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UVU cross-country: Men's and women's teams win GWC titles

By Jay Hinton

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Oct. 27 2012 5:19 p.m. MDT

CHICAGO - The Utah Valley University men's and women's cross-country teams ran away with its fourth and fifth straight respective Great West Conference Cross Country titles Saturday at Montrose Park in the final year of competition in the league.

UVU's top five men's scoring runners and the top five women's scoring runners placed in the top 10 in scoring 19 and 20 points, respectively.

UVU's Cliff Nielson won the 8K race with a time of 24:59, and he was followed consecutively by Macy Butterfield (2nd, 25:25); Mike Felix (4th, 25:44); Trevor Sharp (5th, 25:45) and Chris Dorton (7th, 25:56).

UVU's other two runners, Brenden Emery and Spencer Evensen, who didn't figure into the scoring, were ninth and 11th with the times of 25:59 and 26:13, respectively.

UVU's Krystal Harper traversed the 5K course in 18:04, which was good for second on the women's side behind University of Texas-Pan America's Judith Chumba, who posted the winning time of 17:53.

On the men's side, NJIT was a distant second with 63 points followed by Houston Baptist (74), Texas-Pan American (79) and Chicago State (145).

On the women's side, Houston Baptist was second with 66 points, followed by UTPA (67); NJIT (109); Cal State Bakersfield (114) and Chicago State (185).

Behind Harper, Darian Sharp was third (18:10) followed consecutively by Angela Baker-Blackham (18:20); Ally Deeter (18:36) and Ivie Gonsalves (18:39).

UVU's final two runners, Stephanie Christensen and Bridget Hazel, who didn't figure into the scoring, also placed in the top 10 at seventh (18:41) and ninth (18:51), respectively.

The UVU women won their first GWC title in 2008 and the men's won their first in 2009. Both teams will now compete in the Western Athletic Conference next season.

Nielson and Chumba were named the GWC Runners of the Year, while Darian Sharp and Emery were named the GWC Freshmen of the Year. UVU cross-country coach Scott Houle was named the GWC Coach of the Year for the men and women.

The top seven runners for the men and women are considered all-GWC First-Team selections, while runners 8-14 are second-team selections.

Jay Hinton is a sports information assistant at Utah Valley University.

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