Chandler Goodwin's All-American finish led BYU's teams to a pair of top 25 placings. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Senior Chandler Goodwin's All-American finish paced BYU's top 20 finishes Monday at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Goodwin finished 46th individually in leading the Cougar men to a No. 22 place, while BYU's women placed No. 25. The senior from Pleasant Grove was awaiting official word of the displacement rule which subtracts foreign runners from the All-American selection.
By the time word reached Goodwin, the blood had dried on right knee after a collision at the six-mile mark in the 10 K race.
"I saw a guy push another runner into the fence and he bounced back, so I put my hand out, but his spike came up and got me in the knee," said Goodwin. It was the second time during the race Goodwin had to dodge the pack.
"He had to demonstrate his steeplechase skill and hurdle a couple of people, that's why he's an All-American in that event," said BYU men's coach Ed Eyestone. Goodwin had a goal of finishing in the top 50 to have a chance of being All-American, but helped his team in the process.
"We took exception to being ranked 27, so to move up five is great," said Eyestone. "We ran an inspired race and we believe Chandler may have been an All-American. This is a solid end to a strong season."
The Cougar women didn't fare as well due to freshman Angela Wagner from South Africa barely finishing the 6K race.
"Everything had been good had Angela had her normal race, but she hyperventilated and it was too late to correct it when I realized what was happening," said BYU women's coach Patrick Shane. "She hadn't had a bad race yet and we've been working on her breathing problem."
Wagner ended up as BYU's sixth runner, out of the scoring as the Cougar women were led by another freshman, Cecily Lemmon.
"Cecily had another solid race, the best she's ever done for us. Katie (Bowen) got out early and finished strong. Jenna (Jensen) ran well the whole race and had her best race of the year."
Lemmon, from Vacaville, Calif., was BYU's most improved runner through the season and placed 65th overall as its top scorer Monday.
"I felt great and strong through the 3K mark," said Lemmon. "I could tell Angela was struggling off the last loop, so I gave it everything I had. I had visualized myself finishing strong."
Behind Goodwin's 35 in team scoring for BYU's men was Brandon Hebbert at 92 , Dustin Bybee at 98, Jacob Gustafsson at 120 and Derek Taylor at 104. Taylor, a senior, will finish this year as a second lieutenant in the Army after being cut three times from the Cougar roster.
Scoring for the Cougar women behind Lemmon's 45 in team scoring was Katie Bowen at 92, Jenna Jensen at 97, Amber Duffin at 122 and Tawny Bybee at 129.
The Cougar men were running inspired due to the influence of transfer Stephan Shay, who's brother Ryan collapsed and died on Nov. 3 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in New York. BYU's men again wore black wristbands which read "Believe in Yourself," Ryan's last words. The Cougar men warmed up on Monday wearing red gloves as did Notre Dame, which read "Ryan Shay."
"Stephans loss of a close family member has been an inspiration to us, but he has helped us from day one," said Eyestone. It was Shay's first complete race for the Cougars in a month and he had run on pace with Goodwin through the mile mark on Monday before shedding the gloves and falling behind.