The cross country teams begin the championship season this weekend, as they travel to Fort Collins, Colo., for their first ever Mountain West Conference Championships.The race at Collindale Golf Course on Saturday will mark the first time a TCU athletic team has competed in a MWC tournament, coach Patrick Cunniff said.
“We are very excited about being the first TCU team to represent the university in a Mountain West Conference championship,” Cunniff said.
Although it may be the teams first time to compete in the championship, one of the team’s star runners said he is familiar with the race. Kip Kangogo, a senior, won the championship in 2002 and 2003 while he was a runner for Brigham Young..
Kangogo, who sat out the 2004 season after he transferred from BYU, will be running against several of his prior teammates. He said he likes the Mountain West Conference because it is extremely competitive.
“I enjoy running against the best runners,” Kangogo said.
Kangogo said he realizes some of his old running mates will be TCU’s hardest competition this weekend. BYU men’s and women’s teams are currently picked to finish No. 1 in the conference, while TCU is picked to finish fourth in men’s and sixth in women’s.
Calandra Stewart, a sophomore on the women’s team, said one of the team’s goals is to move up in the rankings.
“We really hope to finish in the top four,” Stewart said.
Cunniff agreed it is important for the women’s team to improve its ranking.
“We felt a little disrespected when the rankings came out,” Cunniff said.
He said this weekend was a good opportunity for the teams to show their capabilities.
The men’s eight-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. The women’s six-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at noon.