Women’s XC Wins Big Sky Championship

SACRAMENTO, Calf. — The Southern Utah Women’s Cross Country team won their first ever Big Sky conference title on Saturday, Oct. 27. It’s the team’s first championship since joining the conference in 2012.

The men’s cross country team placed third behind Northern Arizona and Weber State.

SUU’s Angie Nickerson topped the competition with a time of 16:30.26. The senior’s time outpaced the second and third place runners by over five seconds. It is Nickerson’s first ever Big Sky Individual Championship.

“It feels so good knowing that our team has come so far,” said Nickerson. “Our team knew what the stakes were today and we were ready to compete. We were really able to pull it together and have a great race today so we are all on cloud nine.”

The team put together a fantastic performance at a critical time, with four runners placing in the top six. Nickerson placed first, Maddy Kaufman fourth, Madison Fruchey placed fifth and Alison Pray placed sixth.

Christian Ricketts led the men’s team to a third place overall finish with a time of 23:43.5, placing fifth. Aidan Reed finished one second behind Ricketts, placing sixth. Nate Osterstock also finished in the top ten, placing ninth.

Northern Arizona’s men’s team, currently ranked first in the nation, placed the first four runners before Ricketts, and ran away with the competition.

The Thunderbirds narrowly missed out on second place to Weber State. SUU’s overall time was only three seconds slower than Weber’s, and Weber beat out SUU by just six points.

Nickerson, Kauffman, Fruchey and Pray all earned All-Conference recognition for the women’s team. Ricketts, Reed and Osterstock earned the same honor for the men’s team.

The teams will look ahead to the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on November 9.

Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication