SAN DIEGO, Calif.– Cowboy cross country runner Paul Roberts claimed the individual Mountain West Championship on Friday, as he broke the tape at the finish line of the 8-kilometer course in 24:34.1, three seconds ahead of the second-place finisher.
He is the second Cowboy to win a MW Championship, joining Mark Korir in 2008. With his first-place finish, Roberts was named the MW Men’s Cross Country Athlete of the Year and earned first-team all-MW honors.
“Paul had a really good day,” said men’s cross country coach Scott Dahlberg. “He ran with a lot of poise and toughness. He put himself in a good spot to respond to the guys that took a lead in the middle of the race, and he closed extremely well to get the win.
“Chris (Henry), Harry (Ewing) and Dan (Hintz) worked really well together through the tough portions of the race to keep close to each other.”
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Cowboys take Fourth, Cowgirls Take Eighth
Overall, the Cowboys finished fourth out of eight teams with 80 points – it is the Cowboys’ best finish at the MW Championships since the 2015 squad also placed eighth with 89 points.
The Cowgirls, led by freshman Katelyn Mitchem’s 30th-place finish of the 6-kilometer course with a time of 22:09.6, collected 196 points to place eighth to match their 2017 finish.
Also earning all-conference awards, juniors Christopher Henry and Harry Ewing were named second-team all-Mountain West by finishing ninth and 11th, with times of 25:00.9 and 25:06.2, respectively.
Ewing improved 15 spots from last season’s MW Championship, while Henry jumped up 32 spots. It’s the first time since 2011 the Cowboys have had multiple all-conference honorees.
“Coming into this race, we knew that it was going to be a battle and it was going to take a lot of variables going right to do what we were looking at with our high goals,” Dahlberg said.
“We didn’t have a bad day, but we knew there are some areas we can definitely improve on and capitalize on to do better at regionals.”
Junior Daniel Hintz placed 20th with a time of 25:20.0, while senior Michael Downey finished 43rd with a mark of 26:08.4 to round out the Cowboys’ scorers. Hintz improved by 24 spots over his 2017 finish.
Also competing for UW, senior Jonah Henry finished 46th with a time of 26:18.9, senior Ricky Faure placed 54th in 27:11.8, sophomore Jerald Taylor finished in 27:27.1 to place 55th and senior Calum Kepler completed the race in 27:56.3 to place 57th.
For the Cowgirls, junior Ashley Bock placed 31st just behind Mitchem with a time of 22:10.5 to improve 15 spots over her 2017 MW Championship finish.
Junior Kacey Doner was the third Cowgirl to cross the line, as she placed 44th with a time of 22:42.5, improving 20 spots over her 2017 finish.
“The Cowgirls competed tough,” said associate head coach Amanda Clower. “The unique terrain of the course made it hard to get a good position from the start, but the girls did a good job moving up throughout the race.
Katelyn and Ashley raced hard together. I do feel like we have more in us as a team, and I’m looking forward to seeing them race again in two weeks.”
Senior Emily Person clocked in at 22:49.2 to place 48th, a six-position improvement from 2017, while senior Solana Quistorff placed 52nd with a time of 22:56.2 to round out UW’s scorers.
Senior Regan VanDePol placed 55th with a time of 23:09.5, while fellow senior Kiah Leonard placed 60th with a time of 23:17.5. Freshman Addi Iken recorded a time of 23:24.7 to finish 62nd, while classmate Kaylee Bentley finished in 23:38.6 to place 69th.
The Wyoming cross country teams are back in action on Friday, November 9, when they travel to Provo, Utah, for the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. The races are currently scheduled to begin at 11 am (MT).