(Photo by BYU Photo)
The No. 4 BYU men’s cross country team won the Utah Open behind strong performances from Jonathan Nelson and Tylor Thatcher Friday afternoon at Murray Park in Salt Lake City.
“It was a good outing,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Jonathan was able to demonstrate good finishing speed and has really closed the gap, and Thatcher is Mr. Consistency.”
The Cougars ended with 28 points. Boise State came in second place with 34 points.
Nelson took first overall in the 6k race with a time of 18:58.7 in his first meet since 2009. He redshirted in 2012 after completing a two-year LDS mission.
“It felt great,” Nelson said. “I didn’t expect that at all. It’s really nice to run with such good teammates and having Tylor at the front really helped.”
Thatcher, recently voted team captain, finished second overall with a time of 19:02.4.
“This was a good race to get the rust off the joints and help us get to used to the feel of a race,” Thatcher said. “Nelson ran great, I think he will do a lot for our team this year.”
Dylan Shawhan was the next Cougar to finish, ending up in eighth place overall with a time of 19:20.2. Aaron Fletcher finished ninth overall with a time of 19:28.3 and Taylor Farnsworth was the last scoring Cougar, finishing in 11th place with a time of 19:32.2.
Thomas Gruenewald finished in 19:52.2 and James Tracy in 19:59.8, good enough for 15th and 16th place respectively.
Official results can be found here.
The Cougars will host the Autumn Classic this next Saturday at the Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex. Among the teams competing will be conference rival University of Portland.