OGDEN -- The Weber State women’s cross country team was a unanimous selection to win the 2012 Big Sky Conference cross country title, according to a vote of the league’s head coaches released Thursday by the conference. The WSU men’s team was picked second in the preseason poll.
Under head coach Paul Pilkington, Weber State women’s team won the Big Sky title last season. This year’s team received 11 first-place votes for a total of 121 points. The Wildcats return a strong group of runners, including defending individual champion Amber Henry. WSU also returns Sarah Callister, Laken Hintze and Taylor Thornley.
Northern Arizona women’s team was picked second with 102 points, and Montana was picked third with 95 points. Idaho State was selected fourth with 86 points, Montana State was fifth with 71 points and sixth and seventh place were only separated by two points. Southern Utah was picked sixth with 67 points and Sacramento State was seventh with 65 points.
Following the Hornets were Eastern Washington (8th, 39 points), Northern Colorado and North Dakota finished tied for ninth with 29 points and Portland State (11th, 22).
Northern Arizona won was a unanimous selection to win the men’s title, receiving 11 first-place votes for 121 points. The Lumberjacks have won the last five cross country titles. Weber State’s team was picked second with 106 points and Montana State was third with 96 points. Fourth and fifth place were only separated by a point. Sacramento State was chosen fourth with 76 points and Southern Utah, which is new to the league this season was chosen fifth with 75 points.
Selected after Southern Utah was Montana (6th, 68 points), Idaho State (7th, 56), Eastern Washington (8th, 55), North Dakota (9th, 29) and Northern Colorado and Portland State were tied for 10th with 22 points.
Voting is calculated by each team receiving 11 points for a first place vote, 10 points for a second place vote, etc. Coaches are allowed to vote for their respective teams. Below are the final results with the number of first place votes in parenthesis.
Weber State begins the season Sept. 1 at the Utah State Invitational. The Big Sky Championships will be Oct. 27 in Flagstaff, Arizona.