2015 Mountain West Cross Country Championships Set For October 30
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2015 Mountain West Cross Country Championships, hosted by Nevada, get underway Friday, Oct. 30 at Montrêux Golf Club in Reno, Nevada. This marks the first time Nevada will host the MW Cross Country Championships since joining the Conference in 2012.
Competition begins at 10 a.m. PT with the men’s eight-kilometer race. The women’s 6K race is scheduled for a 10:45 a.m. PT start. Both races will be broadcast live and for free on the Mountain West Network, which you can view here: http://www.themw.com/.
The New Mexico women, currently ranked first nationally in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Poll, has won seven consecutive MW championships, while the Lobo men have won six straight Conference titles.
Three nationally-ranked teams are expected to challenge the Lobos for the title. On the women’s side, Boise State enters the meet No. 9 in the nation, while on the men’s side, Boise State stands at No. 16 and Air Force checks in at No. 26.
For the first time since 2012, a new individual champion will be crowned on the women’s side, with several runners looking to claim the top spot. Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander figures to be in the championship mix. Ostrander won the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, on Oct. 16, setting a new course record in the process, as she completed the 6K in 19:19.5. She became only the second freshman in the history of the invitational to win the individual title. Her time currently tops the 6K mark in the Conference.
New Mexico’s Courtney Frerichs currently holds the top 5K time in the MW, with a 16:27.0 that she posted at the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 2. Her runner-up finish led the Lobos to a victory in the team standings.
Other top women’s runners include New Mexico’s Rhona Auckland, who finished fifth at the Wisconsin Invitational, with a time of 19:41.1, and helped guide New Mexico to a meet record team score. Air Force’s Hannah Everson, who placed fifth at the Washington Invitational with a time of 19:50.2, her best 6K time in 2015, figures to be among those running in the lead pack.
Air Force’s Patrick Corona, runner-up at the 2014 MW Championship, is one of many runners gunning for the individual crown. The senior from Fairfield, Connecticut, owns the fastest 8K time in the MW this season, posting a 23:23.1 at the Washington Invitational on Oct. 2. His time of 23:33.1 at Pre-Nationals in Louisville, Kentucky is the second fastest time in the Conference heading into the championship.
Boise State’s Michael Vennard, who finished 14th as a freshman last year at the championship, currently holds the third-fastest 8K time, with his 23:51.8 finish at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 16. Vennard helped guide the Broncos to an 11th place finish out of 36 teams.
Colorado State teammates Jefferson Abbey and Jerrell Mock have led the Rams this season with a first and second place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational on Sept. 26. The pair also had top-20 finishes at Pre-Nationals, with Abbey posting an 23:35.0 and Mock finishing with a time of 23:37.2, marking their fastest 8K times of the season for both individuals.
Other men’s runners to watch are San José State’s Ben Branagh and Josue Gonzalez, who finished third and fourth at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational on Oct.17th posting 8K times on 24:03.9 and 24:06.1, respectively.
Complete results, recap, post-race interviews and photo galleries will all be available on TheMW.com at the 2015 MW Cross Country Championships Central page: http://www.themw.com/page/championship_c-xc.