The Dixie State cross-country teams opened the 2016 season Monday with their first official practice at Legend Solar Stadium.
The Trailblazers return a total of nine runners, with 21 newcomers joining the ranks for the 2016 season.
The men’s team returns eight runners from last season, led by sophomore Hunter Chamberlain, who garnered third team All-Pacific West Conference honors last season. Chamberlain earned two top-20 finishes during the season and finished in 21st place at the PacWest Championships in October. He also earned a team-best 76th place finish at the NCAA West Regionals in November. Chamberlain and the men’s team will be joined by seven new runners for the 2016 season.
The women’s team returns one runner from last season, junior Sierra Hughes, who did not participate in any races in 2015. The women’s team will see 14 new runners join the squad for the 2016 season. Senior All-PacWest runner Skyler Storie will not take part in any cross-country races in 2016, as she prepares to help launch DSU’s new women’s distance track team in the spring. Storie will then complete her cross-country eligibility in the fall 2017 season.
“We can't wait to get the season started,” head coach Justin Decker said. “There are going to be a lot of new faces, and I'm excited to see them mix in with our returners. Last year was the best season our men's team has ever had and each of our top-five runners are returning with a couple of strong additions, so it will be a very experienced and talented group. The majority of our women's team this year will be new, but it is a really good group and they have the potential for a really good season despite being such a young team. This is the first time I'm entering the season not knowing who our top runners are going to be because we have more depth than we have ever had in years past.”
Dixie State opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 3, in Flagstaff, Arizona, at the Northern Arizona George Kyte Classic. The Trailblazers will then head to San Bernardino, California, for the CSU San Bernardino Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 23. DSU will participate in the SUU Color Country Invite in Cedar City on Saturday, Oct. 8, before running the PacWest Championships in Hilo, Hawaii, on Saturday, Oct. 22.
Keric Seegmiller is Assistant Coordinator of Media Relations at Dixie State University and the Voice of Trailblazer Athletics. Contact him at email@example.com.