UVU Cross Country places 7th and 13th in battle for the West
It seems that this years cross country season has gone by faster than Utah Valley’s teams can run. Both UVU’s men’s and women’s teams concluded their season Friday, Nov. 15, placing seventh and 13th respectively. The Mountain Region Cross Country Championships took place just over the mountain at Rose Park Golf Course in Salt Lake City, and brought some of the best teams in the nation together to compete for a chance at the NCAA championships Nov. 23.
On the women’s side, the young team continued to improve. Senior Savannah Neuberger was the only Wolverine on the women’s team who ran her last race. Neuberger finished second on the team running the 6K race at 5:40 mile pace. The lead runner of the day for the women’s team was sophomore Maggie Zwahlen with a time of 21:08. The 13th place finish for the women is two spots higher than their finish last season.
The men’s team did incredibly well, fighting for a seventh place finish against arguably the most competitive region in the NCAA. One surprise for the team was that senior Kevin Lynch, the two-time WAC cross country champion, didn’t race as well as expected. He finished the last race of his career in 53rd place, and third for UVU with a time of 31:59.
Despite Lynch’s challenging day, the other runners on the men’s team buckled down and made up the difference. Junior Kemboi Geofrey finished first for the Wolverines and 33rd overall out of 129 runners. Sophomore Hawk Call followed closely in 36th place. Overall, the men’s team deserves respect, their seventh place finish with 250 points ties the program record.
As mentioned above, the NCAA mountain region may be the most competitive in the nation. Six of the women’s teams racing were ranked in the top-25 in the nation according to the National Coaches Poll. Nine teams in the men’s race had been ranked in the top-25 at one point this year. That makes UVU’s seventh place finish look really great.
In the end, the Brigham Young University women’s team took home the victory. Followed closely by New Mexico State in second. The men’s side was won by the number one team in the nation, Northern Arizona University. The University of Colorado took second, and BYU took third. The top two finishers on each side will advance to the NCAA Cross Country Championship that will take place on Nov. 23.
The season ends here for UVU’s cross-country teams. Lynch and Neuberger finish their cross country careers. But, with indoor and outdoor track and field approaching the teams will continue to prepare and work hard.