BYU men's cross country head coach Ed Eyestone received his first Mountain Region Coach of the Year award after his team took first at the meet. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU men’s cross country coach Ed Eyestone and several Cougar runners were honored by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for their performances at the NCAA Mountain Regional held Nov. 14 in Albuquerque, N.M.
Eyestone has been selected as the 2009 Mountain Region Men’s Coach of the Year after guiding his No.5-ranked team to a first-place finish at the meet, edging then No. 5 Colorado by a score of 54-55 and beating ranked teams Northern Arizona and Mountain West Conference champion New Mexico.
"The award typically goes to the head coach of the team that wins the meet," Eyestone said. "The guys rose up and met the challenge - it was them who earned this award."
Marking the first time the men’s team has won the Mountain Regional under Eyestone, the award is a first for the 10-year head coach. Eyestone has been named the MWC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year six times as a result of leading the Cougars to nine of 11 conference championships.
In addition to Eyestone’s honor, several Cougar runners from both the men’s and women’s teams received All-Region recognition for their strong performances at the meet.
Miles Batty, So., Sandy, UT
Batty came in second place at the event, running the 10K race in 30:03 behind Northern Arizona runner David McNeill. He was able to beat New Mexico’s Jacob Kirwa, who won the MWC Championship race by one second over him. He has led BYU in every race during the 2009 season.
Richard Nelson, Sr., Spokane, WA
The senior came in ninth place at the meet with a time of 30:38 and improved by 11 spots from his junior-year mark at the regional event. A 3,000-meter steeplechase All-American from the 2009 outdoor track season, he also had an impressive fifth-place finish at the MWC Championships.
Brandon Hebbert, Sr., Alpine, UT
Hebbert came in 12th place at the meet, the best regional finish of his BYU career to help solidify the victory for the team. Other highlights from the year include an 11th-place finish at the MWC Championships and fourth place at the UC Riverside Invitational.
Tommy Gruenewald, So., Manlius, NY
A second-year runner for BYU after transferring from Stanford, the sophomore came in 15th place at the regional, improving 16 spots from his freshman year finish. He also arrived in 15th place at the MWC Championships.
Nate Ogden, Jr., Chico, CA
The junior came in 16th place overall at the event, an improvement of 13 marks from his sophomore year at the regional. Ogden also had impressive performances at the MWC Championships where he came in seventh place overall and a fifth-place finish at the UC Riverside Invitational.
Alden Bahr, So., Orem, UT
Recently returned from a 2-year LDS mission, Bahr came in 20th place at the Mountain Regional and ninth place at the MWC Championships. He also helped the Cougars to a strong performance at the Bill Dellinger Invitational where he came in 19th place overall.
Cecily Lemmon-Lew, Jr., Vacaville, CA
The junior has led BYU in every race she has competed in, finishing in first or second place overall in every event. At the Mountain Regional, she finished in second place only to Colorado’s Jenny Barringer, who was recently named the NCAA Division I Athlete of the Year. She came in first place at the MWC Championships, winning by 23 seconds and earning the MWC Women’s Athlete of the Year award.
Katy Andrews, So., Encinitas, CA
Came in 12th place overall at the Mountain Regional, a 15-spot improvement from her freshman year finish at the event. She earned a 6th–place mark at the MWC Championships, giving her All-MWC First Team honors. Andrews also arrived in first place at the Bob Firman Invitational in Eagle, ID.
Angela Wagner, Sr., Pretoria, South Africa
Wagner came in 18th place at the event, another solid performance following a 10th-place mark at the MWC Championships where she was named to the All-MWC Second Team. In 2008, she was the MWC Women’s Athlete of the Year and competed individually at the NCAA Championships.