BOISE, Idaho--Boise State head cross country coach Corey Ihmels and his Bronco teams are flying to Louisville, Kentucky for Saturday's NCAA Championships. It's exactly where Ihmels wants them to be, as he outlined in this preseason interview with me in August.
"It's progress," Ihmels said. "It's obviously what we set out to do. We want to get both teams there, and we want both teams to be a Top 10 team. That's been the goal from the outset. To finally see it happen, to be honest with you, we probably skipped about 10 steps to get here."
Ihmels has only begun to lay the groundwork for the type of program he wants to have at Boise State.
"The foundation is solid, and I like the group that we're sending to Louisville on both sides. We've got kids that really get what we're trying to do."
The Boise State women are ranked ninth in the country, while the men have been as high as #16 this year. While the Bronco women at this stage are perhaps a bit ahead of the men, Ihmels said not to count out the Bronco men.
"I'm excited about the men. I don't think we've hit a race all year long yet that we've just hit it and felt like we were on all cylinders."
Ihmels is responsible for bringing elite student-athletes to Boise and, through both his coaching philosophy and his expertise, has developed them into national-quality teams in this, just his third year at the helm of the Bronco program. But Ihmels is blessed with the Boise foothills, a place his runners love.
"Our environment is fantastic for a distance runner. I think that's why we're attracting great talent and I think that's what helps us perform at a high level."
The championships will be run at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville. The women race at 10 AM Mountain Time Saturday, followed by the men's race at approximately 11 AM Mountain. You can watch the race live on http://www.ncaa.com/liveschedule/2015/11/21.