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UVU cross-country: McKayla Morgan selected as WAC Athlete of the Week

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Utah Valley’s McKayla Morgan and Seattle U’s Gus Arroyo were named the Western Athletic Conference men’s and women’s Cross-Country Athletes of the Week, respectively, for Sept. 16-22.

Morgan, a freshman from Riverton, Utah (Riverton HS), led the Utah Valley women’s cross-country team to a first-place finish at the UNLV Invitational. Morgan finished second overall with a time of 17:41.5 on the 5k course leading her teammates across the finish line to complete the race with the almost perfect score of 20.

"For a freshman to be the athlete of the week is impressive, especially because the WAC has talented cross-country runners," head coach Scott Houle said. "Morgan has consistently been one of our top girls on our team, and that bodes well for the strength of our team. This is a big honor for her and is a good show of what is to come."

Arroyo, a junior from Portland, Oregon (Douglas HS), led the Redhawks finishing 21st at the Sundodger Invitational. Arroyo was once again the team’s top finisher, crossing the finish line in 21st place with a time of 25:24. That mark is 21 seconds faster than the time Arroyo earned at this meet last year.

Other women’s nominees: From New Mexico State, senior Diana Hawk finished first for the Aggies, earning a personal best early in the season with a time of 19:01.34 in the 5k race. Seattle U senior Sophie Curatilo led the Seattle U women finishing in 17th place overall with a time of 21:44 in the 6k race. Grand Canyon junior Kelsi Klotter finished 25th at the Mustang Challenge with a time of 19:07.8. From Bakersfield, sophomore LaShya Morgan paced the ‘Runners finishing 39th at the Mustang Challenge with a time of 19:24.3.

Other men’s nominees: Utah Valley freshman Tyson Lambert led the Wolverines across the finish line placing fourth overall with a time of 19:24.9 at the UNLV Invitational. New Mexico State senior Daniel Rubio finished first for the Aggies with a time of 15:35.92 placing fourth overall at the Kachina Classic 5k. Grand Canyon senior Brandon Kocmoud earned an impressive sixth-place finish with a time of 26:07.1 to mark the ‘Lopes first 8k of the season at the Mustang Challenge. Texas-Pan American graduate student Luis Serrano finished 33rd out of 122 runners as he posted a time of 19:20.3 in the Texas A&M Invitational 6k.