Runners ready for NCAA regionals

A lone Horned Frog will represent the men’s cross country team at the NCAA South Central Regional Championships while seven women’s team members will be sent to Waco for Saturday’s meet.

The men’s team will be represented by junior standout Festus Kigen, who placed second in the 1,500-meter and 5,000-meter events at the Mountain West Conference Championships on Nov. 1 to earn a trip to the regional meet. Head coach Sean Winget said he is expected to qualify for the NCAA Championships after serving as the Horned Frogs’ only representative in the meet last year. To do so, the coach said Kigen must place in the top four of individual men’s runners.

Winget said he is confident that he will continue his successful streak.

“(Kigen) should be top 5 overall,” Winget said. “That’s our ultimate goal. He had a great day last weekend at conference.”

Kigen’s season has featured two conference-leading times, in the 6K and the 10K. In fact, Kigen’s times are nearly two and three minutes, respectively, better than the second place finishers. His time at conference was three seconds behind first place finisher Mark Korir, of Wyoming.

Kigen garnered All-Mountain West Conference First Team honors following the meet.

The women’s team’s seven runners are Dani Selner, Lisa Baity, Amber Carlise, Shannon Andrew, Ashley Millerick, Tanja Ivandic and Kelly Dawson.

Although the women’s team had hoped for better results than its eighth-place finish at last weekend’s conference meet, it is prepared to recover, Winget said.

“We want to bounce back from that disappointing finish,” Winget said.

The women’s team must place in the top two to advance to the NCAA Championships. Ivandic, who holds the Mountain West’s best time in the 4,000-meter, leads the women’s team.