Men's Team, Uchikoshi Victorious
Oct. 28, 2016
Men's Results | Women's Results
KUNA, Idaho - The Boise State men's cross country team used a gutty last kilometer to overtake Colorado State and claim the 2016 Mountain West Cross Country Championship Friday morning at Falcon Crest Golf Club in Kuna, Idaho. The championship is the first conference title for the men since they won the 2010 Western Athletic Conference Championship.
Junior Yusuke Uchikoshi claimed the individual title for the men, completing the 8-kilometer course in 23:48.80 to win the first cross country race of his Bronco career.
"The men did a fantastic job of battling, especially in the last lap," head coach Corey Ihmels said. "The team title came down to the last 400 meters. We had to battle down the stretch and we had two guys really step up in Miler and Rhys that last little bit getting in front of those Colorado State guys. Obviously Yusuke and Mike did a great job up front to put us in a position to get the team title. It's an exciting thing for our guys to come together as a group and start to run together as a team, and it's starting to show in the results."
The men ended with 41 points to finish just ahead of Colorado State (48 points). The Rams led the majority of the race, but the Broncos stormed back in the last kilometer to solidify the victory. Michael Vennard (24:00.70) finished right on the heels of Uchikoshi to claim third place, good for first-team All-MW honors and the best finish of his career at the conference championships.
Miler Haller (24:13.70) and Rhys Park (24:24.30) both managed to finish ahead of a large pack of Colorado State runners down the stretch, taking eighth and 12th place, respectively. The two Broncos both earned second-team All-MW honors.
Chandler Austin was the fifth scorer for the Blue and Orange, crossing the line in 24:36.00 for 17th place.
Uchikoshi's win marks the second men's individual champion in three years for Boise State, as the Broncos' David Elliott also won in 2014. Overall, the junior from Saitama-shi, Saitama, Japan is the seventh Bronco in men's cross country school history to win a conference title.
"I'm pretty excited to get this title," Uchikoshi said. "This is my first title in the United States, so I'm really happy about it. 4K to 6K was really tough on me, but the last kilometer I was thinking to be patient and follow Colorado State. I decided that if I could follow the lead pack, I could make my move in the last 400 meters."
"He did a great job of staying patient and under control the whole way," Ihmels said on Uchikoshi's performance. "There were times in the race where I know he wanted to push and take the lead and he didn't. That's a tribute to his understanding of knowing how the race is going to go."
The Mountain West title is the first for the men since joining the conference in 2011. In addition, head coach Corey Ihmels was awarded the Mountain West Men's Coach of the Year honor after a vote from the conference coaches.
On the women's side, Brenna Peloquin led the way for Boise in fourth place after clocking a 20:27.40 on the 6-kilometer course. Coming in second was freshman Clare O'Brien, finishing in 12th place thanks to a 20:56.40. Peloquin earned first-team honors and O'Brien earned a second-team nod along with receiving the Mountain West Women's Freshman of the Year honors.
The Broncos have now received the first-year honor in three-consecutive years as Allie Ostrander and Emma Hyyppa earned the award in 2015 and 2014, respectively.
As a team, the women were third with 86 points. New Mexico won their ninth-straight title thanks to just 42 points.
With the conference championships now in the rearview mirror, the Broncos will now set their sights on the NCAA Regional Championships set to take place on Friday, Nov. 11 in Sacramento, Calif.
All-Mountain West Men's Cross Country First Team
All-Mountain West Men's Cross Country Second Team
All-Mountain West Women's Cross Country Second Team
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