Kelly Gorham

Thunderbirds Gear Up for the NCAA Mountain Region this Weekend

November 13, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah - Nov. 12 - Southern Utah cross country is set to travel north this weekend as the squads prepare to race at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championship on Friday. Big Sky women’s champion Weber State will host the regional meet at the Riverside Golf Course in Ogden, Utah. The men’s 10k will begin at 12:00 p.m. (MST) with the women’s 6k following at 1:15 p.m. 

The Thunderbird men go into the championship ranked fifth in the region behind Colorado, Northern Arizona, BYU and New Mexico, having risen from a seventh-place ranking two weeks ago with a second-place team finish at the Big Sky Championship. All-Big Sky runners Ryan Barrus, Mike Tate and Dylan Marx will lead the squad on the Weber State course, alongside teammates Hayden Hawks, Sean Newcomb, Anthony Brown, Ibrahim Ahmed and Clinton Rhoton.

“Everybody is in shape and everybody seems to be healthy,” head coach Eric Houle said. “Now it’s really up to them. A fifth-place finish will most likely get the men into Nationals, so that’s really what we’re hoping for, and then I also think we’ll see the women break into the top ten.”

SUU’s women enter the field with a 10th-place regional ranking after a fifth-place finish at the Big Sky Championship. Senior Shelli Mogensen will lead the women into the championship after finishing first for the Thunderbirds at all five of the meets she has participated in this season. Dayna VanArsdol, Ashley Hawks and Morgan Vorwaller are also set to compete after tallying points for the T-Birds at the conference championship, as well as Sierra Malm, Rachel Stone, Josie Brandow and Kaylee Boyer. New Mexico, Colorado and BYU currently lead the region with first-, second- and third-place positions in the USTFCCCA rankings.

The Thunderbirds are racing to qualify for berths at the NCAA National Championship, which will take place on Nov. 23 at Indiana State’s LaVerne Gibson Course in Terre Haute.