Cross country to host Big Sky Championships

Michael Stockinger

The Hornet cross country teams have been consistently breaking personal records this year, running closer together and ranking next to “big name” schools, but now it all comes down to this: the Big Sky Championships.

In September, the Hornets hosted their own invitational at Granite Regional Park, and once again they’re hosting a meet at the park with the Big Sky Championships taking place on Saturday.

Both teams are expecting to do well as meet times have vastly improved since the first races of the season.

“I think we’ll be in the top five, fifth in teams,” women’s team captain Kristina Holtz said. “Everyone is running fast, we just need to step it up better, and run closer together; we’re working on that.”

All women runners had personal records at their last race, the Bronco Invitational, and Holtz anticipates a top five finish for the team.

“We just need to cut down the times of our 1-5 runners, which I think we can do,” Holtz said.

Running on your home course also has its advantage, Holtz said.

“We run there twice a week, so we know the course and what to expect,” Holtz said.

Teams from the Big Sky Conference will be traveling to compete against each other with the Hornets.

“I’m expecting us to give the same effort we’ve been giving and make the same improvements we have been making,” Dominic Vogl said. “We’ve been running really solid.”

Within the Big Sky Conference, Northern Arizona University and Weber State are the highest-ranked schools among the men’s teams, and Vogl predicts they will be the leaders of the race.

“After that, it’s a tight race for 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th,” Vogl said. “I expect us to be in that running. I’m expecting us to be in the top three.”

The men’s team is looking stronger than ever and is ready to break its reputation as the team which finished last at other Big Sky Championships.

“The last few years we’ve finished last in conference and I think a lot of the teams look at us and have that in the back of their minds,” Vogl said. “We’re much stronger than before.”

“To go from last to 3rd or 4th would be awesome,” Vogl said.The Big Sky Championships will be the last time to catch the team at its home course this season.

Michael Stockinger can be reached at [email protected]