CHEYENNE, Wyo. (RELEASE)- The Wyoming cross country teams kicked off the 2019 season at the Little America Golf Course in Cheyenne with the Wyoming Invite. The No. 16-ranked Cowboys ran to a first-place finish as a team with 47 points, led by senior Paul Roberts’ first-place finish. The Cowgirls placed third with 68 points.
“We were really excited to get out here and debut on our home turf,” said head cross country coach Scott Dahlberg. “I thought the ladies ran really well. The goal was to stick together for as long as possible, and after half way, open it up a bit. I thought they did a great job. I saw a lot of progress today. That was our goal for the start of this season, to show progress and to see where everyone is at. On the men’s side, we really like how those front runners responded to the group and hung in there. Some guys were hanging back a bit, and that was part of the plan to stay together until about 3k and then try to work up from there, and I thought those guys did a great job there.”
Roberts won his third race in the Brown and Gold after transferring to Wyoming a year ago. He also won the Wyoming Invite and the Mountain West Championship last season. This year, he finished the five-kilometer course in 15:05.3,more than seven seconds better than second place.
“We talked before about what his strategy was going to be,” Dahlberg said. “He stayed controlled for a good portion of the race. He has incredible awareness of where he is, and we trust him to get after it when it feels good. He timedit really well, got up that hill and made a move on some of those guys that was pretty impressive.”
The rest of the Cowboys ran very well, as the team finished ahead of No. 4 Colorado. The Buffaloes ran a few untested racers, as this meet is a non-qualifier for at-large bids. Colorado had 51 points, while No. 17 Colorado State finished third with 56 points.
Seniors Christopher Henry and Harry Ewing all finished in the top-10, as Henry finished fourth in 15:19.0, and Henry placed ninth in 15:25.4. Redshirt freshman Albert Steiner finished 22nd overall in 15:50.5, while redshirt freshman Philip Henry rounded out the Cowboys’ scorers with a 26th-place finish with a time of 15:57.1
The Cowgirls were led by senior Kacey Doner, who placed seventh in 18:19.2. Katelyn Mitchem began her sophomore season with a ninth-place finish in 18:30.5, while fellow sophomore Kaylee Bentley placed 14th in 18:41.8. Sophomore Addi Iken placed 28th with a time of 19:11.7, while sophomore Victoria Tenpenny rounded out the Cowgirl scorers with a time of 19:41.1 to place 33rd.
“Everyone in this position is probably running through some injuries, running hard and using this as a tuneup,” Dahlberg said. “It’s just great to get a gauge on where some people are, race-wise, and get those competitive juices flowing so that when we get in the heart of the season here in a few weeks, we’re ready to go.”
In the team race, Colorado State edged No. 1 Colorado by a final score of 34 to 39. Wyoming’s third-place finish with 68 points was ahead of Western Colorado’s 82 points.
The Wyoming cross country teams are back in action on Friday, Oct. 4, when they travel to South Bend, Ind., for the Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational.