TERRE HAUTE -- Wrapping up the 2010 season, the No. 15 BYU men’s cross country team put on a strong showing despite winds of 20 miles per hour with an 18th place finish at the NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. on Monday.
“Our expectations are always high and we were optimistic,” BYU men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Finishing 18th out of 300 or so Division I programs isn’t too bad.”
The Cougars finish the 2010 season with another solid national performance, their 11th consecutive top 25 finish. With 414 points, BYU fell to Oklahoma State who took home its second consecutive title with 73 points.
Junior Miles Batty paced the Cougars, leading the pack with a 10K time of 30:09.4, good enough for 15th place overall. The Sandy native led BYU in each race this season, capping his junior campaign with All-America honors for finishing in the top 40 of 246 total athletes in the race.
"Top 15 was one of my individual goals but as a team I wish we could have done a little better," Batty said. "It is kind of bittersweet for me."
Batty’s finish was the highest since Kyle Perry finished 10th in 2008. Next season as a senior, Batty will have one more chance to bring a title home to BYU. Josh Rohatinsky last won an individual championship in 2006. Junior Alden Bahr finished second for the Cougars and 48th overall in a time of 30:36.6.
“Miles (Batty) and Alden (Bahr) brought their A-game today,” Eyestone said. “As a team we are really happy for them.”
Senior Nate Ogden finished his collegiate career with an 106th place finish in a time of 31:14.5. Freshman Jared Ward finished 151st in 31:35.5, junior Travis Fuller in 183rd with a time of 32:00, sophomore Rex Shields took 194th in 32:03.5 and another senior, Jon Kotter finished his last race in 211th with a time of 32:27.7.
Junior Kate Bowen represented the BYU women’s cross country team at championships, coming away with a 61st place finish in 21:04.1.
“Kate (Bowen) ran a really great race today,” BYU women's head coach Patrick Shane said. “The pack stayed tight for most of the race and she stuck right in there. She represented our team and the university well.”
Bowen was the top runner for the Cougars for the entire 2010 season and will return next season in hopes of improving on her performance at the National Championships.
“I did not start as well as I should have today,” Bowen said. “I have not been able to have a strong finish this season either, so that is a little bit frustrating. I did run a pretty even race today and maintained my position well until the final push.”
This marks the end of the 2010 NCAA cross country season. Several BYU cross country runners will compete on the Cougar track and field team starting in January.