BYU Athletics Blog

Quotes from Kristi Rush the week of Wisconsin Adidas Invitational

Oct 16, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 6:45 pm | Updated: October 16, 2014 6:50 pm | Permalink

Rush on her race at Notre Dame Invitational

“At Notre Dame I felt really good about my race. I broke my personal record. I was up where I was supposed to be.”

“Notre dame was definitely a confidence-booster. You always want to improve obviously. You always want to get better, but my confidence is definitely higher.”

“We probably did start too slow at Notre Dame. But Alyssa (Steed) and I decided to move up pretty early. We made some serious progress passing people. I know I felt really good and in my mind my race felt right. I felt strong and I broke my personal record.”

Weekly preparation/routine leading up to a big meet

"I keep everything pretty consistent. I’ve never been in a race this big, so I don’t know what I’m getting myself in to, but I think it’s important to keep your mindset the same. Otherwise, you’ll get nervous or have more anxiety than you need. Coach Shane says 'you have to keep the butterflies in formation.' The best way for me to do that is to keep everything consistent. I like to think of them as practices, and then at the end, an all-out mile. Then, I don’t psych myself out. It’s just another day. Like they say, practice like a race, race like a practice.”

How she knows she ran a successful race

“A lot of it is the feeling at the end of the race or throughout the race. It would be successful if you ran smart at the beginning, felt strong the last mile and finished strong, but with nothing left. You can’t put numbers or times to it. A lot of it is feeling, you have to be in tune. I know that if I start off too fast I can feel it.”

How the course determines race strategy

“In a course with hills, conservative is key. People will always start out too fast and end up dying. If it’s a flat course, it’s usually a faster course. You need to start out faster than you would in a race with hills, because the race goes out faster and you’ll get buried, which happened a little bit at Notre Dame.”

On Wisconsin Invitational

“The ranked teams have me excited because I know that the more people we beat, the higher ranked we can get. We are racing against the people we need to be racing against to make our statement and prove that we can do well at nationals.”

“We have a lot of good teams here that are ranked high nationally. I think success for our team would be beating some of those teams ranked ahead of us right now. This race is important for getting ourselves ranked higher.”

Personal goal before the season started

“I was really hoping to go to nationals. The top nine go, but only the top seven race. I would really love to be among the top seven and be able to race.”

Last Week in Review: The Hat-ch Trick

Oct 15, 2014 - Posted by knielsen at 11:49 am | Updated: October 15, 2014 11:54 am | Permalink

It's been one month since the Cougars lost, three weeks since Ashley Hatch hadn't scored, one week since an opponent put the ball in the net and a calendar year since BYU dropped a WCC game.

Ashley Hatch had a game to remember last Thursday against Portland. She scored the first BYU hat trick in nine years, which was also the 17th hat trick in program history. She earned several honors for her three goals and also her assist against Gonzaga. 

Hatch is:

ESPNW's Soccer Player of the Week

WCC Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks and third time in her career's WCC Player of the Week for the second time this year

CollegeSoccer360 Primetime Performer for the first time.

and No. 4 on Top Play Tuesday

Along with the team's eight-game regular season win streak and 10-game WCC win streak, the Cougars jumped four spots to 19th in the NSCAA coaches pollElena Medeiros scored her first goal at home this season and Michele Murphy added another goal against Gonzaga, while goalkeeper Katherine Snyder ran her shutout streak to two games on Saturday against Gonzaga.


BYUtv's Portland Game Recap


BYUtv's Gonzaga Game Recap

Boom Shakalaka Dunk Contest

Oct 15, 2014 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:52 am | Permalink

The two headliners for the dunk contest at Boom Shakalaka (Friday at 7 p.m. MT in the Smith Fieldhouse) are senior Josh Sharp and sophomore Frank Bartley IV. In last year's contest, Sharp caught a pass from his wife and jumped over her for a dunk before the two shared a kiss. Bartley jumped over 6-foot-10 freshman Eric Mika to advance to the final where he ultimately lost to Mika.

Here's a recap of the 2013 Boom Shakalaka Dunk Contest and some of Sharp and Bartley's best dunks.

See Bartley's dunk at the 3:05 mark:

See Bartley's dunk at the 3:08 mark:

Mahina selected as CFPA National Tight End of the Week

Oct 14, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 1:09 pm | Updated: October 14, 2014 1:13 pm | Permalink

Based on his performance in Orlando against UCF, senior Devin Mahina was selected by the College Football Performance Awards as the National Tight End of the Week Monday. 

Mahina hauled in two touchdown receptions 25 seconds apart in the 31-24 overtime loss to UCF. 

The senior's two scores were the most for a BYU tight end since Kaneakua Friel's two touchdown catches in a 30-6 win over Washington State in 2012.

The second of the two Mahina catches capped the quickest scoring drive of the season for the Cougars, taking seven seconds following an interception by Skye PoVey.

Football team travels, preps for UCF

Oct 08, 2014 - Posted by McKay Perry at 10:54 pm | Updated: October 8, 2014 11:45 pm | Permalink

On Wednesday in Orlando, Florida, the BYU football team made its final preparations for the Thursday night game against UCF.

The day actually began with early morning meetings and a practice session in Provo before heading out to catch the team charter flight to Florida. After arriving in Orlando, some coaches spoke with the ESPN broadcast crew before the team departed for the traditional fireside, which was held at the Lake Nona/Hunters Creek Wards Meetinghouse in Orlando.

The team arrived to meet a packed audience for the fireside. The meeting began with senior wide receiver Keanu Nelson, who spoke for the first time at a fireside. Running back Toloa'i Ho Ching followed before wide receiver Mitch Mathews spoke. Ho Ching and Mathews both served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Orlando area. They both served as Spanish-speaking missionaries and served together at times, going on exchanges.

The offensive line presented a special musical number, an arrangement of Secret Prayer and Abide 'Tis Eventide. Tuni Kanuch led the group singing a solo part. A player Q&A followed with players responding to questions such as what they do to feel the spirit, favorite scriptures and about attending BYU versus another school.

Coach Bronco Mendenhall wrapped up the meeting before the team stood and sang "We'll Bring the World His Truth," accompanied by running back Paul Lasike on the piano.

After the fireside, the team hopped on the buses and went down to Bright House Networks Stadium for a walk-through. 

Check out the photos to see more from the day's events.

Quotes from Coach Rose and players after the first practice

Oct 07, 2014 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:49 am | Permalink

Junior guard Chase Fischer

"It’s an honor (to be named a captain). We’ve got so many great guys. Kyle and Tyler are such good leaders. It’s good to be out there with them."

"I think I bring a really vocal aspect. I like to talk a lot. I’m very personable and I like to talk to all the guys. I feel honored to do that. I think that’s kind of my personality just being a leader. Hopefully I can do well for the guys this year."

Junior guard Kyle Collinsworth

"I’m trying to be more of a defensive captain this year. I’m trying to take that responsibility and just trying to step up because if we want to win games and conference championships we have to make sure (we’re playing defense)."

Coach Dave Rose

"I really like the experience of that group (the captains). I think that we could have a mix of leadership here that has been as good as ever with the five seniors."

"They really complement each other. Kyle is a real extroverted player. Ty is just an everyday guy. You know what you’re going to get from him. He just leads by example."

"Everybody has their own leadership style, but what I really like about Chase is that he fits in with everyone. He’s a guy that has a relationship with everyone on the team, no matter if he was a redshirt scout team guy last year or the captain of the team. That’s where Chase can really bring a lot of positive things to this team, from his ability to relate to each guy on this team."

Getting to know Christian Stewart

Oct 07, 2014 - Posted by Rachel Hawks at 10:37 am | Permalink

What is one thing only a few people know about you?

I have no toenail on my pinky toe, my dad tied my baby shoes too tight and they fell off

Why BYU?

I came here for an accounting degree and ended up playing football. I got lucky.

Do you have any pregame rituals?

I listen to the same four songs. Nobody has ever heard of them, “Gotta understand” by Jurassic Five, “Definition” by Black Star, Blue Scholars and Common Market. Nobody knows any of them.

What do you enjoy outside of football?

Outside of football I’m excited about gold. Just got into it this summer and I love it. I’m also excited after the season I have job opportunities lined up, I’m thinking of going out to San Francisco, Tokyo or Switzerland doing investment banking.

What is your favorite football memory?

When we won our bowl game out in New York when I was at Snow College and I was named the MVP of that game.

BYU falls to Utah State, 35-20

Oct 04, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 12:01 am | Permalink

BYU lost its first game of the season, falling 35-20 to Utah State.


BYU junior running back Jamaal Williams ended the game with 99 rush yards on 17 attempts for the Cougars, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. Junior receiver Mitch Mathews recorded eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Jordan Leslie led BYU receivers 135 receiving yards. Before leaving the game in second quarter with an injury, junior quarterback Taysom Hill recorded a touchdown rush and a touchdown pass for the Cougars.


The score remained at 35-17 as Utah State kicker Thompson missed a 44-yard field goal attempt to begin the fourth quarter.


Cougar kicker Trevor Samson made it 35-20, nailing a 24-yard field goal with 8:39 left in the game. Samson improved to 6-6 on his BYU career with the make.


BYU was unable to score following Samson's field goal, and Utah State used its possessions to run time off the clock and preserve its 35-20 win.

BYU down 35-17 after three

Oct 03, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 11:03 pm | Permalink

Replacing injured quarterback Taysom Hill, senior Christian Stewart completed three passes and led BYU into the blue zone before being intercepted at the Utah State two yard line.


After the Cougars forced an Aggie three-and-out, Jamaal Williams rushed for a BYU first down. Three plays later, senior kicker Trevor Samson made a 41-yard field goal to make the score 28-17 in favor of Utah State with 4:28 left on the third quarter clock. Samson maintained his perfect career field goal record (5-5) on the kick.


Utah State used a 56-yard pass from quarterback Darell Garretson to receiver Hunter Sharp to cover most of the distance of its ensuing TD drive, punctuated by a one-yard TD run from running back Nick Vigil. With the PAT, the Aggies extended the lead, 35-17.

BYU trails USU 28-14 at halftime

Oct 03, 2014 - Posted by Jack Urquhart at 10:12 pm | Updated: October 3, 2014 10:16 pm | Permalink

The Cougars capitalized early in the second quarter, punctuating a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Taysom Hill to junior receiver Mitch Mathews. The score marked Mathews' fourth career touchdown against the Aggies and gave BYU a 14-7 lead.


Utah State responded with an 88-yard touchdown drive that took 8:20 off the clock. Quarterback Darell Garretson ran the ball in five yards to tie the game at 14-14.


After a fumble recovery, the Aggies struck again, connecting on a 22-yard TD pass from Garretson to receiver Devon Robinson.


On BYU's ensuing drive, Hill left the game with an ankle injury. The Cougars punted, and Utah State scored another quick touchdown on a 72-yard TD pass from Garretson to receiver Hunter Sharp, giving the Aggies a 28-14 lead at the half.