Boise State Cross Country Prepped for Start of 2009 Campaign

► What's Happening - The Boise State cross country teams open up their 2009 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 12 when they travel across the valley to compete at the Northwest Nazarene University's Second Annual Roger Curran Invitational at West Park in Nampa, Idaho.

► Meet Specifics - The women's competition begins at 12:45 pm with a 4-kilometer race followed by the men's 6-kilometer race at approximately 1:25 pm. Teams include NNU, Boise State, College of Idaho as well as some additional area schools.

Looking at Boise State...
► In General - The Broncos women's roster consists of 20 student-athletes, while the men's roster includes 12 student-athletes. Head coach Brad Wick has decided to run all healthy athletes at the NNU Roger Curran Invite to get a full perspective each of his rosters.

"This will be a good opportunity to see where everyone is at this point in the season," said Wick.

► Preseason Outlook - The 2009 Boise State Cross Country season is set to kick-off on Saturday, Sept. 12 with the Roger Curran Invitational hosted by Northwest Nazarene. The meet will be one of six guaranteed meets for the Broncos, including the Western Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 31 in Reno, Nev. The Broncos have the chance to compete at two additional meets, if their marks are solid enough, and could participate in the NCAA West Region Championships in Eugene, Ore., as well as the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.

The Broncos begin their season at the NNU Invite and follow up on Sept. 26 with their sole home meet of the season, the Bob Firman Invitational held at Eagle Island State Park. In the month of October, Boise State travels to the Willamette Invitational on Oct. 3 (Salem, Ore.), the Santa Clara Invitational on Oct. 17 (Santa Clara, Calif.), and the College of Idaho Invitational on Oct. 22 (Caldwell, Idaho) as well as the WAC Championships. The NCAA Regional is slated for a Nov. 14 date while the NCAA Championships is scheduled on Monday, Nov. 23.

"The first couple of meets are more low-key for us and will help us prep for the rest of the season," said second year head coach Brad Wick. "The earlier meets will be good tune-ups for the Willamette and Santa Clara meets as well as the WAC meet."

Wick welcomes 12 men and 20 women to his 2009 squads. The team began their preseason training in mid-August and ran time trial on Aug. 19 at Ann Morrison Park that was encouraging to Wick on the preparedness of the teams.

► The 2009 Bronco Men's Cross Country Team - The 2009 men's squad brings solid returners from a successful 2008 campaign which finished second at the WAC Championships as well as a handful of talented newcomers that will boost team strength and increase the depth on the team.

"With the talent and strength we have this season, we are shooting for a WAC Championship this year," said Wick. "And we have a good chance at it!"

The 2009 roster includes two seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. Returning for the Broncos this season, junior Sawyer Bosch looks to make a big impact on the team after being named to the 2008 WAC Second Team.

"Sawyer is continuing to get strong than ever and he's in better shape than last year," said Wick.

Another WAC Second Team honoree from 2008, junior Scott Foley will look to be a leader on this season's squad. Sophomore Brian Pierre hopes to bounce back from an injury he suffered during the 2009 indoor season to help strengthen the Broncos' seven-man roster.

Other contenders for the seven-man roster include junior Kevin Higgs, freshman Zach Wiles, senior Cameron Lockard and senior transfer Kameron Ulmer who joins the Broncos' roster from San Bernardino Valley College.

"Kameron has been a great addition to our team," explained Wick. "It will be good to have him here for his senior year and he's made a great training partner for Sawyer Bosch so far this season."

Also in the running for a spot on the seven-man competition roster include freshmen from Washington, Jeff Howard out of Spokane and Kevin Rosaaen from Fircrest.

"Both Jeff and Kevin will be varsity runners for us," said Wick. "If they can bring over their accolades from the high school level to the college level they will do really well."

Not only does Wick believe that his team is a well-rounded, strong team, he knows they have improved as a team since this time last season. In their Aug. 19 time trial, the men ran a 5-kilometer race at Ann Morrison Park. The fifth-place finisher was one-minute faster than the fifth-place finisher from the 2008 season.

"That time trial shows me how much faster we've gotten in one year and it's encouraging," said Wick.

The men's roster also includes Cassidy Bigsby (So.), Austin Edwards (Fr.), and Quinten Hennekam (So.).

► The 2009 Bronco Women's Cross Country Team - The 2009 women's cross country team welcomes a handful of newcomers as well as returning some solid competitors from the 2008 roster.

Two Bronco freshmen, Shannon Porter and Piper Delaney look to make an immediate impact on the Broncos. Porter is from Hockinson, Wash., and was the Washington State 3,200-meter champion and record holder. Delaney hails from Medford, Ore., where she was state contender.

"I think these two freshmen are going to come in and really made a positive impact on our squad," said Wick.

As far as returners go, Wick believes sophomore Shea Hanson will make a major impact as well as junior Carly Gerard and sophomore Melody Braden.

"Shea has made big improvements over the summer and will return as a top runner as well as joining Carly and Melody in big leadership roles," explained Wick.

Another three returners that look to make their move up the ranks on the roster this season are juniors Alex Bell and Katherine Gallagher as well as sophomore Kacie Bitzenburg.

The women's team is still young with only one senior, Heidi Suder, six juniors, seven sophomores and six freshmen. Also on this season's roster: juniors Ariel Hopewell, Layna Oyervides and Breanne Whitlock; sophomores Karleigh Gempler, Kendra MacLean, Paige Orcutt and Kristi Pace; and freshmen Jessica Atkinson, Jenny Geyer, and Lacie Wheeler-Anderson.

Just as the men, Wick was impressed with the improvements of the team this season and the growth they've had in the past year. In the women's time trial on Aug. 19, the Broncos ran a 2-mile race and finished five runners ahead of the second-best time from the 2008 time trial. With that in mind Wick sees a strong future for the Broncos this season.

"I think we will improve a lot in the WAC this season and our goal is to finish in the top-3 at the WAC Championships," said Wick.

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