Courtesy: Larry Johnson (
Men's XC Ready For Action
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 10/30/2013
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MOSCOW, Idaho – Despite being a brand new and young team, the University of Idaho men’s cross country enters Saturday’s Western Athletic Conference Cross Country Championships with confidence.

The Vandal men were picked second, behind Utah Valley, earlier this week in the WAC Pre-Championship Coaches Poll, and Idaho director of track and field/cross country Wayne Phipps believes this was an appropriate ranking for the young team.

“I think the team has done very well despite being a brand new team and being very young,” Phipps said. “Utah Valley is a strong team, but our goal is still to go in to the meet and win a conference championship.”

Idaho has not won a men’s team title in cross country since the 1965 Big Sky Championships and has not had an individual champion in 71 years – but the team has come within sight of one.

Since the Vandals joined the WAC in 2005, Idaho’s men have finished runners-up twice and have taken third two more times in team races. The Vandals have also earned a pair of individual runner-up finishes and another two third-place marks since joining the conference.

“The most important thing for the young team to remember is to have confidence in their ability to perform well,” Phipps said. “They are an extremely talented group of runners and if they can be confident and run intelligently in the race I believe we a have a shot to win.”

Junior Cody Helbling and freshman Nicholas Boersma have been Idaho’s top two scorers respectively throughout the season.

“We will really rely on Nick and Cody being our leaders at conference,” Phipps said. “In order for us to win they both need to continue running the way they have this entire season.”

The men’s 8K race kicks off at 9:00 a.m.. PT in Jefferson Park Golf Club at Seattle, Wash., hosted by Seattle U.

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