San Jose, Calif. – The San Jose State men’s and women’s cross country teams will be competing in the Mountain West Conference Championships on Friday, October 28 on the Falcon Crest Golf Club in Kuna, Idaho. The women’s 6k race is set to start at 9:00 a.m. (PT), with the men’s 8k race getting under way at 9:45 a.m. (PT)
The Mountain West Champion will be determined as well as the all-conference first and second teams, Freshman of the Year and Athletes of the Year will be awarded based on the results of the races.
First-team All-Mountain West honors are awarded to the first seven finishers in each race, with the next seven garnering second-team distinction. The winner of each race will be awarded the Athlete of the Year and the first true freshman finisher will be named the Freshman of the Year. In addition, Men’s and Women’s Coaches of the Year will be named.
The Spartans are scheduled to arrive in Boise, Idaho on Thursday and head to the course to familiarize themselves with the layout in a pre-race workout.
“We will definitely need to have a tighter pack between one-and-five to get the finish we are looking for,” said head coach Brad Wick. “Recently the spread has been closer to two and a half minutes and we need that to be at one and a half. Ashley (Cahalan) is coming on and that will be a huge plus for us. I’m not sure we are a top half of the field team, we are very young, but that’s the goal we’re shooting for on Friday.”
Including SJSU, 11 schools will be competing for the Mountain West Championship in Idaho: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming.
The men’s team, coming off a win at the Bronco Invitational two weeks ago, features sophomore Jose Piña, the reigning Mountain West Male Cross Country Athlete of the Week. Also toeing the line for SJSU are Ben Branagh and Josue Gonzalez, a senior and junior, respectively, juniors Craig Huff and Huruy Zeratsion and senior Raul Rodarte.
“Our men can be very competitive with the top half of the teams in the conference. We have three guys (Branagh, Gonzalez and Piña) who are very capable of being in the top-10 or 15. Craig Huff, our fourth runner, is within 15 seconds of our top-three. I expect him to run with the lead pack and (Rodarte and Zertsion) aren’t far behind. I think we can really compete.”
Eight Mountain West schools will be competing: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, New Mexico, San José State, Utah State and Wyoming.
“Over the last two years we have had a lot of young athletes who are now older and that makes a huge difference in our results. We are not super deep, but we definitely have five guys who can step up on race day and perform.”
Fans can follow the live results through the San José State athletic web site or at http://www.liverunningresults.com/public_html/events/mwcxc2016/