Oct. 26, 2011
GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- The three-time defending Utah Valley women's cross country team and the two-time UVU men's cross country teams will look to defend their titles Saturday at the Great West Conference Championships.
The men's race begins at noon (MT) and the women's race will begin at 1 p.m.
"It's going to be a pretty close battle. The conference is getting deeper with better individual athletes and better teams," said UVU cross country coach Scott Houle. "Our teams are confident. They definitely want to put out their best efforts to win it again. They don't want to give up the title we've been fortunate to win the last couple of years."
With that, Houle said it's important that his teams run smart races.
"Our biggest thing is we have to run close as a team. We can't allow gaps between our individual runners," Houle said. "The bigger the gaps, the more chances the other teams can come in an steal points from us. We have to run as a tight group."
Shelise Walker, a two-time GWC Athlete of the Week winner, continues to lead the Wolverine women's team.
"Shelise has been leading the pack all year long," Houle sad. "She will push for the individual championship."
Behind Walker, the Wolverines will look for contributions from Ivie Gonsalves, Kalina Zufelt-Clegg, Jessica Wilding and Ally Deeter.
On the men's side, Cliff Nielson has paced the Wolverines all season long, while Trevor Sharp, Tim Rowberry, Mike Felix and Joseph Christensen have been solid performers.
"If they keep running like they've been running, they should finish in a pretty good place," Houle said.