The No. 23 BYU women's team had an impressive fourth-place finish among some of the best cross country programs in the nation at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational.
PROVO -- Hard work and preparation paid off for the BYU cross country teams as the men’s team took second place Friday evening at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Eugene, Ore., while the women’s team took fourth place at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Verona, Wisc., Saturday morning.
Beating out No. 17 Michigan, No. 26 Wisconsin and No. 28 Arkansas with a total of 97 points, the No. 23 BYU women’s team fell just a few points shy of knocking off No. 10 Illinois (95), No. 21 Syracuse (80) and No. 29 Duke (78).
“It was a very competitive race with close finishes and I’m pleased with our performance,” said BYU women’s cross country head coach Patrick Shane. “To take fourth in this meet proved to be a solid race for us and we gained valuable experience going up against these upper-tier programs. We worked hard but fell just a few points shy of the winners.”
Junior Cecily Lemmon-Lew took first place overall in the competition with a 5K time of 17 minutes, a new course record at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course at University Ridge. In the last turn of the course with 200 meters remaining, Lew managed to give a final kick and outrun Illinois’ Angela Bizzarri to the finish line by three seconds.
“Cecily had a great race and beat a lot of solid runners out there,” Shane said.
“As a team we focused on running together and for each other,” Lew said. “We put it all on the line and gave a complete effort as a team by working on our footing and technique.”
Sophomore Katy Andrews turned in another strong meet by coming in eighth place in 17:26 followed by redshirt freshman Sarah Edwards in 16th place in 17:36. Senior Angela Wagner, last season’s Mountain West Conference champion, competed in her first race of the season and arrived in 33rd place just before Lacey Cramer rounded up the fifth spot for the team in 39th place overall.
“It was a lights-out performance by some of our runners,” Shane said. “Many girls had a solid race and improved a lot. We had a lot in our tank but didn’t hit on all cylinders. Only losing to the first-place team by 19 points shows how close it was.”
Nicole Nielsen, Ashlee Thomas, Rachel Lange, Sarah Frey, Lisa Drury, Sarah Yingling and Michaelanne Laurent also competed well for the team.
The No. 12 BYU men’s team came in second place with 63 points, knocking off No.1 Oregon (71) and No. 8 Portland (73) while falling only to No. 10 Alabama, who finished with 53 points.
Sophomore Miles Batty once again led the team by coming in third place overall in the meet and finished in 23:39.69, just seconds behind Alabama’s Tyson David (23:37) and Moses Kiptoo (23:38).
“We ran exceptionally well today,” said BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone. “Miles had a great race and outkicked some pretty good runners in the final moments with about 100 meters to go to keep up with the leaders. It was a tremendous outing for us and we’re excited to move up a bit in the rankings.”
“I struggled a little bit midway through the race but kept up with the leaders with about a mile left,” Batty said. “In the last 100 meters or so I gave my last kick and couldn’t quite keep up. This race was a lot harder than the others. Our team ran hard and we're glad we beat Oregon but know we can still improve.”
Fellow sophomore Tommy Gruenewald came in second for the Cougars and 12th overall (23:57), followed by seniors Brandon Hebbert (23:58) and Rich Nelson (23:59), and sophomore Alden Bahr (24:08).
Nate Ogden and Ryan Merriman took the sixth and seventh spots, respectively, while Travis Fuller, Jon Kotter, Jonathan Nelson, Dylan Shawhan and Robert Harrison rounded up the roster with impressive finish times.
The Cougars also beat No. 30 Villanova (99) and No. 21 Cal Poly (173) among other well-known programs like UTEP, Colorado State and Weber State.
Wisconsin Adidas Invitational
Pl. Runner 5K
1 Cecily Lemmon-Lew 17:00.3
8 Katy Andrews 17:26.2
17 Sarah Edwards 17:36.9
34 Angela Wagner 17:50.7
40 Lacey Cramer 17:53.2
60 Nicole Nielsen 18:16.0
62 Ashlee Thomas 18:17.9
69 Rachel Lange 18:20.7
79 Sarah Hansen-Frey 18:35.9
87 Lisa Drury 18:51.9
89 Sarah Yingling 18:54.6
91 Michaelanne Laurent 18:55.4
Bill Dellinger Invitational
Pl. Runner 8K
3 Miles Batty 23:39.61
12 Tommy Gruenewald 23:57.06
14 Brandon Hebbert 23:58.68
15 Richard Nelson 23:59.32
19 Alden Bahr 24:08.48
24 Nate Ogden 24:17.03
27 Ryan Merriman 24:19.66
37 Travis Fuller 24:35.27
38 Jon Kotter 24:36.00
49 Jonathan Nelson 24:49.21
52 Dylan Shawhan 24:57.38
79 Robert Harrison 25:55.39