three, our one-to-five split has to be closer to that 40-second range. The men are not 100 percent healthy, but they know at the end of the day they have to go out there and fight as hard as they can. I know Amos can be right up there with the lead pack, but the key is, with the injuries, we have to have a better showing of our four and five runners."
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 in 2004 for their highest team placing ever, and totaled 97 points, their lowest ever, the same year. Holly Page has the best individual finish with a fourth-place showing in 2012.
Last season, the Cowboys placed fifth thanks to a fifth-place individual finish by Garrett Zans. The Cowgirls were sixth with a sixth-place individual showing from Page. Both earned All-Mountain West First Team, as Page became become the first Cowgirl ever to claim the honor twice. UW's Michael Kesy was named the MW Freshman of the Year.
Last Time Out: Page Highlights Wyoming's Day in Indiana
Senior Holly Page and junior Amos Bowen were the University of Wyoming cross country team's top finishers in a tough field Oct. 18 at the Indiana State Pre-National Invite. Page finished 35th individually to pace the Cowgirls to 19th in the 43-team field, while Bowen was 98th to help the Cowboys place 32nd out of 46 teams. Both races featured nine ranked teams.
"Overall, the results are not what we wanted," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "We raced a lot better in the first three races. The women had a slow start and when you are racing 300-plus people, that is hard to make up. To their credit, they ran a great last half, but when you are competing against the best teams in the nation you have to run the whole race.
"It hurt the men not having Aaron [Derner], but our two-through-five guys went out there and fought hard. Amos [Bowen] didn't have his best race at the front, but he will bounce back at conference and hopefully we'll have Aaron back by then."
Page crossed the line in 21:21 for 35th in the field of 293 competitors, as she finished as the top Cowgirl for the 16th-consecutive race. Freshman Kerry White ran 21:46 for 69th and was followed by junior Audra DeStefano in 22:13 for 120th. Sophomores Megan Brunette and Ali Walker placed 144th and 155th in 22:20 and 22:26, respectively. Freshman Lauren Hamilton finished in 22:34 for 174th and senior Devon England rounded out UW's top seven in 24:14.
Bowen paced the Pokes for a third-straight race by running 25:26 for 98th in the 310-man field. Junior Mike Seas crossed the line in 25:41 for 136th, while freshman Jonah Henry was 154th in 25:49. Junior Dylan Morin ran 26:03 for 186th and was followed by sophomore Michael Kesy in 26:12. Redshirt freshman Garrett Westlake and redshirt sophomore Alex Pawlak crossed the line in 26:44 and 27:05, respectively. Junior Aaron Derner, who typically occupies the second spot for UW's contingent, missed the race due to an illness.
2014 Indiana State Pre-National Invite
Men's Team Results
1. No. 1 Colorado - 35
2. No. 2 Oregon - 91
3. Georgetown - 148
4. No. 26 Furman - 262
5. No. 22 Colorado State - 272
32. Wyoming - 782
Wyoming Men Individual Results
98. Amos Bowen - 25:26
136. Mike Seas - 25:41
154. Jonah Henry - 25:49
186. Dylan Morin - 26:03
208. Michael Kesy - 26:12
264. Garrett Westlake - 26:44
286. Alex Pawlak - 27:05
Women's Team Results
1. No. 4 Georgetown - 110
2. No. 3 Oregon - 139
3. No. 1 Michigan - 143
4. No. 7 Colorado - 186
5. No. 29 North Carolina State - 233
19. Wyoming - 523
Wyoming Women Individual Results
35. Holly Page - 21:21
69. Kerry White - 21:46
120. Audra DeStefano - 22:13
144. Megan Brunette - 22:20
155. Ali Walker - 22:26
174. Lauren Hamilton - 22:34
285. Devon England - 24:14
Success Under Berryhill
The Wyoming cross country teams have continued to build on their success under head coach Bryan Berryhill this season. At Oct. 4's Washington Invite, the Cowgirls beat a ranked opponent for the first time since the current version of the coaches poll began in 1995, as UW took down No. 13 Villanova. Individually, Holly Page ran the fastest 6 kilometers by a Cowgirl since 1990, while Amos Bowen ran the fastest 8 kilometers by a Cowboy since 2007.
Previously, the Cowboys and Cowgirls took home both team titles at the Montana State Invite on Sept. 20, in what is becoming a trend. The two squads have combined for nine team titles in three seasons under Berryhill and also earned four individual victories.
Holly Out Front
Senior Holly Page has picked up right where she left off last season. The senior placed 35th overall at Indiana State's Pre-National Invite to finish as Wyoming's top runner for the 16th-consecutive race. She has paced the Cowgirls all of the 2012 and 2013 seasons and has won three meets along the way. UW's second finisher has come within 30 seconds of Page just nine times, including the closest of 10 seconds by Megan Brunette at the Roy Griak Invite on Sept. 28. Page finished as UW's second runner in her first three career races as a freshman in 2011.
All About Amos
Junior Amos Bowen has shown progress in leaps and bounds this season. His time of 23:43 at the Washington Invite on Oct. 4 currently ranks as the fastest 8 kilometers in the Mountain West this season by 16 seconds. Bowen's time was the quickest 8 kilometers by a Cowboy since Mark Korir ran two seconds faster at the 2007 NCAA Pre-Nationals.
Wyoming competes at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championship on Nov. 14 in Albuquerque, N.M.