Mountain West Conference Championship Meet Next For the Cross Country Teams

Spartans look to run in the front pack at the MW Conference Championship.
Oct. 29, 2015

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RENO, Nev. -- The San José State University men’s and women’s cross country teams will be running in the Mountain West Conference Championship meet on Friday, October 30 at the Montrêux Golf Club course.

Unlike a lot of other sports, the conference championship meet for cross country is the whole season wrapped up in one race,” explained Spartans cross country coach Brad Wick“There’s no head to head matchup throughout the season. It’s the regular season and conference tournament wrapped in one race, as all your eggs are in one basket.”

The conference champions as well as individual awards such as All-Conference teams, Freshmen of the Year and Athletes of the Year will be awarded based on the meet results.

The Spartan squads arrived at Reno, Nev. on Thursday afternoon and went directly to the Montrêux Golf Club course to get familiarized with the course layout. Wick described the terrain as “rolling hills” while the Spartan men and women’s teams did a pre-meet shake out run.

The men’s 8K race was originally scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. PT, however, due to a chance of a frost delay on the cross country course, a decision was made by the conference and race organizers to delay the championship races by 30 minutes. The new start time is now 10:30 a.m. PT for the men’s race as the Spartans will go with the same starting lineup as all its races this season, except the Santa Clara Invitational when Rodarte was out: Ben Branagh, Jannik Ernst, Josue Gonzalez, Craig Huff, Jose Piña, Raul Rodarte, and Huruy Zeratsion.

The men’s field includes eight Mountain West schools with cross country programs: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, New Mexico, San José State, Utah State and Wyoming.

The new start time for the women’s 6K race is 11:15 a.m. PT as the lineup includes: Adilene Aldapa, Jennifer Beckingham, Ashley Cahalan, Melanie Fujiwara, Jenay Jauregui, Lalida Maokhamphiou, Diana Orozco and Jeanette Zambrano.

11 Mountain West schools with women’s cross country programs will compete: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San José State, UNLV, Utah State and Wyoming.

“We definitely have runners that are on the up even from what we saw two weeks ago,” said Wick, in reference to the strong showings the Spartans had at the Santa Clara Invitational.   “As a team, we’ll be quite a bit stronger heading to the meet.”

Live result link.

LAST TIME OUT: 
The Spartans last competed on October 17 at the Santa Clara Invitational. The men’s team finished the 8K course in first place out of 13 Division I schools and the women were second out of 18 in the 6K race.

It was the men’s teams first top finish since the 2010 season at the Battle of the Bay meet. And for the women, their best finish since the 2011 season when they finished first at the Battle of the Bay meet. 

PACK RUNNING FOR THE MEN:

At the Santa Clara Invitational, Ben Branagh, Josue Gonzalez and Jose Piña finished third, fourth and fifth overall, running as a pack.

BECKINGHAM LEADS THE WAY FOR THE WOMEN:

Graduate student Jennifer Beckingham has been the top Spartans finisher in each of the four women’s meets this year. The England native has finished 12th or better in each meet placing 8th overall at the USF Invitational, 12th at the Fresno State Invitational, 12th at the Stanford Invitational and 7th at the Santa Clara Invitational.

LAST YEAR AT THE MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: 

The men’s team finished eighth at last year’s Mountain West Conference Championship held at Woodard Park in Fresno, Calif. Ben Branagh lead the way for the Spartans finishing 21st overall with a time of 24:24.8 in the 8K race. Craig Huff, Jannik Ernst and Josue Gonzalez ran in the meet.

The women finished 11th. Among this year’s returnees, Jennifer Beckingham was the top finisher at 54th place. Melanie Fujiwara, Lalida Maokhamphiou and Karina Nunes also participated in the championship meet.

SOCIAL MEDIA Keep up with your San José State men's and women's cross country teams this season on social media! 

Get highlights and upcoming events via Twitter by following @SanJoseStateTF


Get highlights and see post-meet pictures on Instagram by following @sjsudistance

The team is active on Facebook.  See the workout and meet videos via facebook.com/sjsudistance