Rebel Runners Set For MWC Meet
Oct. 24, 2007
LAS VEGAS - The UNLV cross country team travels to New Mexico this weekend for the 2007 Mountain West Conference Championships. The meet was originally slated to take place in San Diego, Calif., but due to the wild fires that are ravaging the region, the MWC made the decision to move it to the University of New Mexico North Gold Course in Albuquerque. The women's 6K race will take place at 10 a.m Saturday morning.
Tony Houchin, who will coach in his second conference meet, has a talented group who look to improve their standing in the Mountain West. UNLV finished 9th last season at the 2006 MWC Championships, accumulating 266 points.
Leading the way in that goal will be freshman Charlotte Browning, last season's Track and Field rookie of the year, and UNLV's top runner in every meet this fall. Browning was named MWC Co-Runner of the Week for the week of Oct. 2 after she finished the 5k course at the UC Riverside Invite in 17:32.20, which was the third fastest time in Rebel school history.
BYU is looking for their ninth-straight conference title, though Colorado State tested the Cougars in the closest margin of victory in MWC history in 2006. BYU freshman Angela Wagner and sophomore Katie Bowen lead the Cougars, while CSU senior April Thomas has the best 6K time this season in the league, posting a 20:27. UNLV's top 6K time was by Browning, as she clocked a 21:55 at the Pre-Nationals meet two weeks ago.
Another runner to look out for will be Jenni Shearer, last season's top team finisher at the MWC meet. Shearer has come in as the Rebel's top runner the last two seasons at the league meet, finishing 54th last season with a time of 25:12.
Ali Ainsworth was right behind Shearer a year ago, finishing 55th in the conference meet. Ainsworth has been consistantly scoring all season, and a career-day from her will help UNLV's chances to finish high.
Gabriela Benito, Jessica Heil, Laura Lundin and Ashley Silva have all had bright moments of promise this season. Lundin ran a 27:31 a year ago, good for 61st place.
UNLV will be back in action on Nov. 10, running in the NCAA West Regional in Eugene, Ore.