LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Weber State women’s cross country team posted its highest finish ever at the NCAA Championships Saturday in Louisville, earning 17th place overall at the meet with junior Amber Henry claiming All-America honors.
Weber State totaled 428 points to claim 17th place, the Wildcats’ highest finish in school history.
WSU was the only team from the state of Utah and the only team from the Big Sky that competed in the meet, held at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky.
As she has all season long, Henry led the Wildcats in this meet, finishing 32nd overall and earning All-America honors for the first time in her career in cross country. Henry posted a time of 20:11.6 on the 6K course.
Last month the junior from Mountain View, Wyo., repeated as Big Sky Conference champion.
WSU’s next runner was senior Sarah Callister, who finished 79th in 20:38.3. Taylor Thornley finished 106th at 20:59.6, senior Laken Hintze was 164th at 21:13.4 and Kayla Blackford was 177th at 21:21.3. Freshman Jamie Stokes took 185th and Suzanna Cressall was 227th.
“We ran a solid race today and were pleased to have our best performance ever at the national meet,” WSU coach Paul Pilkington said. “We kind of got caught back early on and had to work our way back into the field but we raced well and Amber did well to earn All-America honors.”
Oregon claimed first place in the women’s meet, followed by Providence, Stanford, Florida State and Michigan.
The NCAA meet wraps up perhaps the greatest women’s cross country season in WSU history as the Wildcats repeated as conference champions, captured their first Mountain Region title, had their highest finish at the NCAA meet and their highest national ranking.
In the men’s race, No. 8 BYU finished sixth on Saturday at the championships. Jared Ward and Tylor Thatcher each had top-40 individual finishes, which earned them All-America honors.
Oklahoma State won the national championship with 72 points while Wisconsin, Colorado and Northern Arizona filled out the rest of the podium. Florida State finished fifth with 238 points and BYU grabbed the sixth spot with 245.
“We were led again by Jared Ward, who had a really gutsy performance out front for us,” BYU coach Ed Eyestone said. “I think finishing sixth was an excellent performance for us.”
Ward and Thatcher led the way for the Cougars, finishing 14th and 34th overall, respectively.
Conner Peloquin (30:36.8) finished in 84th place, Thomas Gruenewald (30:38.6) finished 91st, and Steve Flint (30:48.7) finished 106th for BYU. Senior co-captain and 2011 All-American Rex Shields submitted a time of 31:30.9 while Jason Witt ran in 32:56.6.
Southern Utah’s Nate Jewkes ran 54th overall.