2005 Women's Cross Country Season Review

During their 2005 season, the women's cross country team picked up their 18th consecutive conference title.

PROVO -- The BYU women's cross country team placed eighth at the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive season to top off a highly competitive 2005 season.

The eighth-place finish marked the 11th consecutive year the women have finished their season in the top ten.

Newcomer Chelsea Smith McKell, a transfer from BYU-Hawaii and two-time NCAA Div. I AA cross country champion, made her presence felt early. She was joined by teammate Heidi Magill halfway through the year, and the duo led BYU to a successful season end.

As a team, the Cougars picked up three first-place finishes. In addition to their eighth-place finish at Nationals, they also placed second at the NCAA Mt. Regional and won their 18th consecutive conference title.

Individually, several runners were honored throughout the season. One such honoree was McKell's All-American nod for her performance at the NCAA Championship.

Magill, McKell, Breanne Sandberg, Amy Fowler and Anne Heiner received Mt. Region honors. Magill, McKell, Sandberg and Heiner were also honored as First-Team All-MWC selections and Fowler and Ann Marie Thomas received Second-Team All-MWC honors.

Magill was named MWC Runner of the Year and Fowler was honored as MWC Freshman of the Year.

2005 BYU ALUMNI INVITATIONAL - PROVO, UTAH - SEPTEMBER 2

In the women's three-mile race, alumni runner Rena Chesser came away with the win in a time of 17:50.3. Just six seconds later, Amber Harper was second to cross the line.

Other standouts for the women were McKell, who placed third. Coming in fourth was true freshman Jocelyn Gardner, while last year's Alumni Invitational winner Heiner came in fifth. Sandberg, a recently returned missionary, crossed the finish line sixth.

2005 BYU AUTUMN CLASSIC - PROVO, UTAH - SEPTEMBER 10

BYU picked up the win at the Autumn Classic with 25 points, followed by Weber State (33), University of Utah (90) and Utah Valley State (97).

McKell who won the race followed by several other BYU leaders.

Rounding out the top five for the women were Heiner (4), Gardner (5), Sandberg (7) and Fowler (8).

2005 BIG WAVE INVITATIONAL -- MANOA, HAWAII - SEPTEMBER 17

McKell won her second race of the season as she helped the Cougars cruise in Hawaii's Big Wave Invitational.

"We had a great race," coach Patrick Shane said. "I am pleased with how they ran. I did not expect to run a perfect score. I am really pleased with the effort by these young women."

BYU won the seven-team event with the perfect sore of 15 points.

Posting a perfect score requires solid running from more than just your top runner and McKell had that support as she was followed by Thomas, Sarah Ingebretsen, Jenna Taylor and Allison Passey coming in second through fifth, respectively.

2005 GREAT AMERICA -- GARY, N.C. - SEPTEMBER 24

BYU ran an A and a B team in the Great America Cross Country Festival in Gary N.C., placing second in both races.

The women's A-team, running in the Nike Race of Champions, were led by McKell. McKell ran the 5K race in a time of 17:15 to place fourth. Magill followed McKell with a fifth-place finish in her first race of the season. Heiner (20), Gardner (25) and Fowler (29) rounded out the top five for the women's A-team.

Overall the A-team came in second place with 68 points. No. 1 Duke won the event with 20 points.

"We knew Duke was going to be very good this year, there is a reason they are No. 1," Shane said. "I really think we are on track. We're still training really hard. I feel like we ran well. We never peak early so we're a long ways from where we want to be at the end of the year, but I feel satisfied that we are in the right place."

The B-team, which ran in the University Seeded Race, was led by Ingebretsen who came in 12th place with a time of 18:34. Amber Duffin (17), Thomas (21), Carolyn Quebe (24) and Passey (43) followed Ingebretsen to give the team a second-place finish out of a 14-team field.

2005 NCAA PRE-NATIONAL - TERRE HAUTE, IND. - OCTOBER 15

BYU tied with North Carolina State for a fourth-place finish out of 35 teams. The Cougars finished behind No. 3 Stanford, No. 8 Notre Dame and No. 13 Columbia.

"I am pleased with some of the race, but I realize we have some work to do to be ready for nationals," Shane 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 where led once again by senior McKell, who placed 11th with a time of 20:37. She was followed by Magill (32-21:00), Sandberg (49-21:23), Fowler (53-21:26) and Gardner (64-21:35).

Four runners also represented the women's team in the Women's Open Race. Thomas was the top finisher with a seventh place finish and a time of 21:53. Kristen Ogden was close behind, placing 10th.

2005 MWC CHAMPIONSHIP - FORT COLLINS, COLO. - OCTOBER 29

The women's team captured the conference title for the 18th-consecutive season.

"Overall we had a fantastic effort," Shane said. "We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish."

Magill led the Cougars to the title by picking up the individual MWC crown.

The women's first-place finish came with all five of their scoring runners placing in the top-10, giving them a solid score of 23. Magill's victory was an all-time MWC Championship record 6K time of 20:42.4. McKell (20:59.2, second), Sandberg (21:11.1, fourth), Heiner (21:25.8, seventh) and Fowler (21:28.8, ninth) completed the scoring for the Cougars. Colorado State finished third with 75 points, followed by Wyoming in fourth (121 points), San Diego State in fifth (134), Air Force sixth (138) and Utah seventh (189). TCU (192) and UNLV (274) finished eighth and ninth, respectively.

2005 NCAA MT. REGION CHAMPIONSHIP - PROVO, UTAH - NOVEMBER 12

Magill placed fourth while leading BYU to second-place finish in the 2005 NCAA Mt. Region Championship.

With their second-place finish, the women received an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.

"We're pleased to be going to nationals," Shane said. "I'm quite proud of the way our team ran."

Magill's fourth-place finish came with a time of 21:03.3. McKell finished with a time of 21:07.4, while Sandberg was BYU's third runner placing 12th with a time of 21:41.1. Cougar freshman Fowler had a time of 21:47.4 and a 14th-place finish and Heiner finshed the scoring for the women with a 24th-place finish and a time of 22:16.4.

2005 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP - TERRE HAUTE, IND. - NOVEMBER 21

McKell finished 24th and helped BYU to an eighth-place finish in the NCAA Cross Country Championships.

"It was a tough race out there with great competition," Shane said. "It was the strongest field that I can ever remember in terms of competition. I'm proud of our eighth-place finish. I think the girls had a great year, and it's a real honor to be in the top 10 at nationals."

McKell's 24th-place finish came with a time of 20:24.0, which earned her All-America honors.

"I did what I expected to do," McKell said. "I knew I could do it if I prepared well. I have no regrets. I went as hard as I could and I tried my very best. I feel great because we can go home happy."

McKell was followed closely by teammate Magill, who finished 39th with a time of 20:32.8. The Cougars' third runner was Sandberg, who came in 83rd with a time of 20:59.8, followed by Fowler, placing 99th (21:10.1), and Heiner, who finished the scoring for BYU with a 139th-place finish (21:26.2).

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