CHICAGO- The Utah Valley University men's and women's cross country teams literally ran away with their fourth and fifth straight respective Great West Conference Cross Country titles Saturday at Montrose Park in their final year of competition in the league.
UVU's top five men's scoring runners and the top five women's scoring runners placed in the top 10 in scoring 19 and 20 points, respectively.
"We can't wait to get to the next one and see if we can do it again," said UVU cross country coach Scott Houle, whose teams will compete in the Western Athletic Conference next season. "That's going to be a nice new goal for us and unchartered waters, but we're going to set that as our goal."
UVU's final two runners, Stephanie Christensen and Bridget Hazel, who didn't figure into the scoring, also placed in the top 10 at seventh (18:41) and ninth (18:51), respectively.
The UVU women won their first GWC title in 2008 and the men's own their first in 2009.
"It's going to be sad to leave the Great West Conference because it has been our home for a while. The coaches are great and we have built great relationships with them," Houle said. "We hate to leave, but it's a needed step for our program."
Nielson and Chumba were named the GWC Runners of the Year, while Darian Sharp and Emery were named the GWC Freshmen of the Year, and Houle was named the GWC Coach of the Year for both the men and women.