The Montana cross country squads will chase league honors on Saturday at the Big Sky Conference meet in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The men’s 8,000-meter race is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Buffalo Park, with the women’s 5,000-meter race set for 11 a.m. It’s UM’s first meet since the Inland Empire Classic Oct. 13.
Meet host Northern Arizona is the defending men’s conference champion, but the four runners who fueled that title with top-10 finishes aren’t back this year.
Junior Caleb Deitz has been the fastest Grizzly this year with the team’s top finish in three out of four meets. Junior Jordan Collison was the fastest UM runner in the Montana Invitational, with a ninth-place time of 26:23 Sept. 28 at the UM golf course.
Other Grizzlies in the Big Sky field include Matt Barker, Colby Henderson, Julian Jalani, Reid Longley, Mark Messmer and David Norris.
For the Griz women, sophomore Carly Wilczynski has been the consistent top performer with top-20 finishes in all four meets this fall. Emily Eickholt, Bobbi Furrer, Mariah Meyer, Allie Parks and Autumn Tanaguchi will join Wilczynski in the field.
Defending individual champion Amber Henry of Weber State returns to defend her title. Weber State also won the conference championship a year ago.