Cross-country’s season is at the finish line as Dixie State University men and women both took seventh overall in the Pacific West Conference Championship.
The races were held in Fresno, California. The men’s race began at 9 a.m., while the women’s race began at 10 a.m.
Sophomore George Barlow was named third team all-conference. He took 18th overall in the men’s 8k with a time of 26:03.96. Sophomore Skyler Storie was named first team all-conference and finished in the women’s 6k with a time of 22:08.1.
Head coach Justin Decker said the teams had not changed much in practice in preparation for conference. But he said they have been focusing more on speed this race and have been taking part in high-quality workouts.
“It’s been a great season so far,” Decker said. “We have pretty young teams that have improved as the season has gone along and are peaking at the right time to be where they need to be for our conference race [today].”
Decker said the biggest runner to lookout for during the race was Storie.
“She [was] one of the favorites to win the individual title for the women, but there [were] a handful of elite runners on the women’s side that are all going to be really close,” Decker said. “It [was] an exciting race.”
Storie had previously beaten the 5k school record with a time of 17:08, which was previously held by Rachel Young with a time of 17:52 in 2011.
“This season I have been doing a lot better than previous seasons, and I have been able to get faster and faster,” said Storie a pre-dental hygiene major from Cottonwood, Arizona.
The men placed fifth in conference last year, while the women placed seventh. The men also have ranked as high as third (University of Nevada-Las Vegas Invitational) in the season races, while the women ranked as high as second (Northern Arizona University-George Kyte Invitational) in the season this year. Decker said though he has a fresh team this year, the outlook for conference was still good.
“Our best race so far was probably our last race in San Diego because it was an all Division II race, and we had several runners place high,” Decker said.
Storie won the race in San Diego with a time of 21:54.3. Storie finished six seconds short of breaking the course record.
Barlow finished 19th in the men’s race with a time of 27:42.4, and sophomore Nick Watson followed closely behind with 28:20.4 in San Diego.