(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- For the 11th consecutive season, the BYU men’s cross country team finished ranked in the top 25. The No. 18 Cougars also finished second in the Mountain West Conference for the 2010 season.
“The season was very solid,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Teams that consistently make it to the NCAA Championships are required to be very good.”
Batty had a stellar junior campaign where he led the Cougars in every race throughout the season. The 6-foot Sandy native took home three first place finishes and three more in the top five. He added three MWC Athlete of the Week awards along with MWC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year and a first team All-MWC selection. A 15th place finish at the NCAA National Championships earned him All-America honors.
“Batty was a consistent No. 1 guy,” Eyestone said. “He was very strong all year long.”
Freshman Jared Ward earned first team All-MWC honors for his third place finish 25:13.1 at the MWC Championships and an All-Region selection for finishing in 15th place at the Mountain Region Championships in a 10K time of 30:37.
Two other standout freshmen had good years for BYU with Conner Peloquin and Ben Johnston turning in solid performances. Peloquin finished 29th at the MWC Championships with an 8K time of 26:29.0 while Johnston finished 36th in 26:57.7.
Seniors Nathan Ogden and Jon Kotter concluded their collegiate careers with strong finishes at the NCAA National Championships with 106th and 211th place finishes, respectively. Bahr showed his potential with a 48th place finish in a 10K time of 30:36.6. Fellow junior Travis Fuller also ran well, turning in a time of 32:00 and sophomore Rex Shields finishing with a 32:03.5 right behind him.
BYU Autumn Classic
With 24 points, the Cougars took their first race of the season over Minnesota and San Bernadino College. Batty won the 6K with a time of 19:49.9. Seven BYU harriers finished in the top 10 overall with Shields in third, Bahr in fifth, Jared Rohatinsky in seventh, Kotter in eigth, Ogden in ninth and Josh Adams in 10th.
UC Riverside Invitational
After a two-week break, the men were back in action in California, winning their second race of the 2010 season with 26 points. The Cougars finished with three of the top five overall finishers to secure the victory. Batty came in first place with an 8K time of 23:52. Shields took third place with Bahr finishing fifth. Kotter finished 11th while Rohatinsky nabbed 14th to round out BYU’s scorers. The trio of freshmen Aaron Fletcher, Cody Helbling and Johnston all ran well, finishing 15th, 21st and 23rd overall.
Roy Griak Invitational
Going up against nationally ranked programs for the first time of the 2010 season, BYU finished in fourth place with 118 points. It wasn’t the Cougars best race with a few athletes feeling under the weather, but BYU managed to do well. Batty finished in third place with a time of 24:15 with Sheilds and Ogden coming in 23rd and 24th overall.
BYU took home a second place finish, beating several ranked teams at the Pre-Nationals Invitational. Batty took fifth overall with a time of 23:42.4. He came into the race with a severe sore throat but still managed run well for the Cougars. Ogden finished second for the team and 21st overall (24:12.6), followed by Bahr (24:19.9), Fuller (24:26.7) and Ward (24:29.7).
Mountain West Conference Championships
Despite an individual championship from Batty, the Cougars couldn’t overtake New Mexico, earning second place at the MWC Championships. Batty earned the title of MWC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year after his win, while Ward finished third overall in a time of 25:13.1 for an impressive finish. The top two finishers for the Cougars garnered All-MWC first team honors while Ogden earned second team All-MWC with a 10th place finish.
Mountain Region Championships
The Cougars won the regional meet in 2009 but came up short this year, finishing third overall with 80 points. Batty impressed again with a runner-up finish in a time of 29:30.1, with the rest of BYU’s top five finishing in the top 27 overall. The team used this meet as a barometer to see where they needed to improve heading into the NCAA Championships.
On a windy day featuring gusts of over 20 miles per hour, the Cougars finished 18th at the NCAA Championships. With all the top teams in the country, BYU showcased its talent with Batty earning All-America honors for his 15th place finish in a time of 30:09.4. Bahr just missed out on being named the Cougar’s second All-American, finishing 48th overall, needing a top 40 performance for the award.
Looking ahead to the 2011 season, BYU enters a new conference, the West Coast Conference, featuring No. 13 Portland. The Cougars return Batty as a senior, along with a bevy of talent including a promising new freshmen class.