BYU's women's cross country team placed runners in the 5, 6, 7, 9, 10 and 11 spots to win its own Autumn Classic. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah - Andrea Nelson Harrison led the BYU women to the Autumn Classic title Saturday with a final score of 37 points, beating conference rival Portland by two points.
BYU also finished ahead of No. 24 Weber State and Idaho State, who took home third and fourth place.
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Harrison finished fifth overall with Lindsey Sowards Nielson not far behind in sixth. Nicole Nielsen took seventh, while Natalie Shields and Sarah Yingling earned ninth and 10th. BYU’s top five runners placed in the top 10 slots.
“This is just the beginning. We have learned a lot but we have big goals and have more to improve on,” Harrison said. “We have worked so hard in our practices and we are looking forward to seeing how that will help us for the rest of the season.”
Maren Fassmann beat out two Portland runners for the crucial 11th-place position.
“Maren Fassmann displaced two Portland runners and without her it would have been a tie,” BYU coach Patrick Shane said. “Maren definitely was a key performer today and the top six were excellent.”
The Cougars had a race plan to “run as one,” clustering the girls in groups of five to run together throughout the race.
“Our race plan worked out and was carried out well because we had three runners go 5, 6, 7, and then three more go 9, 10, 11 which was crucial to our win," Shane said.
BYU will race again on Sept. 27 in Indiana at the Notre Dame Invitational.