Horsch has highest-ever finish at Big Sky Championship
CHENEY, Wash. – Both the Northern Colorado men's and women's cross country teams were ninth at the 2010 Big Sky Conference Championships. The Bears men tallied 250 points, while the women scored 237. The Northern Arizona men won the title, while the women's crown went to Montana.
"This was another great day for Megan Horsch," said distance coach John Gutierrez. "All year long, she's made a conscious decision she wanted to be great and she certainly has arrived. She's done a great job of leading the team this year. Denise Kintzley also ran great."
Megan Horsch continued her stellar junior season, finishing 15th at the championship, running the 5K in 16:27.74. A season ago, Horsch placed 52nd a year ago and improved 37 places in her third championship. It is the highest individual finish for a Northern Colorado women's runner in Big Sky Conference history.
Senior Denise Kintzley placed 43rd in 17:21.62, while freshman Nicole O'Dwyer finished 54th with a time of 17:59.83. Sari Little (62, 18:44.18), Haley Hughes (63, 18:46.31) and Sammi Pitchford (64, 18:55.76) crossed the finish line consecutively and Allie Sojourner was 68th in 19:34.73.
"For the men, unfortunately it's like bringing a knife to a gun fight," stated Gutierrez. "They competed well, as they've done week in and week out. We have a great group of freshmen and we are going to continue to build and come back strong next year."
Freshman Jason Kearns was the first Bear to cross the tape for the men, doing so in 23:57.02 for 38th place. Danny Sojka was the next to finish, timing a 24:37.76 for 47th. John McCarthy (53, 24:56.89) and Joe Pummer (54, 24:57.43) crossed back-to-back, while Kyle Kusmik was 58th (25:11.72) and Cam McQueen was 60th (25:30.05).
Northern Arizona dominated the men's race with all seven runners finishing in the top 12 with senior David McNeill winning the individual title in 21:28.07. The women's title was won by Montana, while Idaho State senior Erica Wendt-Richardson took the women's crown after running a 15:46.55.
Horsch, Kintzley and O'Dwyer will head to the NCAA Regionals in two weeks in Salt Lake City, while the rest of the team concludes its season with the Big Sky Championship.