Cross Country

Broncos Ready to Begin Season at Roger Curran Invite

► UPCOMING COMPETITION - Fifth Annual Roger Curran Invitational
► LOCATION - Nampa, Idaho - West Park
► TIME - Men: 10 a.m. / Women: 11:30 a.m.
► MEET DETAILS - The men's race will consist of a 6-kilometer distance while the women will run a 4-kilometer race.

BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State cross country team is set to begin their 2012 season on Sat., Sept. 8 at the Roger Curran Invitational. The fifth-annual meet is one of six regular-season meets on the docket this season for the Broncos.

Head coach J.W. Hardy and distance coach Brad Wick welcome over 45 men and women to the 2012 roster. One-third of the combined gender roster includes newcomers, adding young talent to an already talented group of returners.

"Both our men's and women's teams are by far the deepest squads we've ever had," said Wick. "Both squads will have at least 10 runners that have a truly legitimate chance of being one of our top-five runners."

The Bronco men return three all-conference honorees, including Drew O'donoghue-McDonald who was a 2010 and 2011 honoree. Jeff Howard and Allan Schroeder return to the team after earning honors in the Western Athletic Conference in 2010.

Boise State's women return four all-conference honorees with Emma Bates leading the way with honors from the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Tessa Murray and Marisa VanderMalle join her as 2011 Mountain West honorees, while Alyssa Boucher returns as a 2010 WAC honoree.

The Broncos' 2012 schedule proves to be a tough one with two major regular-season competitions, two local meets and one solid Western states competition. Those five meets will play a major role in preparing the Broncos for the postseason.

"Our goal this season is to try to win the conference titles on both sides," said Wick. "We want to do well through regionals and try to put ourselves in a position to make a run at competing at the national meet."

As mentioned the Broncos kick off their season on Sept. 8 at the Roger Curran Invitational, however they see their first big national competition on Sept. 29 at the 27th Annual Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn. Competing as a split squad in their second weekend of competition, additional Broncos will travel west to race at the 38th Annual Charles Bowles Invitational in Salem, Ore., on Sept. 29.

Opening up October the Broncos host their only meet of the season, the Boise State Invitational, at Ann Morrison Park. The meet is slated for 10:30 a.m. on Sat., Oct. 6. One week later the Broncos face a second large competition of the season at the 2012 Pre-National Invitational held on the NCAA Championships course in Louisville, Ky., on Oct. 13. The final regular season meet will give the Broncos a feel of what the championships will be like and will help turn the Broncos' focus on postseason competition.

The Mountain West Championships will be the first postseason meet, held on Oct. 26 in Las Vegas, Nev. In August, the Bronco women earned a second-place preseason ranking in the Mountain West, while the men earned a third-place spot. Last season the women placed third and the men were fourth.  

The Broncos will continue their postseason in Seattle, Wash., at the 2012 NCAA West Region Championships on Nov. 10. Currently both the men and women hold No. 11 rankings in the preseason West Regional standings.

The 2012 NCAA National Championships cap the schedule on Nov. 17 in Louisville, Ky. The University of Louisville will hold the championship at EP Tom Sawyer State Park in their first time hosting the event.

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