Mountain West Runners to Compete at 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Three teams and six individual runners from the Mountain West will compete in Saturday’s 2015 NCAA Cross Country Championships at Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Kentucky. The women’s 6K gets underway at 12 p.m. ET, while the men’s 10K is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. Both championship races will be broadcast live at www.ncaa.com.
Boise State saw its men’s and women’s teams qualify for nationals for the first time in school history thanks to strong finishes at last week’s West Regional Championships. The No. 8 Bronco 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 fifth at regionals.
New Mexico’s women’s team, who have been ranked No. 1 in the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) National Coaches’ Poll the entire season, clinched an automatic berth with a second-place finish at the Mountain Regional Championship. The Lobo women have qualified for eight-consecutive NCAA Cross Country Championships dating back to 2008.
Air Force senior Hannah Everson and Boise State freshman Allie Ostrander had the best finishes of all MW runners at last week’s regional meets, as both raced to victories at the Mountain and West Regional Championships and claimed USTFCCCA Runner of the Year honors in their respective regions.
Everson, a third-place finisher at the 2015 Mountain West Cross Country Championships, completed the 6K course at UNM Championship Golf Course in 20:45.42, bettering the field by 10 seconds to become just the second Falcon representative in the women’s race since the Air Force Academy started to compete in NCAA Division I athletics.
While Ostrander, the 2015 MW Cross Country Champion, won the West Regional by 22 seconds and finished the 6K course in a time of 20:10.9 at Jefferson Park Golf Course. She led the Broncos to a runner-up finish in the team standings, one point shy of the regional team title.
Kyle Eller was the top men’s finisher for the Mountain West during last week’s regional meets. The junior finished the 10K course in 29:58.10 for third place. Teammate Patrick Corona was one spot behind in fourth with a time of 30:00.18. Both Eller and Corona earned individual spots to compete at the NCAA Cross Country Championships and USTFCCCA All-Region honors.
Colorado State’s Darby Gilfillan, Jefferson Abbey, and Jerrell Mock also qualified for the women’s and men’s national meet, respectively. Gilfillan finished fifth at the Mountain Regional Championship with a time of 21:10.8, while Abbey and Mock completed the men’s 10K race fifth (30:00.88) and sixth (30:01.5). All three Colorado State runners were also rewarded All-Region accolades for their finishes at the Mountain Regional Championship.
Other top MW competitors to watch include Boise State’s Brenna Peloquin and Minttu Hukka, who finished fourth and fifth at the West Regional Championships posting 6K times of 20:37.8 and 20:42.2 respectively. New Mexico teammates Calli Thackery and Courtney Frerichs were the top individuals for the Lobos crossing the finish line ninth and 10th on their home course, completing the 6K race in 21:15.33 and 21:15.35 respectively. On the men’s side, Michael Vennard was the Bronco’s top runner with a 17th place (31:29.8) in the West Regional.