Mountain Region: RecapNovember 10, 2007

MEN

Ogden, UT It was a great day for the weather and a great day of cross country Saturday as many of the top teams in the nation and all the teams from the Mountain region gathered at Schneiters Riverside Golf Course for the 2007 NCAA Cross Country Mountain Region Championships. Colorado won the mens race with UTEP finishing second. Colorado State was first on the womens side with Northern Arizona coming in second. The top two teams in the region automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships with other teams from the region sure to get in with at-large bids.

Lopez Lomong of Northern Arizona was the champion on the men side, posting a time of 29:52.1 in the 10K race. "The race went well for me and it was a great gear up for the NCAA Championships, Lomong said. It's always a great thing to run here and to run against some of the best teams in the nation. The crowd really supported us. This is a great region and this race provides great competition for the NCAA's.

Stephen Samoei of UTEP was second at 29:54.5 and Jeremy Johnson of New Mexico was third at 29:57.0, followed by Patrick Mutai of UTEP and Mark Korir of Wyoming. Colorado had the next three runners in sixth, seventh, and eighth place with Stephen Pifer, Brent Vaughn, and Kenyon Neuman. The top 25 runners all earn All-Region honors. In addition, the top four runners not on a team that does not qualify for the NCAA Championships will receive a spot on an individual basis to the NCAAs.

The Buffaloes won the team title with 47 points followed by UTEP with 56 points. Northern Arizona, the Big Sky champions, were ranked second in the nation coming into the meet and finished third with 84 points, despite running without their number two runner. BYU was fourth with 113 points followed by New Mexico, Air Force, and Weber State.

The Wildcats finished in seventh place with 170 points. Once again the Cats were led by senior Seth Pilkington who finished in 13th place with a time of 30:49.8. The 13th place finish will put Pilkington into the NCAA Championships for the second-straight year. Pilkington earned All-American honors as a junior last season.

The goal for me was to secure a spot in the NCAA Championships and I did that so Im pleased with my performance, the Roy, Utah native said. This is the toughest region in the nation at the top with three of the top six teams in the country so it was great competition today. Many of the top runners here will also be the top at the national meet. The crowd was great today and really supportive.



WOMEN

On the womens side Sally Kipyego, the defending NCAA champion, won the 6K race Saturday, posting a time of 19:29.4 to win by 14 seconds. I'm excited to win this race and prepare for the NCAA's. The weather was so great today and made for an interesting race. I was focusing on preparing for the NCAA's and I know I only have ten days until then. This is such a strong region and it helped me to run against such good competition."

Jenny Barringer of Colorado finished in second place followed by Ilsa Paulsen of Northern Arizona and Irene Kimaiyo of Texas Tech. April Thomas of Colorado State was fifth and the top CSU runner but the Rams were able to win the womens title as they also finished 15th, 16th, 19th, and 20th to total 75 points and win by six points. Northern Arizona was second with 81 points and secured a berth to the NCAA Championships. BYU finished in third place at 90 points and Colorado was fourth at 105. Texas Tech was fifth, New Mexico sixth, and Weber State finished in seventh place.

WSU senior Sariah Long led the Wildcats to a seventh place finish to earn All-Region honors. That finish will also qualify her for the NCAA Championships for the first time in her career. Long turned in a time of 21:06.2 for the seventh place finish. I struggled coming in at the end and wasnt feeling my best but Im glad with my finish, Long said. I left it all out there and had nothing left at the end but I made it. Im excited to earn All-Region honors and get into the NCAAs.

The 2007 NCAA Championships will be held November 19 in Terre Haute, Indiana.

- Courtesy Weber State