Mountain West Harriers To Compete At 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Four teams and four individual runners from the Mountain West will compete in Saturday’s 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships at the LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terra Haute, Indiana. The women’s 6K is scheduled for a 12 p.m. ET start, while the men’s 10K gets underway at 1 p.m. ET. Both championship races will be broadcast live at www.ncaa.com.

New Mexico saw its men’s and women’s teams qualify for nationals for the sixth consecutive year thanks to strong finishes at last week’s Mountain Regional Championships. The No. 9 Lobo women placed second to earn one of two automatic bids from the regional, while the No. 26 men earned an at-large bid after finishing seventh at regionals.

Boise State’s women’s team, ranked No. 11 in the latest United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches’ Poll, clinched an automatic berth with a second-place finish at the West Regional Championship and the No. 27 Colorado State men grabbed an at-large bid with its fifth-place finish at the New Mexico-hosted Mountain Regional Championship.

New Mexico redshirt freshman Alice Wright had the best finish of any MW runner at last week’s regional meets, as she raced to victory at the Mountain Regional Championship. Wright, a fourth-place finisher at the 2014 Mountain West Cross Country Championships, made full use of the home-course advantage at regionals. She finished the 6K race on the UNM Golf Course in 20:51.10.

Jefferson Abbey was the top Colorado State finisher at the Mountain Regional Championship. The sophomore finished the 10K course in 29:58.38, good for 10th-place. Teammate Jerrell Mock was one spot behind in 11th with a time of 29:59.89, and both Mock and Abbey were awarded All-Region honors, along with New Mexico’s Ross Matheson, who finished 24th overall in 30:24.28.

Two-time MW individual champion (2013-14) and 2013 NCAA runner-up, Emma Bates of Boise State placed second at the West Regional Championship. Her time of 19:34.2 was less than three seconds behind Arizona State’s Shelby Houlihan, one of the favorites to win the national title. Houlihan crossed the line in 19:31.6. Bates’ teammate Marisa Howard continued her stellar senior season with a fifth-place finish (20:04.9), and both Bronco runners garnered All-Region accolades.

Wyoming’s Amos Bowen and Holly Page qualified for the men’s and women’s national meet, respectively. Bowen finished sixth at the Mountain Regional Championship with a time of 28:56, while Page took sixth in the women’s race, completing the 6K course in 21:18. Both Wyoming runners earned All-Region honors for finishing in the top-25. Page is the first Wyoming women’s runner to qualify for nationals since 2007.

Boise State’s Andrew Rafla, Air Force’s Riley Coates and Utah State’s Eric Shellhorn will also be competing in the 2014 NCAA Cross Country Championships. Coates and Shellhorn finished 19th (30:20.93) and 20th (30:21.33) at the Mountain Regional Championship to earn their spots, and All-Region recognition. Rafla, the MW Freshman of the Year, competed at the West Regional Championship and finished the 10K course in 29:50.6, good for 11th-place.