LARAMIE, Wyo. – The University of Wyoming cross country team reported for fall camp Monday, marking the beginning of an athletics year that won’t end until after the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year for about 30 Cowboys and Cowgirls.
The Cowboys return four letter-winners while also losing four, including 2015 USTFCCCA All-Region honorees Aaron Derner and Amos Bowen. Junior Jonah Henry and sophomore Ricky Faure will lead a young team that features three newcomers and two redshirt freshmen. Henry’s younger brother, Christopher Henry, will follow his brother’s footsteps onto the team while New Zealand natives Harry Ewing and Daniel Hintz are freshman additions.
The Cowgirls have a deep roster in 2016, returning seven letter-winners and gaining redshirt senior Audra DeStefano for a final season after she missed most of the 2015 campaign with an illness. Junior Kerry White is another headlining returner after finishing 16th at the 2015 MW championships, just two spots short of All-MW honors. All of the team’s top five finishers from last year’s conference meet – White, Megan Brunette, Lauren Hamilton, Isabella Pape and Kiah Leonard – return for the 2016 season.
The Brown and Gold harriers will first compete on Sept. 2 at the Colorado State Invite in Fort Collins, Colo., the first of a possible seven meets in the 2016 cross country season. After a two-week break from competition, the team will travel to Bozeman, Mont., for the MSU-Bozeman Running Company Invitational. The following weekend features a trip to St. Paul, Minn., for the annual Roy Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.
Preparation for the postseason begins in Terre Haute, Ind., on Oct. 15 as Indiana State University hosts Pre-Nationals. The Cowboys and Cowgirls will congregate with Mountain West foes to battle for team and individual conference titles in Kuna, Idaho, on Oct. 28. At the conference meet, the Cowboys will look to finish in the MW’s top three teams for the first time in program history while the Cowgirls attempt to outpace their fifth-place preseason ranking. At the 2015 conference championships, the Cowboys tied their best finish, fourth place, while the Cowgirls took fifth.
After the NCAA Mountain Regional on Nov. 11 and 2016 NCAA Cross Country Championships on Nov. 19, the harriers will take their talents to the track as distance runners, competing in both the indoor and outdoor track & field seasons.