Mountain West Harriers Set For Friday's NCAA Regional Championships

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The 2013 NCAA Cross Country Regional Championships will take place Friday, Nov. 15 at nine locations across the country. The Mountain West, with all 11 institutions and 19 teams competing, will be well-represented in both the Mountain and West regionals.

Six MW institutions will take part in the Mountain Regional, hosted by Weber State in Ogden, Utah, while the remaining five teams will run in the West Regional, hosted by Sacramento State in Sacramento, Calif. The regional will be the longest race of the season for the men, who will run a 10-kilometer course. The women will run a 6K course.

In the Mountain Regional, the men’s race starts at Noon MT/11 a.m. PT, with the women’s race scheduled for a 1:15 p.m. MT/12:15 p.m. PT start. Both races will take place at Schneiter's Riverside Golf Course. The West Regional, which takes place at the Haggin Oaks Golf Complex, begins at 11:30 a.m. MT/10:30 a.m. PT with the men’s 10K race, followed by the women’s 6K at 12:45 p.m. MT/11:45 a.m. PT. You can follow live results of the West regional here: http://www.rtspt.com/events/ncaa/d1westxc13/.

The top two teams in each of the nine NCAA regions will earn automatic bids to the NCAA National Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 23 in Terre Haute, Ind. Once the top 18 teams earn their automatic bids, 13 additional teams will be selected by the NCAA to join the races.

Individually, 38 men and 38 women (top four per region) who are not on an advancing team will earn automatic bids; however, only if they post a Top-25 regional finish. Once all automatic bids are set, two individuals from across each region will be selected as at-large competitors for both the men’s and women’s races.

The New Mexico men’s and women’s teams, fresh off their fifth-straight sweep of the MW Cross Country Championships, will enter their respective Mountain regional races as one of the favorites to win what is on paper one of the more difficult regions, with seven men’s teams and two women’s teams ranked in the latest USTFCCCA National Coaches’ Polls. Both New Mexico teams displayed strong packs at the Conference championship, as the No. 8 women had five runners place in the Top-10, while the No. 11 men had four.

Two other nationally-ranked teams from the MW will also compete in the Mountain regional. Colorado State’s No. 23 men’s team will toe the start line, as will Air Force’s No. 29 men’s team. The Rams and Falcons enter the regional race with some momentum from the Conference championship, as the Rams finished second behind the Lobos in the team standings, while the Falcons’ Isaiah Bragg earned medalist honors, winning the 8K race on his home course in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 24:08.39.

Joining New Mexico, Colorado State and Air Force at the Mountain Regional will be Nevada (women only), Utah State (men and women) and Wyoming (men and women).

In the West regional, Boise State’s Emma Bates will look to continue her stellar 2013 campaign. Bates, a junior, won the NCAA Pre-National Invitational meet in October, and then cruised to victory in at the 2013 MW Cross Country Championships in 20:48.15, guiding the No. 25 Broncos to a second-place finish in the team standings. Bates possesses the Conference’s top 6K time this season at 20:09, which she set on Oct. 19 at the Pre-National meet.

Fresno State (men and women), San Diego State (women only), San José State (men and women) and UNLV (women only) will also compete in the West regional, which like the Mountain regional, features a handful of nationally-ranked programs in both the men’s and women’s races.