Cougar Women Place Second, Men Eighth at Pre-NCAA Invitational

BLOOMINGTON -- BYU's No. 3 women's and No. 7 men's cross country teams were impressive at the Pre-NCAA Invitational, finishing in second- and eighth place, respectively in a meet designed as a dress rehearsal for the NCAA Championships, to be run on the same course Nov. 22.

The women, running without their top returning runner from 1998, Sharolyn Shields, finished with 116 points. Stanford won the team title with 77 points. Colorado was third with 123 points, followed by North Carolina (209) and Kansas State (225).

All-American sophomore Laura Heiner finished first for the Cougars and eighth overall in 17:31. It was the second consecutive time that Heiner has led BYU to the finish line. Shields, who finished in 13th at last year's NCAA finals, did not make the trip to Indiana, staying in Provo to recover from an illness.

Women's head coach Patrick Shane was pleased with the team's finish. "It was pretty much just what we expected going into this meet," said Shane. "We have been training hard with very little rest, but this is just where we want to be. We have five more weeks to get ready for the championships and we are right on target."

The biggest surprise of the day for the Cougars was freshman Sarah Ellett, who finished in the team's fourth spot in 23rd place in an impressive 17:51. "She is doing great," said Shane. "It was definitely the highlight of the day."

Other notable finishers for BYU were All-American Elizabeth Jackson in 10th (17:36) and track All-American Tara Rohatinsky in 18th (17:46). Former WAC Freshman of the Year Tara Haynes rounded out the scoring for the Cougars in 59th (18:14).

On the men's side, BYU's John Hedengren finished first for the Cougars for the third time in as many meets, leading BYU to an eighth-place team finish. Hedengren's time of 24:32 was good for a 13th-place overall finish and is the fastest time in the conference this year. Randon Richards was next for BYU in 32nd (24:52) followed by Mark Lawson in 43rd (25:03).

Stanford won the team competition with 126 points, followed by Colorado (140) and Arizona (186). BYU finished the day with 342 points, ahead of rival Utah's 379 points and 10th-place finish

The team was able to make an impressive showing without the runners at full strength. Every member of the team has had the flu in recent weeks, while senior Matt Poulsen, BYU's team leader in 1998, has been struggling with asthma-related complications.

The Cougars' next meet is the Mountain West Conference Championships Oct. 29 in Provo. The meet is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. with admission free to the public.


1. Stanford 77

2. BYU 116

3. Colorado 123

4. North Carolina 209

5. Kansas State 225

6. Georgetown 227

7. Arizona State 306

8. William and Mary 356

9. Boston 362

10. UCLA 364


1. Stanford 126

2. Colorado 140

3. Arizona 186

4. Georgetown 194

5. Arizona State 248

6. Notre Dame 249

7. Oregon 307

8. BYU 342

9. Villanova 345

10. Utah 379


8. Laura Heiner 17:31.53

10. Elizabeth Jackson 17:36.64

18. Tara Rohatinsky 17:46.73

23. Sarah Ellett 17:51.82

59. Tara Haynes 18:14.58

79. Sherida Rogers 18:26.63

93. Kara Ormond 18:33.18


7. Jill Rencher 18:32.57

26. Kristen Barnes 19:01.26

50. Lindsay Nadauld 19:23.37


13. John Hedengren 24:32.26

32. Randon Richards 24:52.76

43. Mark Lawson 25:03.29

98. Dula Parkinson 25:38.51

166. David Danley 26:17.73

205. Nic McCombs 26:50.12

226. Matt Poulsen 27:24.81