Cougars Dominate Inaugural Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Cougars Dominate Inaugural Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships

PROVO, Utah (October 29) - Led by conference athletes of the year Elizabeth Jackson and John Hedengren, the No. 3 Cougar women and No. 13 men ran away with the first-ever Mountain West Conference titles. It was nothing new for the women, who have won 12 consecutive conference titles. The men picked up their third-straight conference championship.

In a race that scores only the top five runners from each team, the women finished in positions one through fiveto achieve a "perfect score" of 15, the lowest possible total in a cross country meet. "In the 20 years that I have coached, this is the first time that I have ever seen a perfect score in a major meet and the first time BYU has done it," said Coach Patrick Shane, who was named the conference's Coach of the Year. "I'm pleasantly surprised by the sweep. We've run in a lot of conference meets and have won them all, but this win is the best I've seen," said Shane.

No. 22 Colorado State was next on the women's side with 58 points. The Rams were led by junior Elizabeth Roodell, the first non-Cougar to cross the finish line(6th place, 17:46). They were followed byAir Force's 111 points (Rachel Smith, 11th, 18:22), UNLV with 128 points (Jenni Nelson, 19th, 18:58), San Diego State at 146 (Sophia Hawker, 16th, 18:36), Utah at 156 (Johanna Nielsen, 7th, 17:48), Wyoming at 159 (Jennifer Vessa, 22nd, 19:04) and New Mexico with 185 points (Jackie Morgan, 17th, 18:50).

Senior Elizabeth Jackson won the individual title in a time of 17:16, followed closely by Kara Ormond in 17:17. Tara Rohatinsky took third place in 17:31, followed by Laura Heiner (17:35) and Sharolyn Shields (17:36). "I just wanted to go out and stay with the leaders," said Jackson, a three-time cross country All-American. " It was a little hard to keep up the pace with no one in front of me, but I felt like I was kicking as hard as I could right in to the finish line." Freshman Sarah Ellett continued to impress, finishing in eighth place in 18:04, which was enough to earn her conference Freshman of the Year honors for 1999.

The menhad a champion of their own in junior John Hedengren, who fought off a late surge by Colorado State's All-American Bryan Berryhill to finish first for the Cougars in 24:38. "I knew I'd have to make a move early because there were some good sprinters out there," said Hedengren. "It feels great; this conference is a fresh start and I feel this team has a lot of potential heading into nationals."

The men finished with a team score of 34 points, ahead of Air Force with 58 points, led by Jim Nelson (7th place, 25:36). No. 15 Utah finished in third position with 70 points (Chris Merkley, 3rd, 24:41), followed by Colorado State's 82 points (Bryan Berryhill, 2nd, 24:39), Wyoming at 135 (Greg Schabron, 9th, 25:46) and New Mexico with 163 (Louis Cuellar, 28th, 26:49).

"Our depth really helped us today," said men's head coach Sherald James. "I knew it was going to be tough. We ran better than I expected and I am super pleased with the results. I was running, heart and soul, right with them. John [Hedengren] ran a super race. Berryhill is one of the best in the U.S., so John made sure he wasn't in striking distance."

Hedengren finished first for the Cougars for the fourth time in four meets this year, covering the eight-kilometer course in 24:38. Randon Richards was the No. 2 runner for BYU in 5th place (25:11), followed by Marc Lawson (25:25). Freshman David Danley put another stamp on his breakout season with a 10th-place finish (25:49). The effort was enough to earn Danley the conference's Freshman of the Year honor. Nathan Harrison, running in his first meet of the season, was a surprising 12th-place finisher for the Cougars in 25:53 to round out the team scoring.

Cougar confidence is riding high heading into BYU's next meet, the Mountain Regionals in Fort Collins, Colo., Nov. 13. The meet will serve as a qualifier for the NCAA Championships, to be held Nov. 22 in Bloomington, Ind.

Mens 8K

1. John Hedengren So Brigham Young 24:38.3 1

2. Bryan Berryhill Jr Colorado State 24:39.4 2

3. Chris Merkley Sr Utah 24:41.8 3

4. Travis Hildebrand Sr Utah 25:06.5 4

5. Randon Richards Sr Brigham Young 25:11.4 5

6. Marc Lawson Sr Brigham Young 25:25.6 6

7. Jim Nelson Sr Air Force 25:36.2 7

8. Joe Monaco Jr Air Force 25:38.4 8

9. Greg Schabron Sr Wyoming 25:46.9 9

10. David Danley Fr Brigham Young 25:49.4 10

11. Ryan O'Hara Sr Air Force 25:52.3 11

12. Nathan Harrison Jr Brigham Young 25:53.2 12

13. Matt Poulsen Sr Brigham Young 25:55.1 13

14. Rob Vermillion So Colorado State 25:59.1 14

15. Patrick Shanahan Sr Air Force 26:05.3 15

16. Teren Jameson So Utah 26:06.2 16

17. Shane Rogers Jr Air Force 26:10.2 17

18. Perry Griffith Fr Air Force 26:11.2 18

19. Gabe Olchin Fr Colorado State 26:11.5 19

20. Brian Carpenter So Air Force 26:12.1 20

21. Phil Stoddard Jr Utah 26:15.5 21

22. Paul McNeely Fr Colorado State 26:25.1 22

23. Trevor Pettingill Jr Brigham Young 26:25.4 23

24. Chris Jons Jr Wyoming 26:27.4 24

25. Reagan Robb Fr Colorado State 26:30.1 25

26. Lion Gallegos So Utah 26:36.2 26

27. Gary Wilson Jr Brigham Young 26:46.3 -

28. Louis Cuellar Fr New Mexico 26:49.4 27

29. Dylan Olchin Fr Colorado State 26:50.6 28

30. Zach Richter So Air Force 26:50.9 -

31. Adam Stark Jr Utah 26:59.2 29

32. Travis Clark So New Mexico 27:03.8 30

33. Cody Brown So Wyoming 27:10.1 31

34. Todd Disney Jr Wyoming 27:11.3 32

35. Joe Lopez Jr Air Force 27:12.6 -

36. Pontus Osterberg Fr New Mexico 27:13.6 33

37. Nicholas McCombs Fr Brigham Young 27:14.5 -

38. Mike Strauss Jr Utah 27:19.2 34

39. Chris Gartz Fr Utah 27:27.8 -

40. Bill Michel Fr Colorado State 27:28.8 35

41. Joseph Lopez Fr New Mexico 27:30.4 36

42. Scott Connors So New Mexico 28:00.9 37

43. John Austin Fr New Mexico 28:14.9 38

44. Nathan McLeland Sr Wyoming 28:16.6 39

45. Larry Stanley Sr Utah 28:28.3 -

46. Matthew Mizell Fr New Mexico 28:33.3 40

47. Dennis Naranjo Fr New Mexico 28:50.5 -

48. Paul Rigsby So Wyoming 28:55.6 41

Team Results - Men

1. Brigham Young 1, 5, 6, 10, 12 = 34

2. Air Force 7, 8, 11, 15, 17 = 58

3. Utah 3, 4, 16, 21, 26 = 70

4. Colorado State 2, 14, 19, 22, 25 = 82

5. Wyoming 9, 24, 31, 32, 39 = 135

6. New Mexico 27, 30, 33, 36, 37 = 163

Womens 5K

1. Elizabeth Jackson Sr Brigham Young 17:16.2 1

2. Kara Ormond Sr Brigham Young 17:17.4 2

3. Tara Rohatinsky So Brigham Young 17:31.0 3

4. Laura Heiner So Brigham Young 17:35.6 4

5. Sharolyn Shields Jr Brigham Young 17:36.4 5

6. Elizabeth Roodell Jr Colorado State 17:46.9 6

7. Johanna Nielsen Sr Utah 17:48.4 7

8. Sarah Ellett Fr Brigham Young 18:04.6 8

9. Lindsay Nadauld Sr Brigham Young 18:17.4 9

10. Sherida Rogers Fr Brigham Young 18:21.5 -

11. Rachel Smith Sr Air Force 18:22.4 10

12. Tara Haynes Jr Brigham Young 18:26.5 -

13. Marisa Keefe Jr Colorado State 18:28.9 11

14. Christy Virgin So Colorado State 18:34.1 12

15. Jeanie Crist Sr Colorado State 18:35.1 13

16. Sophia Hawker Jr San Diego State 18:36.1 14

17. Jackie Morgan So New Mexico 18:50.7 15

18. Marget Larson Fr Colorado State 18:53.7 16

19. Jenni Nelson Jr UNLV 18:58.6 17

20. Jennifer Stakiw Fr San Diego State 19:01.2 18

21. Heather Johnson Sr Air Force 19:03.6 19

22. Jennifer Vessa Fr Wyoming 19:04.2 20

23. Kelly Schumacher Jr Colorado State 19:09.3 21

24. Katie Barto Jr UNLV 19:10.2 22

25. Jaime Flood Jr Air Force 19:12.8 23

26. Amy Hill Sr Wyoming 19:21.0 24

27. Erin Cunningham Jr Colorado State 19:24.1 25

28. Stephanie Fry Fr Air Force 19:32.2 26

29. Stephanie Davidson Sr UNLV 19:33.1 27

30. Ashlee Othick So New Mexico 19:35.4 28

31. Daisy Freedman Fr Utah 19:36.8 29

32. Rhonda Kilfoyle Fr UNLV 19:39.2 30

33. Alicia Stewart Fr San Diego State 19:40.7 31

34. Kathryn Goetz Sr UNLV 19:45.4 32

35. Sarah Malberg Fr Air Force 19:50.8 33

36. Sara Kinney So Air Force 19:55.2 34

37. Toni Berryhill Colorado State 19:57.6 -

38. Stephanie Hanks Fr Wyoming 20:00.1 35

39. Anya Oceanak So Colorado State 20:03.7 -

40. Julie Osguthorpe Fr Utah 20:05.7 36

41. Lanele Cox Fr San Diego State 20:10.8 37

42. Cyndee Vincent Fr Air Force 20:11.9 38

43. Lisa Jones Jr Wyoming 20:13.6 39

44. Trina Bateman Fr Utah 20:17.7 40

45. Tracy Denaro Fr Air Force 20:19.9 -

46. Tara LaMay So Wyoming 20:22.0 41

47. Sharlene Downing Sr UNLV 20:29.7 42

48. Dalia Wenckus Jr Air Force 20:32.6 -

49. Maria Andersson So New Mexico 20:36.8 43

50. Jennifer Osguthorpe Fr Utah 20:38.0 44

51. Paula Lechner Jr UNLV 20:41.0 45

52. Maria Moreno Jr San Diego State 20:43.3 46

53. Lauren Adams Jr Utah 20:50.7 47

54. Kimberly Weaver Fr New Mexico 20:51.1 48

55. Darby Goodspeed Jr Wyoming 20:51.7 49

56. Adriana Acero Jr San Diego State 20:57.1 50

57. Jennifer Filip Fr New Mexico 21:09.1 51

58. Ashley Luna Fr San Diego State 21:20.7 52

59. Jola Wallowing-Bull Fr Wyoming 21:24.0 53

60. Kim Eldredge So Utah 22:21.3 54

61. Shawnele Cox Jr San Diego State 23:19.2 -

Team Results - Women

1. Brigham Young 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 = 15

2. Colorado State 6, 11, 12, 13, 16 = 58

3. Air Force 10, 19, 23, 26, 33 = 111

4. Nevada-Las Vegas 17, 22, 27, 30, 32 = 128

5. San Diego State 14, 18, 31, 37, 46 = 146

6. Utah 7, 29, 36, 40, 44 = 156

7. Wyoming 20, 24, 35, 39, 41 = 159

8. New Mexico 15, 28, 43, 48, 51 = 185