Junior Melanie Townsend and senior Matt McElroy were named Big Sky athletes of the week for cross country by the conference on Tuesday.

After sitting out most of the 2013 cross country season due to injury, Townsend made her 2014 debut with a second-place finish at the George Kyte Classic hosted by Northern Arizona last Saturday. Townsend ran the 2.6-mile course in 15:07.80.

“I’m really excited to get back out here,” Townsend said after the meet on Saturday. “I didn’t know how today would go because I’ve been more relaxed this summer than last summer, but it was a good start.”

McElroy started off the 2014 season strong with a win in the men’s 4.5-mile at the George Kyte Classic. He finished with a time of 22:20.80 and led the Lumberjacks to their first win of the season.

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“As the season goes on, we’re going to get a lot faster with workouts. The mileage and intensity of the workouts is going to bump up,” McElroy said about the meet. “Today was just get out there, run as a team and put a smile on.”

McElroy was the 2013 Big Sky Champion for cross country, the eighth consecutive Lumberjack to win the title. During the track season, he took home Big Sky titles in the 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m.

Northern Arizona is off this week before taking on the Dave Murray Invitational in Tucson on Sept. 19.

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