LARAMIE, Wyo. -
A Cowboy and Cowgirl will compete at the same NCAA Cross Country Championships for the first time since 2007 when senior Holly Page and Amos Bowen represent the University of Wyoming at the national meet on Saturday. Hosted by Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind., the women's 6-kilometer race commences at 10 a.m. MT, followed by the men's 10-kilometer race at 11 a.m. Links for live results and live video will be available on GoWYO.com.
Page and Bowen are coming off strong performances at the Mountain West and NCAA Mountain Regional championships the last three weeks. Page placed third at the conference meet, the highest placing ever for a Cowgirl, to claim her third-straight All-MW First Team honor, while Bowen was ninth to earn Second Team All-MW. Both crossed the finish line sixth at the Mountain Regional for All-Region accolades. Page is just the sixth Cowgirl ever to qualify for the national meet, while Bowen is the second Cowboy in two seasons.
"Holly and Amos have been running at an All-America level all year, so the key to the national meet is not making it bigger than it is," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "With neither of them having ever competed the NCAA Championships, they can't get overwhelmed with the environment. They just need to run this race like they've run all the others this year."
Wyoming History at the NCAA Championships
Holly Page and Amos Bowen are the first Cowboy and Cowgirl to qualify in the same season for the NCAA Championships since 2007. Page is just the sixth Wyoming female ever to accomplish the feat and the first since 2007, while Bowen is the 12th Wyoming male to qualify and the first since Garrett Zans last season. Andrea Everett in 1983 is the only Cowgirl to earn All-America honors and Mark Korir in 2008 is the last Cowboy to claim the distinction. For a complete breakdown, see page five of the notes.
Last Time Out: Bowen and Page Qualify for NCAA Championships
Junior Amos Bowen and senior Holly Page both placed sixth individually to pace the University of Wyoming cross country teams at last Friday's NCAA Mountain Regional and earn individual bids to the NCAA Championships. Both runners, along with freshman Kerry White, earned All-Region honors with their top-25 finishes.
"Qualifying two individuals really shows the Wyoming program is moving in the right direction," UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. "Amos will run in the NCAA meet and come back next year as we return each of our top-five runners. Holly gets to end her cross country career on a high note after being a great leader for us the past two seasons."
Page earned her second-straight All-Region accolade by leading Wyoming for an 18th-consecutive race. Her time of 21:18 over the 6-kilometer course placed her sixth in the field of 133 runners, the highest finish ever by a Cowgirl at the race. Gretchen Johnson held the previous best showing by a UW female with a 10th-place finish in 2007. The Cowgirls claimed fifth out of 20 as a team with 157 points, just one place shy of their highest finish ever at the meet and three points shy of their lowest point total ever. The Cowgirls led the nation in the biggest improvement from last year's regional with a an eight-place jump.
White was next to cross the line in 21:47 for 21st and was followed by junior Audra DeStefano in 22:07 for 31st. Sophomore Megan Brunette placed 47th in 22:25 and sophomore Ali Walker rounded out UW's scorers in 22:29 for 52nd.
"The women ran a great overall race," Berryhill said. "We finished where we were projected to, but I am proud of the fact that we moved up from 13th as a team last year. That is a huge jump in one season. They all bought into our game plan this year and I'm proud of their progress as a team."
Bowen was just as impressive in the men's 10-kilometer race of 106 runners, as his sixth-place finish in 28:56 was the highest showing by a Cowboy since Mark Korir's third in 2008 and the fourth-fastest time by a Cowboy since 1990. Junior Dylan Morin crossed the line in 31:24 for 49th and senior Aaron Derner followed in 31:28 for 52nd. Freshman Jonah Henry was one place back in 31:31 and sophomore Michael Kesy was UW's final scorer in 32:39 for 83rd. The Pokes placed 10th as a team with 243 points out of 17.
"I thought the men ran well as well," Berryhill said. "They finished better than they were projected to and performed better than at the conference meet. What is excited about the men is they not only got a representative through to the NCAA meet for a second-straight season, but will return the top five for next season."
Holly Out Front
Senior Holly Page has picked up right where she left off last season. The senior placed sixth overall at the Mountain Regional to finish as Wyoming's top runner for the 18th-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 10 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 third-fastest 8 kilometers in the Mountain West this season. Bowen's time was the quickest 8 kilometers by a Cowboy since Mark Korir ran two seconds faster at the 2007 NCAA Pre-Nationals.
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.
Page and Bowen Collect Mountain West Honors
For just the second time in program history, Wyoming swept the Mountain West Cross Country Athletes of the Week. Cowboy junior Amos Bowen and Cowgirl senior Holly Page were named male and female recipients of the award, announced by the conference on Sept. 23.
Page claimed the honor for the second time in her career with another solid performance in the Montana State Invite at Bozeman, Mont. She traversed the 3-mile course in 17:08 to place second individually and led the Cowgirls to their second-straight team title with 31 points. Page helped UW best second-place Utah by two points, after the Utes entered the meet ranked third in the mountain region and 37th in the nation in the USTFCCCA polls. The victory helped the Cowgirls move up three places to sixth in the USTFCCCA region rankings. Page has been UW's top finisher in 14-consecutive races, dating back to 2012.
Bowen was equally as impressive in the men's 5-mile race. He crossed the line in 25:01 to collect his first collegiate cross country victory by five seconds. His efforts helped the Cowboys win the team title with 32 points, their second straight as well. Bowen has been UW's top finisher twice in his career. Wyoming last swept the MW weekly cross country awards in 2013 when Page and Garrett Zans accomplished the feat on Sept. 17.
Wyoming begins the indoor track and field season by hosting the UW Power Meet on Dec. 12 in War Memorial Fieldhouse.