Top Competition Awaits 'Dogs at MW Championships
Senior Kevin Poythress has been the men's top finisher in each of the last three races.

Senior Kevin Poythress has been the men's top finisher in each of the last three races.

Oct. 30, 2013

By: Andrew Rich

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FRESNO, Calif. -- The Fresno State cross country team will head to Colorado Springs, Colo., this weekend to run in the 2013 Mountain West Championships on the campus of the Air Force Academy. The event will be held at the Eisenhower Golf Club's Blue Course on Friday, November 1.

The men will run an 8K race starting at 9 a.m., Pacific Time. The women will follow with a 6K race beginning at 9:45 a.m., Pacific Time. Both races can be viewed live online on the Mountain West Network.

Annemarie Schwanz enters with the fifth-best time out of all Mountain West women runners in the six kilometer distance this year. Her 20:38.5 that she posted at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational is less than 30 seconds off the top time in the conference. The sophomore from Germany has been a breakout performer for the `Dogs by setting school records in the 5K and the 6K and setting new personal-best times in every race she has run this season.

New Mexico has won the last five MW Championships and is currently ranked ninth in the country and their runners have six runners within the top eight of the top times in the 6K.

The men will need to continue their strong group performances to have a good finish in the conference championships. They will be up against a field that includes three teams ranked in the top 30 in the nation, including the four-year reigning conference champion and ninth-ranked New Mexico.

Kevin Poythress and Danny Vartanian have finished with the first or second best time for the men's team this season. Poythress is coming off his best race of the season when he ran a 24:39.2 at the Santa Clara Bronco Invitational two weeks ago. The strong top five also consists of junior Chriss Grimble and freshman Matt Kwiatkowski and Cooper Gill.

The location and the elements will be against the `Dogs when they run on Friday morning. After running all of their previous races either in the Valley or in the Bay Area at low elevations, Fresno State will encounter a large change in elevation when they run Friday morning. Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet in elevation, more than a mile high, and temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40's at race time.

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