CHEYENNE – The University of Wyoming cross-country teams will kick off the 2019 season this Friday, Sept. 6, at the Wyoming Invite in Cheyenne. The meet is held at the Little America Golf Course, with collegiate races beginning at 6 p.m. with the women’s five-kilometer race. The men’s five-kilometer race will follow at 6:30. There are high school races that start at 3:55 p.m.

 “It’s great to be able to race here and have our community support us,” said cross-country head coach Scott Dahlberg. “We’re looking forward to this event. Last year, there was such a great atmosphere. We’re adding the high school component this year, and so we’re looking forward to lots of people being there. The course is very spectator friendly, so we’re excited about what that’s going to bring to our opening meet.”

Wyoming will welcome Colorado, Colorado State, Western Colorado and Northern Colorado to Cheyenne for Friday’s race. The Wyoming Invite is a non-qualifying race, as it is scheduled before Sept. 13, when the at-large countable period begins.

The Cowboys are coming off one of their best seasons in school history, that saw a 12th-place finish at the NCAA National Championships with returning senior Paul Roberts earning All-America accolades. The Cowboys also bring back seniors Christopher Henry, Harry Ewing and Daniel Hintz, who all earned points at the national championships.

The Cowgirls return their top-three finishers from last year in sophomore Katelyn Mitchem and seniors Kacey Doner and Ashley Bock. Mitchem was Wyoming’s top finisher three times, while Bock led the way for the Cowgirls twice. Mitchem also earned Mountain West Athlete of the Week honors once during her freshman season.

The Colorado women’s team is the defending national champion, and enters the season as the No. 1 ranked squad in the land. The CU men’s team is ranked fourth in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches (USTFCCCA) poll. The Colorado State Rams men’s team is currently ranked No. 17 in the nation, one spot behind Wyoming, which checked in at No. 16. The Western State men are ranked No. 2 in Division II, while the women’s team is No. 3.

Fans can also participate in the annual Always a Cowboy run/walk on Saturday, Sept. 7, in Laramie at 9 a.m. The race will be on the cross-country trails behind Jacoby Golf Course. Registration is $20 and covers race entry and a t-shirt. The remaining money will be placed into an account that will be utilized to enhance the "Wyoming 8 Memorial" at the south end of the athletics fieldhouse.

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