Nov. 5, 2012
By Nate Lake
Athletic Media Relations
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State University will host the NCAA Mountain Regional Friday at Collindale golf course in Fort Collins. The Mountain region consists of men's and women's teams from the Mountain West, Western Athletic, Big Sky, Pac-12, Great West, West Coast, and Big 12 conferences. The women will run a 6,000 meter race at 12 p.m. MT while the men run 10,000 meters at 1 p.m. MT to compete for spots in the NCAA Cross Country Championships. Following are capsules for each participating team.
Colorado State University
Led by men's runner Alex Muntefering and women's runners Holly Keeper and Kaitlin Hanenburg, the Rams cruised to a second place finish for the women and a third place finish for the men at the MW Championships. Other athletes to watch are junior Whitney Henderson, sophomore Andrew Goodman and junior Christian Meyer. The men's team is ranked seventh in the Mountain region, and the women hold a fourth place ranking.
Ranked fifth in the Mountain region, the men's team boasts six All-Mountain West selections. Led by Isaiah Bragg, they finished second at the MW Championships. The women's team, ranked eighth in the Mountain region, finished fourth at the MW Championships and is led by seniors Melissa Fuerst and Jen Bremser.
Brigham Young University
Junior co-captain Jared Ward led the men's team to a West Coast Conference championship and a second place finish at Pre-Nationals. Led by Natalie Shields, the fourth-place finisher with a time of 20:38, the women's team took third place at the WCC Championships. The men are ranked second in the Mountain region while the women are ranked 6th.
University of Colorado
The men's team is ranked second nationally, headed by Blake Theroux, Jake Hurysz and Hugh Dowdy. They recently captured the Pac-12 Championship for the second straight year. The women's team is ranked 24th nationally, led by Shalaya Kipp and Carrie Verdon. The men hold a first place ranking in the Mountain region while the women are ranked third.
Idaho State University
The women's team is ranked 15th in the Mountain region behind Chloe Palakovich, who finished 12th at the Big Sky Conference championships. The women's team finished fourth at the conference championships. The men's team, featuring the Big Sky's 20th place finisher, Bryce Jenkins, finished seventh at the Big Sky championships.
University of Montana
Led by Mark Messmer and Jordan Collison, the men ran to a sixth place finish at the Big Sky Conference championships on Oct. 27. The women's team, led by Allie Parks' 25th place performance, finished 10th at the Big Sky Conference championships.
Montana State University
The men, ranked 11th in the Mountain region, recently finished in fourth place at the Big Sky Conference championships. Michael Asay and Jacob Kirk are athletes to watch for the men. The women finished sixth at the Big Sky Conference championships. Women's runner Heather Demorest finished in 16th place at the conference championships for the second year in a row.
University of Nevada
The Wolf Pack features only a women's cross country team, who recently finished fifth at the Mountain West Conference championships after being ranked eighth in the preseason conference poll. Sam Diaz had a school-record performance at the MWC championships, finishing in seventh place. The Wolf Pack is ranked 13th in the Mountain region.
University of New Mexico
The men's and women's teams recently swept the Mountain West Cross Country Championships for the fourth straight year. The men won their fifth straight MW title while the women won their fourth straight. Luke Caldwell and Lacey Oeding each won individual MW championships. The men are ranked third in the Mountain region, while the women are ranked second.
New Mexico State University
The men's and women's teams each finished fourth at the WAC championships. The women's team, ranked 11th in the Mountain region, features twins Courtney and Camille Schultz. Courtney finished second and Camille sixth at the WAC Championships. The men's team is led by senior Jonah Ruybalid and ranked 15th in the Mountain region. Ruybalid finished 10th at the WAC championships.
Northern Arizona University
The Lumberjacks are coached by the Big Sky Men's coach of the year, Eric Heins. He coached the men to their sixth straight Big Sky championship in 2012. Junior Brian Shrader won the individual Big Sky championship, the eighth straight individual title for NAU. The men's team is ranked fourth in the Mountain region. Senior Rochelle Kanuho leads the women's team, who finished third at the Big Sky championships and is ranked ninth in the Mountain region.
University of Northern Colorado
Led by Evan Beeks and John McCarthy, the Bears finished 10th on the men's side at the Big Sky Conference championships. The women, led by Rikki Gonzales' 13th place finish, placed fifth at the Big Sky Conference championships.
Southern Utah University
The Thunderbirds, just recently joining the Big Sky Conference, finished third in the men's standings and second in the women's standings at the conference championships on Oct. 27. SUU is led by women's runner Jamie Smith and men's runner Nate Jewkes, who finished fourth and second at the Big Sky championships, respectively. The women are ranked fifth in the Mountain region while the men are ranked 10th.
University of Texas-El Paso
Head coach Paul Ereng leads a men's team that finished second in the Conference USA championships, supported by Anthony Rotich's individual title. The men are ranked sixth in the Mountain region. Women's runner Risper Kimaiyo led the Miners to a ninth place finish at the Conference USA championship with her individual title.
Texas Tech University
The men's team is led by junior Kennedy Kithuka, who recently won the Big 12 championship and led his team to a sixth place finish at the conference championships. The men are ranked eighth in the Mountain region. The women's team, headed by freshman McKenzie Archer, finished tenth at the Big 12 Conference championships.
University of Utah
The Utes only compete in cross country on the women's side, and recently finished seventh at the Pac-12 Conference championships. They are ranked seventh in the Mountain region behind the leadership of head coach Kyle Kepler. Senior Amanda Mergaert finished sixth at the Pac-12 championships to lead the team.
Utah State University
The men finished second and the women third at the WAC championships on Oct. 27. Senior Alex Litzsinger and freshman Tylee Newman placed fourth and fifth at the WAC championships to lead a women's team that is ranked 10th in the Mountain region. The men's team is ranked 14th in the Mountain region, led by Kyle McKenna, the second place finisher at the WAC Championships.
Utah Valley University
Coach Scott Houle led the Wolverines to men's and women's conference titles at the Great West Conference championships. The men's team, ranked 13th in the Mountain region, had the top two finishers at the GWC championships, Cliff Nielson and Macy Butterfield. The women's team is led by senior Krystal Harper and is ranked 12th in the Mountain region.
Weber State University
Hailing from the Big Sky Conference, Weber State boasts the Big Sky Women's coach of the year, Paul Pilkington. Pilkington leads a women's team that is ranked 13th in the nation and first in the Mountain region and that recently captured the Big Sky championship. The men's team is ranked ninth in the Mountain region behind senior John Coyle. They placed second at the Big Sky championships.
University of Wyoming
New coach Bryan Berryhill led Wyoming to a sixth-place women's finish and a fifth-place men's finish at the Mountain West Conference championships. Led by sophomore Holly Page, the women are ranked 14th in the Mountain region. Headed by junior Garrett Zans, the 16th place finisher at the Mountain West championships, the men are ranked 12th in the Mountain region.
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