UVU men’s and women’s teams look to run to a championship
Austin Cope | Sports Writer | @autipopecope5
The Utah Valley University men’s and women’s cross country teams get ready to run at the WAC Championships which will be held here in Orem on Halloween. The men’s team has won back-to-back titles in cross country and has a pretty big target on their backs for the season finale.
“The conference looks really good as a whole this season,” says head coach Scott Houle. “We have a few teams on both the men’s and women’s teams that can compete and we will definitely have to be prepared. There should be some really good races going on and it should be pretty fun to watch.”
Houle knows that there is some pressure on the men’s team as they look to defend their title. “Our goal going into the season is always to win a conference title and we’ve put the team in some pretty good races,” Houle said. “The team who comes out on top is going to have to run their best race of the year. We look forward to competing and we think that we will have a fight on our hands.”
Utah Valley is the top team in the race but have to be careful as they take on a talented team from Missouri-Kansas City.
“UMKC has already beaten us once this season and we’ve beaten them once this season so the pressure to win is off and we just need to focus on running our race,” Houle said.
The runner to watch from UMKC is going to be Bryce Moore, who is an All-American in track and field and has been having a great season.
The Wolverines will also have to hold off a good team from Grand Canyon University.
“Grand Canyon is doing pretty well and they are a tough team to compete against,” two-time runner of the week Tyson Lambert said. “We have got to compete our best to come out on top.”
Part of the success that the Wolverines have had in winning the previous two WAC Championships is that the team has stuck together throughout the race and it is something that Coach Houle believes is key once again.
“We’ve got to stay together as a team,” Houle said. “We need to have our top runners at the front of the pack and our fifth, sixth, and seventh guys need to fight and be competitive. A few of our guys are going to need to get PR’s and we need to stay in a pack.”
The Lady Wolverines look to compete well in their race and dethrone the Redhawks of Seattle University. The Wolverines took second last year and lost by two points in a close race.
“The front runner for the women has to be Seattle, they are running well,” Houle said. “We definitely have a shot but we are going to have to come out aggressive and score higher than we are used to scoring.”
The race is in Orem and Coach Houle is excited for the opportunity that his runners have to compete for the WAC Championship on their home course.
“It’s a lot of fun to have a race in your community,” Houle said. “All of your fellow head coaches and athletes get to come to UVU and see the atmosphere here.”
This year’s WAC Championship will be held in Orem at Lakeside Park on Halloween. The races will start at 9 a.m. with the men’s championship race, and the women’s championship race will be held at 10 a.m.
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