STILLWATER, Okla. —Everlyn Kemboi took third, and the 27th-ranked Utah Valley University women finished seventh as a team in a stacked field at the Cowboy Jamboree at Oklahoma State University on Saturday morning. Kemboi ran the women’s 6k in 20:22.2 — not far off from her personal best — on the hilly course that will also be the site of the 2022 NCAA Cross Country Championships in November. 

Mazzie Melaney Preston was next for the Wolverines, finishing 23rd with a time of 20:54.2, while Hannah Branch (51st, 21:19.5), Madison Flippence (65th, 21:28.7), and Maggie Zwahlen (69th, 21:31.6) rounded out the scoring times for UVU. Utah Valley finished ahead of five higher-ranked teams from this week’s USTFCCCA National Poll including one spot in front of No. 6 Washington.  

“Eva had a great race, a smart race, and put herself right in the thick of things. I think we are starting to see that we are really good, even when we don’t have the best race as a team. We competed really well but we are definitely capable of even better than this result,” said UVU head coach Scott Houle. “To come to races like this, where you have such a loaded field, and to perform the way we did can really springboard us moving forward.”

The Wolverine men finished 16th in the team standings, right behind No. 24 Ole Miss and head of No. 23 Furman. Joel Mendez led UVU in 53rd overall — out of over 240 runners — completing the 8k in 24.10.3. Max Mahon was 79th with a time of 24:24.9, with Habtamu Cheney not far behind him in 90th place at 24:33.7. Adam Bunker (137th, 25:08.5) and Ayden Womack (147th, 25:16.9) rounded out the scoring times for the men. 

“Those three did a really good job leading the team out. They ran well, ran within themselves and were consistent throughout the race and were all able to pick people off in the last thousand. They’re starting to realize that they’re better than they thought and will continue to get better,” Houle said. 

The race featured at total of 28 ranked teams (16 men, 12 women) including the top six, and eight of the top 10 from the men’s poll, and six of the top 10 on the women’s side. Up next for Utah Valley is the Paul Short Run at Lehigh University on Friday, Sept. 30. 

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