BYU Women Finish Second, Men 23rd at NCAA Cross Country Championships

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

AMES -- Racing against freezing temperatures and a wind chill factor of nearly 20 degrees below zero, the BYU women's cross country team came up just short of their third NCAA title, finishing second to the University of Colorado at the NCAA Championships in Ames, Iowa. Placing two runners in the top ten, the Buffalos finished with 117 team points to BYU's 167. Stanford was third with 198 points.

With teammate Tara Northcutt right on her heals, senior track star Melanie Steere crossed the finish line in 17th place, to earn her first cross country All-America citation. Northcutt earned All-America honors as well with an 18th-place finish.

But while several of BYU's top runners struggled to overcome the frigid conditions of the race, Colorado claimed the team title, led by a first-place finish from Kara Grgas-Wheeler.

"We were disappointed that we didn't win," said BYU coach Patrick Shane, "but we are excited that we got second place. Today Colorado was better than we were, and my compliments go to their coach and their team."

While Shane refused to use the cold weather as an excuse for not winning the meet, he admitted that the race-day conditions did play a role in the outcome.

"Wind chill affects different people in different ways," Shane said. "Unfortunately, it shut down our number one runner, and it also affected others in a negative way. But I'm proud of this team. They gave it all they had, and you can't ask for anything more."

The second-place finish for BYU is another indication of what the team has become in recent years. Over the past four years, the Cougars now claim two national titles and two runner-up finishes.

Melanie Steere (left) and Tara Northcutt placed 17th and 18th, respectively, at the NCAA Championships. (Photo by Mark Philbrick)

 

On the men's side, the BYU harriers finished 23rd, led by a 37th-place finish from junior John Hedengren. The team title went to a solid Arkansas squad that crossed the finish line with a mere 20-second spread between their first and fifth runners.

"Obviously we would have liked to finish the season on a higher note,"said BYU coach Ed Eyestone, whose Cougars were ranked in the top ten most of the year. "But we had a great season, and with a conference championship and a second-place regional finish, we still have a lot to be proud of."

The Cougars struggled to find their rhythm in the cold as well. But the future looks good as BYU fielded a team comprised of several underclassmen at the championship meet.

Complete results of the championship meet can be found at www.runnercard.com

 

 

Women's 6,000-meter

TEAM RESULTS

1. Colorado 1, 7, 23, 38, 48 = 117

2. Brigham Young 14, 15, 32, 41, 65 = 167

3. Stanford 10, 20, 42, 59, 67 = 198

4. Boston College 12, 19, 27, 68, 88 = 214

5. Georgetown 22, 33, 52, 69, 71 = 247

6. Arizona State 4, 35, 37, 83, 107 = 266

7. Yale 24, 25, 66, 77, 93 = 285

8. Wisconsin 2, 8, 81, 82, 125 = 298

9. Providence College 28, 46, 54, 73, 109 = 310

10. Kansas State 5, 11, 39, 103, 167 = 325

BYU Finishers

17. Melanie Steere 21:12

18. Tara Northcutt 21:13

39. Sharolyn Shields-Thayer 21:27

55. Katie Martin 21:36

94. Sarah Ellett 21:57

150. Lindsey Thomsen 22:24

152. Nan Evans 22:25

Men's 10,000-meter

Team Results

1. Arkansas 10, 12, 14, 20, 27 = 83

2. Colorado 2, 15, 21, 22, 34 = 94

3. Providence College 1, 11, 16, 45, 48 = 121

4. Stanford 9, 18, 37, 41, 44 = 149

5. Wisconsin 7, 17, 24, 56, 63 = 167

6. Villanova 8, 23, 30, 38, 82 = 181

7. Northern Arizona 25, 47, 49, 65, 83 = 269

7. Georgetown 4, 19, 52, 94, 100 = 269

9. Notre Dame 6, 28, 32, 77, 133 = 276

10. William & Mary 26, 57, 61, 106, 113 = 363

BYU Finishers

37. John Hedengren 31:05

131. Lewis Jones 31:57

149. Andy Carman 32:12

164. Dula Parkinson 32:18

190. Golden Harper 32:30

232. Ben Wynn 33:21

248. Josh Rohatinsky 34:03

Tags: Results