Junior Josh McCabe finished 17th qualifying him for NCAA Nationals, the first UVU cross country runner to do so. Courtesy of UVU Athletics

The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Salt Lake City on Nov. 13 to compete in the NCAA Western Regionals.

The men’s team finished in 11th place, with junior Josh McCabe qualifying for nationals. The women’s team finished in 10th place, placing higher than the Univ. of Utah and Utah State.

For the men, McCabe finished with a time of 30:20.2 (17th); Jared Keller (31:24.9, 50th); Cliff Nielson (31:58.6, 67th); Logan Petty (32:25, 78th); Tim Rowberry (32:32.3, 80th); Spencer Evensen (32:42.9, 85th); and Trevor Baker (34:03.0, 105th). McCabe, Keller, Nielson, Petty and Rowberry all achieved personal records on the day.

Placing for the women, Shelise Walker ran a time of 21:34.6 (31st); Stephanie Christensen (21:59.1, 49th); Aleina Winger (22:11.9, 57th); Krystal Harper (22:16.1, 64th); Kodi Kleven (22:53.4, 89th); Brooke Hodson (23:08.8, 104th); and Jessica Wilding (23:30.6, 116th).

Each of the women runners achieved personal records for the meet.

Of note for the women, Walker finished the race 56 seconds better than she did last year. For the men, McCade improved his time from last year by 1:40.

“She [Walker] went out and ran well,” said coach Scott Houle. “Having a 56-second PR from last year was awesome.”

“He has turned into an amazing runner,” said Houle of McCabe. “He is one of the elite runners in America.”

McCabe will now move on to the NCAA Championships taking place Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Ind. McCabe is the first ever UVU runner to qualify for nationals. McCabe says that mental preparation and maintaining are the goals now.

“At this point in the season there is nothing that I can do to gain an edge,” McCabe said. “At this point I just try to get mentally prepared. The goal is to maintain fitness rather than to gain.”