Cougars Sweep Mountain West Conference Championships

BYU's men's harriers won their fourth consecutive conference championship with the 2001 MWC title. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico -- BYU's men's and women's cross country teams left the rest of the conference in the dust yet again, running away with their third consecutive conference titles at this week's Mountain West Conference championship.

The No. 2 Cougar women's team was simply dominant, with six runners in the top seven and nine of the top 12 finishers.

Senior Tara Northcutt, a two-time All-American, won the individual title in 21:00, beating out teammates Michaela Mannova and Lindsey Thomsen, last year's conference champion.

Northcutt's win earned her conference runner of the year honors, the third consecutive Cougar to win that award.

"Being named runner of the year is a great honor but I really want to focus on the team's performance," Northcutt said. "We ran together as a team today and I got a lot of support from my teammates."

BYU scored only 17 points to win the team title, easily winning over No. 18 Colorado State, who finished with 45 points. Head coach Patrick Shane received coach of the year honors.

Only 13 seconds separated the five scoring runners for the Cougars and there was just 25 seconds between Northcutt and the seventh BYU finisher.

"Our team strategy of staying together is really paying off for us," Shane said. "We practice staying together but it's important to believe you can do it and it's important to do it in a race, especially as we get ready for regionals in two weeks and nationals ."

The race was a little closer on the men's side as the No. 16 Cougars went up against No. 9 Air Force and No. 18 Colorado State.

"We knew Air Force was going to be strong coming in and we thought Colorado State would be," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "It ended up being a two-horse race between us and Colorado State."

The Cougars scored 47 points to win their third Mountain West Conference crown, beating Air Force by seven points.

"I challenged the team to beat any Air Force runners that were around them to the finish line," Eyestone said. "The guys rose to the occasion and beat the Air Force runners to the finish line in almost every instance."

BYU freshman Mark Nevers was named Mountain West Conference freshman of the year after covering the 8K course in 25:08 to finish 18th.

Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championship Results

Men's Team Finish

1. BYU 47

2. Air Force 54

3. Utah 63

4. Colorado State 86

5. New Mexico 87

6. Wyoming 187

Men's Top Ten Individual Finishers

1. Teren Jameson Utah 23:54

2. Matt Gonzales New Mexico 24:19

3. David Romero Air Force 24:29

4. John Hedengren BYU 24:32

5. Ben Payne Air Force 24:33

6. Lewis Jones BYU 24:36

7. Colby Frazier Utah 24:37

8. Andy Carman BYU 24:41

9. Chris Acs Air Force 24:42

10. Ben Ortega New Mexico 24:46

Other BYU Finishers

12. Ammon Larsen 24:56

17. Steve Barrus 25:08

18. Mark Nevers 25:08

29. Tyler Bushnell 25:41

32. Ty Jensen 25:58

40. Ryan Bullock 26:37

BYU Conference Award Winners

Freshman of the Year

Mark Nevers

First Team All-Mountain West Conference

John Hedengren

Lewis Jones

Second Team All-Mountain West Conference

Andy Carman

Ammon Larsen

Women's Team Finish

1. BYU 17

2. Colorado State 45

3. Air Force 113

4. Utah 124

5. New Mexico 139

6. Wyoming 168

7. San Diego State 177

8. UNLV 214

Women's Top Ten Individual Finishers

1. Tara Northcutt BYU 21:00

2. Michaela Mannova BYU 21:03

3. Lindsey Thomsen BYU 21:04

4. Marget Larsen Colorado State 21:09

5. Sarah Taylor BYU 21:11

6. Jessie Kindschi BYU 21:13

7. Nan Evans BYU 21:16

8. Katie Yemm Colorado State 21:23

9. Amy Bair BYU 21:25

10. Colleen Blair Colorado State 21:34

Other BYU Finishers

11. Katie Martin 21:38

12. Jill Rencher 21:42

BYU Conference Award Winners

Runner of the Year

Tara Northcutt

Coach of the Year

Patrick Shane

First Team All-Mountain West Conference

Tara Northcutt

Michaela Mannova

Lindsey Thomsen

Sarah Taylor

Jessie Kindschi

Nan Evans

Second Team All-Mountain West Conference

Amy Bair

Katie Martin

Jill Rencher

Tags: Results