Men's Cross Country 2006 Season Review

Josh Rohatinsky ended his collegiate career with a first place finish at the NCAA National Championships (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men's cross country season ended on a couple of high notes as Josh Rohatinsky finished first in the national championship race, helping lead his team to an 11th place finish.

A senior from Provo, Utah, Rohatinsky finished first in all five races he competed in this season. Earning his third All-America honor in cross country he was also named National Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Following the team's winning performance at the Mountain West Conference Championships, four Cougars received First-Team All-MWC honors including Rohatinsky, Chandler Goodwin, Kyle Perry and Dustin Bybee. Jacob Gustafsson and Alden Bahr were awarded Second-Team honors. This marked the Cougars' ninth conference title in ten seasons.

At the same meet Bahr was named MWC Freshman of the Year and head coach Ed Eyestone was recognized as Coach of the Year for the fourth time.

2006 BYU Autumn Classic

The men won their 4-mile race with 21 points and were led by Rohatinsky, who competed in his last home meet. Coach Eyestone was proud of his senior's performance.

"This was Josh Rohatinsky's last home cross country meet, and he wanted to make a good showing," said Eyestone. "I'm excited to work with him and have a good senior season."

Rounding out the top five for the men were Dan Hinckley (2), Goodwin (3), Perry (7) and Bybee (8).

2006 Sacramento State Invitational

Goodwin led his team to a perfect score of 15 points with a time of 24:38 in the 8k. BYU placed 12 runners in the top 15 and claimed the top six spots.

Eyestone was very proud of the effort put forth by his runners in the absence of senior Rohatinsky, who did not participate in the meet.

"Chandler had a great win; that was really nice," said Eyestone.

2006 Bill Dellinger Invitational

After sitting out of the previous meet, Rohatinsky captured the top spot, leading his team to third place.

Rohatinsky led the No. 11 Cougars with his time of 22:58.37. Behind him was Goodwin (12), Gustafsson (25), Bybee (30) and Perry (34).

"Rohatinsky had an incredible race," said Eyestone. "He showed that he definitely is one of the contenders for national championship honors."

2006 NCAA Pre-National

The No. 9 men's team was led by Goodwin (21) to a ninth place finish in the White Race.

The team ran without their top performer, senior Rohatinsky. Though he made the trip, a last minute decision was made to keep him out of the race due to a sore muscle in his lower leg.

"We decided to play it safe and hold him out," said Eyestone. "It made a difference of about 80 points. I told the guys that there are two things you can do in a situation like this: either step up to the occasion and run well or crumble. I think they ran well."

Without the help of Rohatinsky, Goodwin led his team with a time of 24:02.4, placing 21st. He was followed by Bybee (24:28.2), Gustafsson (24:38.1), Perry (24:38.9) and Tyrel Jensen (24:48.0).

The men's team was also represented in the Men's Open Race by four runners. Bahr was the top finisher with a 12th place finish and a time of 24:55.

2006 MWC Championships

The BYU Cougars retained their conference titles at the Mountain West Conference Championship at Rose Park Golf Course in Salt Lake City.

With top runner Rohatinsky back from injury the men's team brought home its seventh conference title in eight years. Winning the 8k race with a time of 23:58.6, he earned himself MWC Runner of the Year honors.

"The team ran up to our expectations," said Eyestone. "It was a strong dominating performance that I knew we were capable of doing."

Perry finished third overall and had probably the best race of the team. Also in the top seven for the Cougars was Goodwin (6), Bybee (7), Gustafsson (10), Bahr (11) and Brandon Hebbert (19).

2006 NCAA Mt. Regional

The BYU men's overall score of 67 points placed them behind No. 2 Colorado (59) to finish in second place. No. 4 UTEP finished third with 86 points.

"The guys ran very well," said Eyestone. "They had a good performance, which exceeded my expectations."

Once again Rohatinsky led the Cougars with his stellar performance. With a time of 29:51.6, he had a first place finish, four seconds ahead of North Arizona's Joseph Lomong. Rohatinsky earned MWC weekly honors for his performance.

Rounding out the top five for the men was Perry (10), Gustafsson (17), Bybee (18) and Goodwin (21). These five runners were also awarded All-Region honors.

"What ultimately made the difference for our team was having our third, fourth and fifth guys finish so close to one another," said Eyestone. "Not only that, but all of our top five runners received All-Region honors. That's what I'm most proud of."

2006 NCAA National Championships

Senior Rohatinsky earned his third All-America honor, as he finished first overall in the men's 10K race at the NCAA National Championships held in Terre Haute, Ind.

"Josh had a phenomenal performance," said Eyestone. "He was patient and spotted well. We've known all year long that he's an amazing athlete, so it's nice to see it materialize here."

Rohatinsky finished the race with a time of 30:45 followed by Goodwin (32:22), Perry (32:41), Gustafsson (32:42) and Hebbert (33:38).

"This race was icing on the cake for us," said Eyestone. "Our guys put forth a really strong effort. I'm proud of them."

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