Josh Rohatinsky placed first at Pre-National Meet leading the Cougars to a second place finish. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
TERRE HAUTE -- Josh Rohatinsky placed first and led No. 4 BYU to a second place finish in the men's Blue Race at the Pre-National Meet on Saturday.
The No. 4 Cougar women's team also had a strong showing tying for a fourth place in their Blue Race.
"Josh ran incredibly well," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "He showed a lot of race savvy. The pace felt easy for him, and then when needed to he made the move to steal the victory."
Rohatinsky set the course record with a time of 23:31. The record only stood for about 35 minutes when the men's White Race winner, Josh McDougal from Liberty, set a new record with a time of 23:12. The course is the same course where Nationals will be run and it also played host to last year's Pre-National and National meets.
The men's second place finish out of 33 teams came behind No. 5 Stanford. Because so many teams entered the meet, it had to be broken up into two separate races (Blue and White). No 3 Colorado came away with the victory in the white race followed by No. 7 Notre Dame.
Eyestone said he was pleased with the way his team performed on Saturday.
"The team ran well, Stanford just ran better," he said. "I was really pleased with our gaps, we had a pretty tight knit group between two and five. There was only about 16 seconds between them. Now we just have to tighten the gap in that chunk between one and two. All-and-all it was a great performance."
Dustin Bybee was the second BYU runner to cross the finish line with a 33rd place finish and a time of 24:22. He was followed by Nick McCombs (40-24:28), Chandler Goodwin (45-24:31) and Josh McAdams (55-24:38).
In addition to the Blue Race, the men were represented in the Men's Open Race where the team captured another second place finish. Jason Dorais led the way with a seventh place finish and a time of 24:58.
The women's fourth place tie with No. 9 North Carolina State out of 35 teams came behind No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 13 Columbia.
Women's head coach Patrick Shane said there were some real positive points in the race but he saw some areas that need improvement.
"I am pleased with some of the race but I realize we have some work to do to be ready for nationals," he said. "I think we'll be alright. We just have to sit down as a team and refocus, and make our minds up that we want to be better then we are right now."
The Cougars were led once again by senior Chelsea Smith McKell, who Shane said ran a solid race, placing 11th with a time of 20:37. She was followed by Heidi Magill (32-21:00), Breanne Sandberg (49-21:23), Amy Fowler (53-21:26) and Jocelyn Gardner (64-21:35).
"Breanne and Amy ran together just about the entire race," Shane said. "That was real solid and we like that."
The women's team was also represented in the Women's Open Race with four runners. Anne Marie Thomas was the top finisher with a seventh place finish and a time of 21:53. Kristen Ogden was close behind placing 10th.
Both teams are off next week as they prepare for the Mountain West Conference Championships on Saturday, October 29, in Fort Collins, Colo.
MEN'S BLUE RACE
1 Josh Rohatinsky 23:31
33 Dustin Bybee 24:22
40 Nick McCombs 24:28
45 Chandler Goodwin 24:31
55 Josh McAdams 24:38
106 Jacob Gustafsson 25:07
133 Tyrel Jensen 25:20
MEN'S OPEN RACE
2 Jason Dorais 24:58
5 Brett Andrus 25:19
14 Mark Nevers 25:43
22 Miles Batty 25:56
39 Derek Taylor 26:44
WOMEN'S BLUE RACE
11 Chelsea McKell 20:37
32 Heidi MaGill 21:00
49 Breanne Sandberg 21:23
53 Amy Fowler 21:26
64 Jocelyn Gardner 21:35
78 Anne Heiner 21:45
185 Amber Harper 23:07
WOMEN'S OPEN RACE
7 Ann Marie Thomas 21:53
10 Kristen Ogden 22:09
16 Amber Duffin 22:18
46 Allison Passey 22:52