Photo courtesy of UVU Athletics
The Utah Valley University men’s and women’s cross country teams both had remarkable seasons in 2015 having captured the team and individual Western Athletic Conference championships. It was the third straight title for the men’s team as well as the first title for the women’s team since joining the WAC in 2013.
Both teams have their eyes set on a conference title, as well as making a splash at the NCAA Mountain Regionals in Logan, Utah this November. The men’s team loses WAC individual champion Jason Lynch as well as Trac Norris and Chris Brower, who finished in the top 10 at the conference championships.
Tyson Lambert and Logan Petty headline the team, which will have plenty of new faces this season, such as redshirt-freshman Paxton Patey and sophomore Jordan Serrano.
“Our team will be well prepared this year,” Lambert said about how the team feels this season. “We have a lot of incoming freshman and redshirt-sophomores to fill the gap left by graduation.”
The men’s cross country team has had an era of unprecedented success after winning three conference titles in a row, and has expectations of winning a fourth consecutive title this season. The pressure is there for the men’s team, but they are not worried.
“Coach Houle has worked hard to get us some young talent, and I believe we can win another WAC championship,” Lambert said.
The women’s cross country team returns in excellent shape with each of their top-five finishers at region returning this season. Defending WAC individual champion sophomore Sam Heaton headlines the team while McKayla Morgan, Harley Murray, Jasmine Nesbitt and Savannah Berry all return with big expectations.
After winning their first conference title in the WAC, the lady Wolverines have both the confidence and the talent to win a second consecutive conference title. The team will also benefit with the addition of talented freshman coming in.
“College cross country is definitely different than high school cross country, but I’m sure our incoming teammates can handle the pressure,” Heaton said.
Heaton won the individual conference title in her first season as a Wolverine and will be a leader this season.
Both teams have their sights set on repeating as conference championships. Both teams also feel confident that they have the talent to finish in the top 10 at the NCAA Mountain Regionals. Coach Houle has the programs pointed in the right direction and we could be seeing Utah Valley in the NCAA National Championships in the years to come.
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