Nov. 18, 2013
RENO, Nev. -
The Nevada Wolf Pack cross country team roared back from a frustrating finish at the Mountain West Conference Championship to record its highest finish in school history at the NCAA Mountain Regional Championship. With a superbly executed race plan that left several Mountain West Conference teams in their wake, the Wolf Pack left the scenic 6000 meter course set on Ogden, Utah’s Schneiter’s Riverside Golf Course with the very sweet taste of satisfaction.
Laying to rest a season of frustration with a performance that surprised several of their conference foes, Nevada finished ninth in the region, eclipsing the school’s previous best finish of tenth, set in 2007. Two weeks prior to the NCAA Regional, at the MW Championship, the Wolf Pack struggled to a seventh place finish as most of the squad had been out of training due to illness for extended periods in the six weeks leading into the conference championship. Finally healthy, the Wolf Pack put in two weeks of unusually intense, late season training (a time when most teams are resting), to regain the fitness lost during the period of illness. With renewed confidence from their two weeks of good training, the Pack finished six places higher than they were seeded at the Mountain Regional. Nevada handily took down three of the teams that had finished in front of them at the MW Championship; Colorado State (3rd two weeks ago), Utah St (5th), and Wyoming (6th).
Junior Demerey Kirsch, who has improved dramatically over the past two years, led the charge for the Wolf Pack, putting herself at the rear of the dense lead pack of thirty five at the kilometer mark. Patiently waiting her time as others gradually fell off the pace, the steady junior found herself in 21st with 400 to go. Never known for her ability to kick, Kirsch, who would usually lose a few places in the final 400, displayed some new wheels, taking down 4 more competitors by the time she crossed the finish line, setting the school 6000m record in the process.
Senior Sam Diaz, closing out her storied career with a brilliant, come-from-behind race, moved from around 60th at the kilometer to 24th by the finish. Hardest hit by illness of all the team, the savvy, tenacious Diaz used the last two weeks to her advantage, rallying from a disappointing performance at the conference meet to record her best Regional finish, and the second best time of her career.
In spite of running at altitude, five of the seven members of the squad notched PRs (personal records). Notably, junior Caitlin Devitt-Payne lopped a stunning 69 seconds off her previous best, with a courageous effort following three successive races where she required medical attention.
Having wrapped up their cross country season at the NCAA Regional, the Wolf Pack will begin preparations for the indoor season after taking a couple of low key weeks to recover. Nevada opens its indoor track and field season January 24-25th at Boise State.
Colorado 29, New Mexico 64, BYU 109, Weber St 160, Air Force 185, Northern Arizona 188, Montana St 209, Utah 214, NEVADA 253, Colorado St 302, Utah St 318, Southern Utah 326, Wyoming 338, Texas Tech 354, Montana 397, Idaho St 432, Northern Colorado 447, Utah Valley 453, New Mexico St 484, UTEP 640
INDIVIDUAL 136 Finishers
Place Name YR Time Notes
17 Demerey Kirsch JR 21:04.6, SCHOOL RECORD, 42 second PR!
24 Sam Diaz SR 21:14.6
54 Emily Myers SO 21:51.8, 18 second PR
77 Caitlin Devitt-Payne JR 22:13.2, 69 second PR!!!
81 Julie Pedersen SR 22:18.9
86 Erika Root SO 22:25.2, 17 second PR
105 Laura Palacios FR 22:47.8, 49 second PR
Think Great. Act Great. Be Great!
Head Cross Country/Assistant Track and Field Coach