UW cross-country teams land in 4th at Mountain West Championships
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The University of Wyoming Cross Country teams ran well at their home course in Laramie for the 2022 edition of the Mountain West Championships.
Taking place at Jacoby Golf Course on the campus of the University of Wyoming the Cowboys and Cowgirls outperformed expectations. Heading into the race both teams were picked to finish in fifth place but were led to fourth-place finishes by Katelyn Mitchem and Jacob White.
Mitchem paced the Cowgirls on a sunny fall day from Laramie and finished up with a time of 19:52.5, 13 seconds away from the first-place finisher from New Mexico. Leah Christians (19th), Madelyn Blazo (26th), Eowyn Dalbec (31st) and Kylie Simshauser (32nd) round out the top five for the Cowgirls.
Mitchem added, “It’s really special (running in Laramie). I see a lot of my old teammates here. There are so many people supporting us. It’s really special to get to experience that because that’s not something most people that go to Wyoming get to experience. It’s just really special to get that experience and have that much support.”
Head coach Scott Dahlberg on the Cowgirls, “The women ran extremely well. They gritted out a very tough race. The girls stepped up and beat some teams we haven’t beaten in a long time, and that was a really good accomplishment for them.”
From Cowboy Jacob White, “Katelyn Mitchem’s performance hyped us up for sure watching her go out and do what she did.”
White paced the Cowboys with his best performance of the season running a 23:42.1 in the men’s 8K race just 4.3 seconds behind the first place finisher from Air Force. Mason Norman (23rd), Albert Steiner (28th), Seth Bruxvoort (29th) and Gus McIntyre (40th) rounded out the top five for the Pokes.
Both Mitchem and White earned All Mountain West First Team Honors for their performances in today’s Championships.
The Cowboys finish behind No. 5 Air Force, No. 28 Colorado State and No. 24 Utah State while the Cowgirls were behind No. 2 New Mexico, No. 20 Colorado State, and Utah State who is receiving 11 votes in the latest USTFCCCA Coaches poll and bested Boise State who is receiving 20 votes.
Next up for the Cowboys and Cowgirls is a stacked NCAA Mountain Regional to be hosted in Albuquerque, N.M., on Friday November 11th. They will run the same course as last season’s MW Championships.
Stay up to date on Wyoming Cross Country by following @wyo_track on Twitter.
More from Dahlberg, "The event itself was amazing. We got a lot of compliments from people in the area and also people from afar, other schools. It was a good course and a good setup. We had amazing support to not only cheer on but in the course prep and setup, and we couldn’t have done it without that group. We are super grateful for the support we have.
We couldn’t have asked for a better cross-country day. This is cross-country weather. 7,000 feet, late October, you never know what you’re going to get, and this is about as good as you could ask for.
Katelyn, she’s starting to get confidence that she hasn’t had before, and it’s really showing in how she manages her races. She put herself in that position because she felt like she could push and try and string it along, and that made it a different race than most people expected. The fact that she was able to maintain once a small group caught her and continued to push and get the best race out of herself, was great.
The men had an OK race. We had some really good races. Jacob White had an amazing performance. He put himself in the right position and competed really well. Seth had a really good one after a couple rough ones.
Regionals is always competitive. The Mountain Region has so many good teams in it. We are going to go back, look at results from this weekend and see where we need to place to hopefully extend our season.”
“I think I just kind of got in the front in the very beginning just trying to go hard, and when no one was next to me I just thought, ‘I’m just going to take this now.’ I know I can handle the elevation well, and I know I’m not going to be hurting going out that hard. I honestly like running alone. It’s just more relaxing, so I just thought, ‘Well I’m just going to take it, and if they catch me, they catch me. I’m just going to try and hold out.’
I honestly didn’t (have any fear going out too hard). I know how to run. I know I can handle it up here. I’m honestly more comfortable running at this elevation than running at sea level.
I heard everyone yelling at me to go, and I kind of wish I would have gone sooner. I think I was a little hesitant to push it with 1K/2K left. I just expected them to catch me sooner. I wasn’t expecting to be up there that long.”
“My goal was to hang on. This race is such a big deal to me because I haven’t been seeing success the past few races. I’m a Christian. I prayed really hard about it and my prayers were answered today. Just prayed for God to show me what I’m capable of, and he had a plan for me.
You’re always unsure where things are going to be headed going into a race, but I trust Scott with my life, and he said our training would take care of it today. So I trusted in my training.
I always run better when my family is around. I can hear them cheering on the sidelines. It’s feels like they’re with me. It doesn’t feel so alone. I’d say the tank is empty.”
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