Cross-country teams to take part in Mountain Region championships

Following their strong performance in the Big Sky Conference championships, the men’s and women’s Weber State University cross-country teams will head to the Mountain Regional tournament this week.

Colorado State University will host the meet, which will include teams from the Big Sky, Big 12, Great West, Mountain West and Pac-12 conferences. The top two teams will automatically advance to the NCAA National Championships.

The WSU women’s team is ranked 13th in the nation and is sitting in first place in the Mountain Region. The Wildcats are the favorites to win the region title after repeating as Big Sky Conference champions two weeks ago. This season, the women’s team has been led by Amber Henry and Sarah Callister, who finished first and second respectively in the conference championship.

WSU will be joined by two other nationally ranked teams: the University of New Mexico, which is ranked 17th in the nation, and the University of Colorado, which is ranked 24th. Head Coach Paul Pilkington said the team’s goal going into the meet is to receive an automatic bid for the NCAA championships.

“If we race like we have been doing, we should be OK,” Pilkington said. “Amber and Sarah have both run extremely well all year and can run with anyone in the region.”

The men’s team finished second at the Big Sky Championships two weeks ago and is coming into this meet ranked ninth in the Mountain Region. The men’s team has been led this season by John Coyle, who took fifth place in the Big Sky Championships. Mike Hardy has also been a strong performer this year.

“Individually, Coyle and Hardy will have a chance to qualify for the national meet, but they will have to run very well,” Pilkington said.

The NCAA National Championships will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky.