ALBUQUERQUE– Two University of Wyoming cross country runners achieved All-Region status Friday at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on the UNM North Golf Course.
Seniors Amos Bowen and Aaron Derner finished 12th and 20th, respectively, in the men’s 10-kilometer race to attain the accolade awarded to the top 25 finishers in each race. It marked the first time multiple Cowboys have earned the honor since 2011, as Bowen claimed the distinction for a second-straight season. Both will possibly earn individual spots at the NCAA national meet when official bids are announced Sunday.
“I thought Amos and Aaron ran phenomenal races today to lead our team,” UW head coach Bryan Berryhill said. “To be seniors and go out as All-Region runners is quite an accomplishment.”
Overall, Wyoming finished seventh in the 16-team field with 153 points surpassing its previous lowest point total of 182 in 2008. No. 1 Colorado took the team title, followed by No. 11 UTEP, No. 3 BYU, RV Southern Utah, No. 21 Air Force and No. 25 Colorado State.
“The men took a huge step forward today,” Berryhill said. “All six teams that finished ahead of us are nationally ranked and we were close to beating them. It just set the foundation for the future that running with these teams is our expectation.”
Bowen ran 30:19, the 10th-fastest 10 kilometers in Cowboy history, while Derner’s 30:29 ranks 12th in Wyoming’s record books. Sophomore Jonah Henry followed in 29th in 30:58, while redshirt freshman Ricky Faure was 36th across the line in 31:16. Senior Dylan Morin ran 32:07 for 56th to round out UW’s scorers. Junior Alex Pawlak placed 65th in 32:25 and freshman Michael Downey was 76th in 32:45.
Sophomore Kerry White paced the Cowgirls for a third-straight race by running 21:44 in the women’s 6-kilometer race. Her time placed her 31st, just short of her second-straight All-Region honor. Sophomore Lauren Hamilton crossed the line in 42nd at 22:12 and was followed by junior Ali Walker in 70th at 22:44. The freshman duo of Isabella Pape and Kiah Leonard finished 79th and 89th, respectively, in 22:57 and 23:09. Junior Catherine Cloetta rounded out UW’s competitors at 23:31 for 99th. The Cowgirls were without junior Megan Brunette, a regular finisher in UW’s top three, due to illness.
“I’m just as proud of the Cowgirls as I am the Cowboys,” Berryhill said. “The women have dealt with a lot of adversity this season, so for them to go out and fight to a top-10 finish in this very competitive region is a pretty good effort.”
As a team the Cowgirls placed 10th in the 19-team field with 306 points. No. 2 Colorado edged No. 1 New Mexico by one point for the team title, while No. 20 Utah was third, No. 24 BYU fourth and No. 25 Weber State fifth.