SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Sacramento State men's and women's cross country teams will compete at the Big Sky Championships on Saturday at Bridger Creek Golf Course in Bozeman, Mont. The women's race will begin at 9 a.m. and the men will start at 10 a.m. PDT.

With one of its strongest teams in school history, the Hornet women are looking to finish in the upper echelon of the standings. The team, which has been led by seniors Rachel Mitchell, Lauren Mugnaini and Veronica Stinnett throughout the year, will have the challenge of dethroning two-time defending champion Weber State. The Wildcats were tabbed to repeat in the preseason coaches poll and will rely on Amber Henry who has won the individual title in 2011 and 2012.

Entering this week, Northern Arizona (fourth), Weber State (fifth), Montana State (eighth), Montana (11th), Southern Utah (13th) and Northern Colorado (15th) are all ranked in the USTFCCCA Mountain Region rankings. Sacramento State has bounced in and out of the Pacific Region rankings throughout the season.

"We're going in trying to surprise some people and finish significantly higher than where we were predicted at the start of the year (sixth)," Sacramento State cross country coach Joe Eby said. "I believe that the women have the talent to contend for a championship."

On the men's side, Northern Arizona was a unanimous selection to win its seventh consecutive team championship. The Lumberjacks are currently ranked second nationally, trailing only Colorado. Southern Utah is also in the national rankings at 30th.

Sacramento State senior Reesey Byers will likely provide the top time for the Hornets. Byers has led the team in each race this season.

Last season, the Hornet men finished fifth at the Big Sky Championships. The women, which redshirted all three current seniors, placed eighth.

The weather in Bozeman, Mont., on Saturday calls for a high of 54 degrees with a  30 percent chance of rain and winds at nine miles per hour.

Sacramento State Entries
Women Men
Chloe Berlioux Mustafa Abbas
Morgan Dampier Drew Azevedo
Emily Johnston Reesey Byers
Teresa Mallory Domenic D'Acquisto
Rachel Mitchell Nathanael Litwiller
Lauren Mugnaini Daniel Mitchell
Stephanie Rasmussen Cole Younger
Veronica Stinnett