OREM, Utah -- The Utah Valley University men's and women's cross-country teams will go up against some of the nation's best Saturday at the NCAA Pre-Nationals hosted by the University of Louisville.
A total of 15 nationally ranked men's and women's teams will compete in the event that will be held at the E.P. 'Tom' Sawyer State Park in Louisville.
"Hopefully, if we get off to a good start we should see some good times," UVU cross-country coach Scott Houle said. "We'll see what we can do against teams outside of Utah."
Houle said a high finish over some of the high-profile teams could help the Wolverines up their stock when it comes to earning an at-large spot at the NCAA Championships later in the year, should they not qualify as a team.
A total of four races will be held Saturday, with the men's red-seeded race, of which the UVU men's team is a part, starting the day at 9:30 a.m. ET. The women's red-seeded race is next at 10:15 a.m. Following that is a pair of unseeded races: the men's black race at 10:45 a.m. and the women's black race at 11:30 a.m., in which the Wolverines will compete.
For the men, Joshua McCabe will compete for the first time this year.
The men's team will compete against teams like Florida, BYU, Georgetown, Duke and Kentucky, while the women will compete against teams like Cincinnati, North Carolina, Louisville, Memphis and South Carolina.
Both the UVU men's and women's teams are coming off first-place finishes at the Color Country Invitational hosted by Southern Utah University.
The Wolverines finished with 30 points, while Idaho State was second with 46 points and Southern Utah was third with 68 points.
Behind Sharp (14:12.20), Christensen (14:18.20) and Harper (14:26.80), Angie Baker-Blackham finished ninth (14:46.40), followed by Ivie Gonsavles (11th, 14:47.90), Bridget Hazel (14th, 15:00.70) and Brooke Hodson-Davies (15th, 15:02.70).
On the men's side, the Wolverines had four runners finish in the Top 10 as well, led by Trevor Sharp's fourth-place finish with the time of 19:04.20 in the 6K event.
The UVU men posted 38 points to win the event by eight points over Southern Utah, while Idaho State was third with 55.
Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.