Senior Kyle Perry finished 10th overall at the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind. Perry came in first for the Cougars, who finished ninth of 31 teams. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
TERRE HAUTE -- It was a top-10 finish for the BYU men’s cross country team as it came in ninth at the NCAA National Championships in Terre Haute, Ind.
Senior Kyle Perry earned his third All-American title, while junior Angela Wagner, the lone representative for the women’s team, dropped out of the race due to a medical condition of exercise-induced asthma.
“The team ran really well today,” said BYU men’s head cross country coach Ed Eyestone. “We were ranked 16th coming into the race, and our team stepped up and really showed we could bring some competition. It’s great to end with a strong team race. Kyle really put his head where it needed to be and ran the best cross country race of his life”
Coming in 10th out of 255 runners in the men’s 10K overall, Perry finished first for the Cougars with his best race of the season, 29:46.1.
“Coach really helped me peak at the perfect time of the season,” said Perry. “Having a coach be able to prepare you at the right time is so important. Everything goes toward this race and it was a great finish. I just tried to keep myself focused because I was competing against the best and wanted to finish strong.”
To take the No. 10 spot, Perry out-leaned the No. 11 finisher Patrick Smyth, running for Notre Dame, who finished in 29.47.2. Smyth, a Utah native, went to Judge Memorial, and ran alongside another Judge Memorial graduate, Luke Puskedra, who placed fifth running for Oregon, with a time of 29:27.
Perry’s 10th place finish is the best Cougar finish since Josh Rohatinsky in 2006. Other than Rohatinsky, Perry’s finish is the best since his coach’s, Eyestone, in 1982-1984.
Following behind Perry, finishing 50th overall was senior Stephan Shay with a time of 30:34. After him was senior Jacob Gustafsson, 95th, with a time of 30:46, Dan Hinckley, 84th, in 30:58 and junior Ryan Merriman, 102nd, closing in the top five for the Cougars with a time of 31:06.
Junior Rich Nelson finished 120th in 31:17, followed by Nate Ogden, 165th, with a final time of 31:50.
“Our team motto this year has been Juntos meaning ‘together’,” said Ogden. “Everything we’ve done this season has been to improve as a team and we knew that in this race we needed to go out and get it done. It was really fun to run well and accomplish what we wanted to accomplish.”
Placing ninth overall with team score of 310, the Cougars were behind Oregon (93 points), Iona (147 points), Stanford (227 points), Wisconsin (229 points), Auburn (264 points), Northern Arizona (281 points), Portland (293 points) and Oklahoma State (305 points).
Unfortunately for the BYU women’s team, Wagner was forced to pull herself from the race after the first mile as her inhaler failed to work adequately in the cold rainy conditions.
“Sometimes the weather really messes things up for this condition,” said BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “I was sad Angela didn’t get to finish the race, but when you can’t breath it’s kind of hard to keep going. I’m very proud of everything she accomplished this year. She’ll just have to wait one for year for another shot at earning All-American in cross country.”
NCAA Cross Country Men's Championships
1. Oregon 93
2. Iona 147
3. Stanford 227
4. Wisconsin 229
5. Auburn 264
6. No. Arizona 281
7. Portland 293
8. Oklahoma St. 305
9. BYU 310
10. Georgetown 319
1. Galen Rupp, Oregon 29:03.2
2. Samuel Chelanga, Liberty 29:08.0
3. Andrew Ledwith, Iona 29:25.4
4. David Kinsella, Portland 29:26.5
5. Luke Puskedra, Oregon 29:27.8
6. Mohamed Khadraoui, Iona 29:29.3
7 Chris Derrick, Stanford 29:29.4
8. John Kosgei, Oklahoma State 29:32.4
9. Shadrac Kiptoo-Biwott, Oregon 29:43.4
10. Kyle Perry, BYU 29:46.1
11. Patrick Smyth, Notre Dame 29:47.2
BYU Top 20 Individual Performers
1-Josh Rohatinsky, 2006
1-Ed Eyestone, 1984
6-Josh Rohatinsky, 2005
7-Paul Cummings, 1975
8-Ed Eyestone, 1982
8-Richard Reid, 1972
9-Ed Eyestone, 1983
10-Kyle Perry, 2008
11-Benton Hart, 1977
11-Bob Delaney, 1965
12-Jason Pyrah, 1991
13-Dick Krenzer, 1964
15-Doug Padilla, 1980
17-Arthur Redhair, 1976