Men Finish 6th and Women Finish 12th at XC Regionals
LOGAN, Utah - The Thunderbird men’s and women’s cross country teams ran for the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Friday, with the No. 24 men’s team finishing in sixth place and the women’s team finishing in 12th.
With Friday’s results the women’s season has come to an end, with the men’s team waiting to officially hear if they’ve qualified for the NCAA National Championships next weekend.
SUU head coach Eric Houle said he was impressed with the way both teams competed on Friday.
“When you look at the high level teams here, we’re fighting with the big boys,” he said. “It was a great day for Southern Utah.”
The women’s race started off the morning, with Angie Nickerson leading the way for SUU in the 6K by finishing in 50th with a time of 21:33.00. Sharlie Dimick was SUU’s second finisher, crossing the line in 21:39.20 and finishing in 57th. Josie Riggs rounded out SUU’s top-three with a 21:52.60, which put her in 66th place.
Freshman Julia Mahlke finished fourth for SUU, placing in 92nd overall with a time of 22:25.80. Ashley Tyndall was very close behind, finishing fifth for SUU and 95th overall in a time of 22:29.40.
Freshman Emma Amundsen finished just two spots behind Tyndall, with a time of 22:32.90 and Brighton Glassman rounded out the meet for the Thunderbirds with a time of 22:57.70 to put her in 109th overall.
The women’s season came to a close on Friday, with the team making big improvements throughout the course of the season. Nickerson said they are hoping to take this momentum and have an even bigger cross season next time around.
“I think we’re all excited to start chasing down the other teams that have been beating us,” she said. “Everyone is definitely on the same page when it comes to working hard, working together to improve, and in the next couple of years there will be big things happening.”
No. 1 Colorado won the race on the women's side.
After the women’s race, the No. 24 men’s team took the course, accompanied by the top-three teams in the entire country.
For the first time this season sophomore Josh Collins led the charge for SUU, placing 11th overall with a time of 31:08.90. He was quickly followed by Matt Wright, who finished in 12th with a time of 31:10.60.
SUU’s top two finishers were also recognized as All-Region athletes after the conclusion of the race. Both Collins and Wright have earned All-Conference and All-Region status in the past three weeks.
“We work together really well, but we run different race strategies,” Collins said. “Matt goes out a little harder than I do, and I close a little stronger, and by the end of the race we end up pretty close together.”
Aidan Reed finished third for SUU, placing 31st individually with a time of 31:42.20. George Espino wasn’t too far behind the freshman, as he finished in 33rd with a time of 31:47.40. Kasey Knevelbaard rounded out SUU’s top-five, placing 47th with a 32:09.90.
Brady Olson finished 60th overall with a 32:25.90 to finish sixth for SUU, and Liam Kennell finished 88th overall with a time of 33:47.50 to round out the field for Southern Utah.
Current projections have predicted the Thunderbird men’s team will qualify for the National Championships, with the official announcement not being made until Saturday afternoon.
No. 1 Northern Arizona won the event on the men’s side, followed by No. 2 Colorado and No. 3 Brigham Young University.
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