Oct. 29—LARAMIE — The University of Wyoming cross-country teams ran on their home course in Laramie for the 2022 edition of the Mountain West Championships.
The Cowboys and Cowgirls outperformed expectations at UW's Jacoby Golf Course. Heading into the race, both teams were picked to finish in fifth place, but were led to fourth-place finishes by Katelyn Mitchem and Jacob White.
Mitchem paced the Cowgirls on a sunny fall day and finished with a 6-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 52.5 seconds, 13 seconds from the first-place finisher from New Mexico.
Leah Christians (19th), Madelyn Blazo (26th), Eowyn Dalbec (31st) and Kylie Simshauser (32nd) round out the top five for the Cowgirls.
"It's really special (running in Laramie). I see a lot of my old teammates here," Mitchem said in a news release. "There are so many people supporting us. It's really special to get to experience that because that's not something most people that go to Wyoming get to experience. It's just really special to get that experience and have that much support."
UW coach Scott Dahlberg added: "The women ran extremely well. They gritted out a very tough race. The girls stepped up and beat some teams we haven't beaten in a long time, and that was a really good accomplishment for them."
White paced the Cowboys with his best performance of the season running a 23:42.1 in the men's 8K race just 4.3 seconds behind the first place finisher from Air Force. Mason Norman (23rd), Albert Steiner (28th), Seth Bruxvoort (29th) and Gus McIntyre (40th) rounded out the top five for the Pokes.
"The men had an OK race," Dahlberg said. "We had some really good races. Jacob White had an amazing performance. He put himself in the right position and competed really well. Seth had a really good one after a couple rough ones."
Mitchem and White earned first team All-Mountain West First for their performances.
The Cowboys finished behind No. 5 Air Force, No. 28 Colorado State and No. 24 Utah State, while the Cowgirls were behind No. 2 New Mexico, No. 20 Colorado State, and Utah State, which is receiving 11 votes in the latest USTFCCCA coaches poll and bested Boise State, which is receiving 20 votes.
"The event itself was amazing. We got a lot of compliments from people in the area and also people from afar, other schools," Dahlberg said. "It was a good course and a good setup. We had amazing support to not only cheer on but in the course prep and setup, and we couldn't have done it without that group. We are super grateful for the support we have.
"We couldn't have asked for a better cross-country day. This is cross-country weather. 7,000 feet, late October, you never know what you're going to get, and this is about as good as you could ask for."
Next up for the Cowboys and Cowgirls is a stacked NCAA Mountain Regional to be hosted in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Nov. 11. They will run the same course as last season's MW Championships.