Utah Cross Country Sets Eyes on Pac-12 Championships
SALT LAKE CITY – With the shortened season all wrapped up, the Utah cross country team sets its eyes on the Pac-12 Championships this Friday, March 5, as it races at Chambers Creek Park. The women's 6k race is set to begin at Noon (MT) on Pac-12 Networks.
Of the teams competing, only Stanford, Colorado, Washington and Oregon State are ranked in the Pac-12 while Oregon and Utah are receiving votes in the latest USTFCCCA Women's Poll. The Cardinal and Buffs are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, while the Huskies and Beavers check in at No. 12 and No. 24.
Utah will send Karli Branch, Morgan Jensen, Sara Leonard, Astrid Lindgren, Sarah Newton, Natalie Platil, Kennedy Powell, Sophie Ryan and Poppy Tank to the upper left coast to compete at the Pac-12 Championships.
Utah had its best performance at the Pac-12 Championships last year, taking third behind Poppy Tank, Bella Williams and Sarah Feeny all finishing within the top-10. In addition, the Utes beat out then-No. 5 Colorado that year. Tank's time of 19:49.6 was good for sixth place while Williams was one second behind her at 19:50.6. Feeny rounded out the top-10 for Utah with a mark of 19:55.3.
LAST TIME OUT
Poppy Tank once again led the Utes in the second and final race of the regular-season two weeks ago at the Battle Borne Cross Country Challenge taking eight with a time of 19:58.1 – which was about 20 seconds better than the first race of the year for the senior.
Freshman Morgan Jensen (20:50.7) was the second Ute to cross with Sarah Newton right behind her at 21:13.3. Natalie Platil and Sophie Ryan were neck-and-neck with one another down the stretch and finished two-tenths of a second from each other. Astrid Lindgren, Karli Branch and Sara Leonard rounded out the list of Utes at Craig Ranch Regional Park.
With the shortened year due to COVID-19, NCAA Regionals won't be held and teams will compete in just the NCAA Championships should they qualify – which will be hosted by Oklahoma State on March 15. The criterions to qualify for NCAA Championships this year can be found here.