TURTLE BAY, HI – BYU-Hawaii has been selected by the coaches of the Pacific West Conference as the pre-race favorite to capture the 2010 Hawaiian Airlines PacWest Men’s Cross Country Championship.
The PacWest Championship will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 8 a.m. at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu, the same location as the 2008 conference race.
BYU-Hawaii garnered four first-place votes and totaled 76 points to take the nod as the favorite to claim the title, while Hawai‘i Pacific amassed 67 points without recording one first-place vote. Their point total featured all second- and third-place selections.
Academy of Art, the reigning PacWest Champion, totaled 66 points after receiving five first-place votes.
The complete PacWest Championship Race predicted order of finish is as follows:
Team - Pts. (1st Place Votes)
BYU-Hawaii - 76 (4)
Hawai‘i Pacific - 67
Academy of Art - 66 (5)
Grand Canyon - 52
Hawaii Hilo - 43
Dixie State - 31
Notre Dame de Namur - 27
Chaminade - 23
Dominican (CA) - 20
The PacWest also will honor its all-conference team following the race. The top seven individual finishers will earn All-PacWest First Team honors, while those crossing the finish line 8-14 will be considered All-PacWest Second Team.
The PacWest Runner, Coach, Freshman and Newcomer of the Year will be determined as well.
Academy of Art junior Amos Maru (Nandi Hills, Kenya), the 2009 PacWest Individual Champion, is back for another shot at a conference title this year. Last year he led the Urban Knight athletic program to its first conference title in school history.
Maru’s teammate, junior Daveson Marindich (Eldoret, Kenya), placed second last year and is back as well for a chance to overtake Maru for the crown.
Last season Art U runners were so dominating that the Urban Knights claimed five of the seven All-PacWest First Team awards.
In addition to Maru and Marindich returning, juniors Simon Mutai (Nakuru, Kenya), Kennedy Kurgat (Kapsabet, Kenya) and Geoffrey Cheruiyot (Nairobi, Kenya) all will compete for another chance shot at All-PacWest First Team honors.
BYU-Hawaii is led by senior Brandon Krout (Vancouver, WA/Prairie), a two-time All-PacWest Second Team selection, and junior Luke Graesser (Spokane, WA/North Central), who claimed Second Team accolades last year.
Senior Thomas Rivers Puzey (Hermiston, OR/Hermiston), who earned First Team honors in 2008, will attempt to earn an individual title after a stellar regular-season campaign this year.
HPU junior Dany Malley (Mississaugua, Ontario, Canada/St. Famille Secondary) is seeking his third All-PacWest finish after taking First Team honors in 2008 and Second Team accolades last year.
Grand Canyon sophomore Julio Zungia (Phoenix, AZ/Trevor Browne), who was a Second Team selection last year after taking 14th place, is back for another crack at post-race honors.