Josh McCabe, front left, passes others in a race last season. Courtesy of UVU Athletics

The cross-country team opened its season for both the men’s and women’s teams in Laramie, Wyo.

Josh McCabe finished two seconds off the course record in the Wyoming Invitational, winning the event with a time of 21:44.

Spencer Evensen later followed McCabe with an eighth place finish at a time of 22:29. Both times helped in the men’s third place finish, falling just two points behind second-place hosts, Wyoming.

Overall the men’s team had all five runners finish in the top 19, giving head coach Scott Houle reason to expect great things to come from his team.

“We had some guys step it up,” Houle said. “It’s going to be fun to see how these men compete this season.”

Houle also mentioned how impressed he was with their mental and physical toughness.

“We had to fight through some altitude issues; running at 7,000 ft. [above sea level] is something we’re not used to.”

The women’s team finished second, led by freshman Kodi Kleven, with a time of 14:56 in the women’s 2.5-mile race.

“We knew she [Kleven] was going to be good,” said Houle. “What we didn’t know is how mentally strong she was going to be this fast into the season.”

Kleven finished fifth overall, but was closely followed by her teammates with all five women finishing in the top 12.

Kodi Kleven Courtesy of UVU Athletics

Houle was very pleased with the women’s effort and them just falling short of Colorado State’s first-place finish.

The Wyoming Invitational is a smaller event, but Houle felt it was the perfect event to get the season going and the teams ready for their next event.

Both the men and women will participate in the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. on Saturday,  Sept. 25 where they will compete against Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Minnesota, Iowa State, BYU and many more.