Fall season rewind: men’s and women’s XC

Utah Valley’s men’s and women’s cross country teams had successful seasons, as the women’s team reached the programs first NCAA Tournament.

Everlyn Kemboi has secured an individual spot at the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, OK (Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics).

Utah Valley’s cross-country teams had strong showings this season, with multiple individual titles and a first-place team win for the women’s team at the UVU Invitational in September.

At the UVU Invitational, Everlyn Kemboi led the way for the women’s squad, claiming first place overall. The Wolverines had the top nine finishers and 13 out of the top 15 crossed the finish line first. On the men’s side, Max Mahon finished third overall and the men placed second, setting a strong tone for the rest of the season.

Overall, the Women’s team placed top three in half of their meets this season, including two wins at the UVU invitational and the SUU Color Country Invitational in October. Kemboi was a large part of the Wolverines’ success as she participated in seven of the events this season winning four meets. Her best wins happened in two of the final three races at the WAC Championships and NCAA Mountain Regionals, as she became the 2022 WAC Individual Champion and 2022 NCAA Mountain Region Champion. Kemboi was also named to the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Region Team, becoming the second individual to be named to the All-Region Team multiple times in program history. 

The Wolverine women’s team had seven runners earn All-WAC honors, as Kemboi, Hannah Branch and Madison Flippence were named to the All-WAC First Team. Maggie Zwahlen, Ari Trimble, Caila Odekirk and Mazzie Melaney Preston were named to the All-WAC Second Team.

The women’s team earned their first appearance at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in program history and placed 26th. Kemboi was named the Wolverine’s first All-American in cross country in school history, finishing 19th overall.

The men’s program had a strong season themselves, placing top 10 in seven of their nine meets this year. Notably, the men placed top three in five meets including the WAC Championships where they placed third. In the NCAA Mountain Regional, the men’s team placed 10th, scoring 269 points behind a strong performance from Habtamu Cheney who placed 31st with a time of 28:39.9 in the 10K race. 

Cheney and Joel Mendez both earned All-WAC First Team honors and Austin Hone was named to the All-WAC Second Team for the men’s squad.

Both teams now prepare for indoor track & field during the winter season. 

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