2013 Mountain West Cross Country Championships Set For Friday

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The New Mexico men’s and women’s cross country teams will look to continue their run of Mountain West league titles when the 2013 Cross Country Championships get underway Friday, Nov. 1 at the Eisenhower Blue Course on the grounds of the United States Air Force Academy.

The men’s 8-kilometer race will kick off the morning’s festivities at 10 a.m., while the women’s 6K race is scheduled to begin at 10:45 a.m. Both races will be available live and for free on the Mountain West Network: http://www.themw.com/#!/watch-live.

The Lobo women have won the last five MW championships, while the men have taken the past four. Both New Mexico teams are ranked ninth in the latest USTFCCCA National Polls, but they are not the only MW teams to hold a national ranking.

Boise State (No. 20 men, No. 25 women), Colorado State (No. 22 men) and Air Force (No. 28 men) are all currently nationally-recognized teams and figure to apply plenty of pressure to the defending champions in their respective races.

New Mexico’s Luke Caldwell is the defending champion in the men’s race. The senior from Betchworth, England, who was the 2013 Mountain West Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Male Athlete of the Year, owns the Conference’s top 8K time this season at 23:30. Teammate Adam Bitchell, a senior who finished sixth at the MW Championship a year ago, possesses the second-fastest time in 2013 at the 8K distance at 23:44.

Leading the way for Air Force is Isaiah Bragg, whose time of 23:53 is the third-fastest 8K in the MW this season. Boise State’s Aaron Back has posted a 24:10.5 at that distance, while Colorado State’s Alex Munterfering (24:50.8) and Andrew Goodman (24:52.2) hold the second- and third-best five-mile finishes among league competitors.

Boise State’s Emma Bates, who was named the USTFCCCA Division I Women’s National Athlete of the Week on Oct. 21 for her victory in the 2013 Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 19, is the favorite in the women’s race. The junior’s time of 20:09 at the Pre-National Invitational is the league’s premier 6K finish this season. In addition, Bates also owns the MW’s top 4K (14:14.3) and 5K (16:35.0) times this season.

Not far behind Bates in the 6K is New Mexico senior Charlotte Arter. Arter, who was runner-up at the 2012 MW Championship, has a top time of 20:15 in the 6K, which she set on Oct. 19 at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational. Lobo teammates Calli Thackery (20:32.0), Sammy Silva (20:33.0), Heleene Tambet (20:48.0), Nicole Roberts (20:50.0) and Tamara Armoush (20:52.0) have all cracked the 21-minute mark this season.

Complete results, recap, post-race interviews and photo galleries will all be available on TheMW.com at the 2013 MW Cross Country Championships page: http://www.themw.com/#!/page/championship_c-xc