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WSU cross-country: Wildcats begin 2017 season Saturday

Weber State's Jordan Cross (left) races during the NCAA Mountain Region meet in Logan, Utah, last season. Cross and the Wildcats get the 2017 season underway in Logan at the Sagebrush Invitational on Saturday.
Weber State's Jordan Cross (left) races during the NCAA Mountain Region meet in Logan, Utah, last season. Cross and the Wildcats get the 2017 season underway in Logan at the Sagebrush Invitational on Saturday.
Darin Hogge, Weber State Athletic Communications

It’s time for the Wildcat harriers to turn on the jets.

The Weber State University men’s and women’s cross-country teams make their 2017 debut this Saturday at the Sagebrush Invitational, hosted by Utah State in Logan, Utah.

The Weber State women’s team, under longtime head coach Paul Pilkington, was picked to finish second in the preseason coaches poll, receiving 122 points and one first-place vote.

The Wildcats have won four of the last six Big Sky Conference women’s titles and narrowly finished second in 2016.

Weber State lost 2016 individual champion Ellie Child and third-place finisher Hailey Whetten to graduation, but it returns 2013 Big Sky champion Summer Harper, as well as Candace Sharp (13th overall) and Paige Dilmore (23rd overall) from last season.

The Weber State men’s team, under new head coach Corbin Talley, was picked third in the preseason coaches poll, behind defending NCAA champion Northern Arizona and in-state rival Southern Utah.

“I am pleased with where we are coming into the season, but we have some high goals for this year,” Talley said. “We have a lot of work in front of us to get where we want to be. It should be fun to get the season underway at Utah State, but we are mostly focused on the progress that we intend to make throughout the upcoming months.”

Talley expects big things from the experienced Wildcat returners, such as Jordan Cross, Dallin Leatham, Joe Maloney, Tyson Green, Braden Perry and Cody Glad. Cross and Leatham finished 13th and 15th overall, respectively, in last season's Big Sky championship meet.

“The men’s team has put in some very solid work this summer,” Talley said. “Our returners are coming off of some strong performances on the track this past spring, and with the strength they added through summer training, we are expecting some big things from our experienced guys.”

The Wildcats also add in some tough freshmen to the group, with Jacob Stone (Woods Cross High School) looking to be a key scorer, as well as Conner Cox (Millard High School) and Austin Byrer (Lewiston High School) having the potential to make an immediate impact.

Justin Johnson is an Athletic Communications Assistant at Weber State University. For more information about Weber State University athletics, please visit: http://www.weberstatesports.com.