Kristen McGlynn leads the Adams State women in their bid for a national title. Photo by Alan Versaw.
Once again, Colorado will be very well represented at the DII Nationals cross country meet--just not quite as well represented as last year.
If Adams State is to repeat their sweep of the national championships, they probably will not have to deal with snow this year to do it. The site of the national championship meet has moved from Slippery Rock, PA, to a slightly more temperate location in Evansville, IN, this year.
The Adams State men come into the national championship meet as the #1 ranked team and the favorites to bring it all home again. And, that's not terribly surprising given that this year's team closely resembles last year's national championship team except that Reuben Mwei should be running in the championship race this year. Mwei will join teammates Aaron Braun, Brian Medigovich, and Ryan McNiff in the bid for a repeat.
For Adams State to repeat, they must overcome what figures to be a strong and spirited challenge from Western State, another school that returns the bulk of their national championship meet lineup from 2008. The Mountaineers boast a national #2 ranking coming into the meet and are led by Tyler Pennel and Iain Donnan.
Also representing the state of Colorado will be the #5 ranked Colorado School of Mines and the #14 ranked Metro State teams. Both schools will be looking to justify, and perhaps improve upon, their current national rankings.
As strong as the Adams State women have been this year, they do not come into the national championship meet as favorites. Ranked ahead of Adams State are the teams from Grand Valley, Missouri Southern, and Alaska Anchorage. Still, the only meet in which the Adams State women did not finish first was the Oklahoma State Cowboy Jamboree, and the Grizzlies figure to keep things interesting next Saturday.
Adams State is led at the front by two Colorado high school graduates, Kristen McGlynn and true freshman Alicia Nelson. Also representing Colorado in the lineup will be Sofia Monroe and Janette Cary.
Not to be underestimated, however, is the team from Western State. The Mountaineer women come in ranked #7 in the nation and fresh off a second-place finish in the always-tough Central region. Figure on Sarah Lyle and Hillory Davis being the advance guard of the Mountaineers' finish at nationals.
Rounding out the Colorado entries at the DII Nationals meet are the team from Metro State (currently ranked #20) and Sydney Laws of Colorado School of Mines. After a very strong race at the RMAC Championships in Denver, Alexis Skarda of Mesa State missed qualifying for nationals with a disappointing finish at the regional meet.