CROSS COUNTRY TO COMPETE AT BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY

CROSS COUNTRY TO COMPETE AT BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS ON SATURDAY

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the Big Sky Conference Championships on Saturday which will be hosted by Weber State. The meet will take place at Schneiter's Riverside Golf Course in Ogden, Utah. The women's 5K race will begin at 10 a.m. PT and the men's 8K race will start at 10:45 a.m. PT.

Live video will be provided through Facebook live on Weber State's athletics page (www.facebook.com/weberstateathletics). Live results will be provided by RunnerCard at http://www.runnercard.com/results3/meet?meetId=a94ddab5-34fc-42ee-8115-3932d291f593. Links to both are also available at the top of the page.

Unlike past Big Sky meets, weather should be ideal for Sacramento State. Saturday's predictions call for clear skies with temperatures in the low 60s and light winds.

The Hornets finished ninth among 12 teams in both races at the conference meet a year ago. The Sacramento State women's team has finished ninth in three consecutive meets following a fourth-place showing in 2013. The Hornet men have improved their finish by one spot each of the last three seasons. The team's highest finish in the last five years was fifth place in 2012. The women's team was tabbed to finish eighth and the men were picked ninth in the preseason coaches poll.

The men's race will feature two of the top 15 teams in the country. Northern Arizona, which won the Div. I national title a year ago, is again ranked first nationally. The Lumberjacks have been victorious in three meets this season, including the Wisconsin Nuttycombe Invitational. The team has had three individuals earn Big Sky Athlete of the Week this season comprised of Peter Lomong, Matt Baxeter and Andy Trouard.

Southern Utah is ranked 12th nationally and is fifth in the Mountain Region. The T-Birds are guided by Mike Tate and Kasey Knevelbaard who each won a pair of individual titles at last season's Big Sky Outdoor Championships in Sacramento.

Elijah Changco has been the catalyst for the men's team throughout the season. The sophomore has had the fastest time on the team in the last three meets and has set a PR in each race. Changco's highest finish of the season came at the Capital Cross Challenge where he was 13th. His best time was 24:28.9 at the Santa Clara Broncos Invitational.

Sam Scheuer had the best finish among returners from last year's Big Sky Championships in Moscow, Idaho. Scheuer placed 42nd overall in 26:16.1. The senior, however, has been limited to just two meets this season due to injuries.

The women's 5K race should be much more wide open. NAU was the preseason favorite and are the defending conference champions. The Lumberjacks are ranked fifth in the Mountain Region and have accounted for the last two Big Sky Athletes of the Week. Host Weber State has finished first in four of the last six conference cross country championships and was second last year. The Wildcats are ranked 11th in their region. Also in title contention will be Montana State and Southern Utah.

Amy Quinones has been the leaders for the Sacramento State women. A year after leading the team in all six meets, Quinones has had the fastest time for the Hornets in the first four meets of this season. She opened the year by placing third at the Aggie Open and ran a season best 20:47.8 at the Santa Clara Broncos Invitational two weeks ago.

Seniors Gracie Albano and JC transfer Savanna Perez have also competed in each of the team's four previous meets this season and will be in the lineup on Saturday.