Coming off a 12th place finish at the national championships in 2001, BYU men's cross country team is poised for another high finish in 2002. They have established themselves as a national contender by winning the Mountain West Conference Championship three years in a row.
Coach Ed Eyestone is enthusiastic about this year's team because of the depth of talent. Eyestone believes they can be a top six team. With the loss of All-American John Hedengren, this year the team will look to seniors Lewis Jones and Andy Carman and junior Steve Barrus to fill the void.
Transfers David Woodbury and Kip Kangogo will also bring more depth to the men's team. Woodbury is a transfer from Ricks College and was the junior college 10,000 champion last year. Kangogo, a transfer from Lethbridge Community College in Canada, placed 12th at the Canadian nationals in cross country last year and finished second in the 1,500 at the Canadian national track meet. Also, coming off a redshirt year will be Matt Adams, Chad Durham and Nate Robison.
The team's first big meet will be September 28 at the Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. They look to improve on last year's 10th place finish as they face off with several teams from outside their region.
The Cougars will work throughout the season to build strength with a climax at the national championships.
"People now recognize that we'll get there every year," says Eyestone. "In the past only every couple of years we would go to nationals; now the guys expect it." He says their goal is not just to go to nationals and enjoy being there, but now they expect to do well.
The NCAA National Championship meet will be November 25 at Terra Haute, Indiana.