Cross Country Heads to Regionals

What’s Happening Boise State University is sending its men’s cross country team and three individuals from its women’s cross country team to compete in the NCAA West Regional Championships, Nov. 11, at Blue Lake Park in Portland, Ore.

The top two teams at each of the nine regional sites automatically qualify for the NCAA National Cross Country Championships, Nov. 20, at Terre Haute, Ind. The top four individuals not on a qualifying team will also receive an automatic berth.

“We train all year for this meet,” Cross Country Head Coach David Welsh said. “For the men it all comes down to 30 hard minutes, and for the women 21. If our athletes can give 30 or 21 minutes of pure focus, good things will happen for us.”

The Times The regional championships will begin with the women’s 6,000-meter race at 11:00 a.m. (PT), followed by the men’s 10,000m race at 12:15 p.m. (PT).

The Athletes The Bronco men are led by seniors Forest Braden and Ty Axtman, who were each named first team All-WAC. Braden, an All-American, has posted top five finishes in each of his five races this season, including two first place finishes.

Axtman has finished in the top 15 in four of five races this season, including his first career individual title at the Harrier Classic, Sept. 9.

“I expect Forest to qualify for nationals, and if Ty stays with him, he has the talent to qualify as well,” Welsh said. “Those two guys have the ability to compete with the best in the nation.”

Also competing will be senior Wijnand Rijkenberg, junior Cody Eaton and senior Brandon Christoffersen, each of whom earned All-WAC second team accolades at the conference championships.

Representing the Bronco women will be sophomores Breanna Sande and Kendra Hernandez and junior Chaly Jones. In five races this season, Sande has posted four top 25 finishes, including her first career individual title at the Fall Harrier Classic, Sept. 9. Hernandez has five top 25 finishes on the year, and Jones posted her second top 15 finish of the season as a Bronco with a 15th place effort at the conference meet.

WAC Championships Senior All-American Forest Braden captured the first individual Western Athletic Conference cross country championship in Boise State University history, Oct. 28, at Woodward Park, leading the Bronco men to a second place team finish.

Braden’s 8,000-meter time of 24-minutes, 15-seconds, was 28 seconds faster than the second place finisher. Braden, who set a Woodward Park record and posted his seventh-career win as a Bronco with his time, was also named WAC Runner of the Year.

Fellow Boise State senior Ty Axtman, who led the Broncos with a fifth place effort in 2005, tied the previous top finish for a Bronco at the WAC Championships, finishing third with a time of 24:51.

Sophomores Breanna Sande and Kendra Hernandez each posted top 10 finishes for the Bronco women, leading the team to a sixth place finish. Sande finished eighth with a 5,000m time of 18:10.2, while Hernandez finished 10th with a time of 18:11.1.

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