FRESNO, Calif. The University of Nevada cross country team finished second, just seven points out of first, at this season’s Western Athletic Conference Championships, a marked improvement over the team’s tie for fifth last season. The Pack had four runners finish in the top 20, including two in the top six as Nevada finished with 70 points, behind champion Utah State’s 63. This year’s race was hosted by Fresno State at Woodward Park in Fresno, Calif.
Four of the nine runners competing for the Pack were newcomers to the team this season and eight of the runners from this season’s second place team will return for Nevada in 2007. In addition, two of Nevada’s three All-Conference Honorees, first-team recipients sophomore Charlotte Schnbeck (Lidingo, Sweden) and freshman Amanda Moreno (Stockton, Calif.), will return for the Pack next season.
Schnbeck took second overall, finishing the 5K course in 17:41, the second fastest 5K time of her career. Moreno took sixth overall with a time of 18:04, and made her last mile count as she moved from the teens all the way up to her sixth place finish. Both runners were named first-team All-WAC in their first career WAC Championship meet.
Senior Kali Baker (Las Vegas, Nev.), who was running in her first race of the season, came in 11th with a time of 18:16. She was also named to the All-WAC second team. Freshman Kristin Palmer (Dalton Gardens, Idaho) moved up eight places in the final mile to finish in 17th place (18:28) and set a new personal record.
Junior Amanda Gramly (Las Vegas, Nev.) came in 34th (19:12), while sophomores Mandy Russ (Nelson, New Zealand) and Christa Avena (Las Vegas, Nev.) finished in 42nd place (19:37) and 45th place (19:42), respectively.
Sophomore Hannah Balkenbush (Reno, Nev.) came in 52nd with a time of 20:11 while sophomore Tiffany Tandy (Henderson, Nev.) finished in 57th place (20:58).
“We only had one senior in our top nine runners today, so the future for our team is looking good,” said Nevada head coach Kirk Elias.
The next action for the Pack is the NCAA Mountain Regional Championships on Nov. 11 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Women’s 5k Results:
1. Utah State 63
2. Nevada 70
3. San Jose State 80
4. Idaho 91
5. Fresno State 109
6. Boise State 117
7. New Mexico State 136
8. Hawai`i 192