(Photo by Jaren Wilkey)
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — The BYU women’s cross country team secured a 10th-place finish this weekend in Minneapolis at the 2011 Roy Griak Invitational (6k).
Finishing 10th with a total of 273 points, the No. 23 Cougars fell to nationally ranked teams such as No. 8 Iowa State (128), No. 10 Arizona (131) and No. 26 Michigan State (148). But surprisingly an unranked California team claimed the top overall individual finisher and tied Iowa State, with 128 points, to share first place.
Women’s head coach Patrick Shane commented on his team’s performance and its first big meet experience of the season.
“It was a very competitive field and by far the most competitive meet of the season so far,” Shane said. “We beat some good teams here, so I feel like the meet was helpful in that it put us in a big meet environment and it is also very beneficial for the girls to learn how to deal with the pressure and excitement of that kind of atmosphere.”
With a lot of the athletes running in their first meet of the season, Coach Shane is excited for his top runners to continue running well and hit their stride at the right time in the season.
“We chose to start late and we know that it’s going to hurt us a little early on, but we feel like it’s worth it because it’s not how you run early but it’s how you run at the end of the season that really matters,” Shane said.
Morgan Haws finished second overall and first for BYU with a time of 20:43, just .12 seconds behind the first place finish. Although it was Haws’ first race of the season, and also her first cross country race in four years, she went into the race with confidence.
“I felt like we were really prepared for the race,” Haws said. “Coach Shane gave us a really good race plan and I think it worked out well for everyone."
Now, with one race under her belt, Haws looks forward to the rest of the season.
“This race was a really good confidence booster,” Haws said. “I’m excited to keep working hard as a team and look forward to what the rest of the season brings.”
To view full results of the meet click here.
Coach Patrick Shane:
"The scoring between our two, three, four and five was only 12 seconds and that shows remarkable depth. We just need to bring a few more people up there and have that group close the gap between Morgan.”
“We have a very good cross country team. Our goal this year is to win the conference championship and get to nationals and see how we can compete at the national level and we’re right on schedule.”
“Coach Shane told us to be patient through the first half of the race and then just start passing people through that last half and it worked out perfectly I think for everyone. We all felt really good coming into the finish, we were passing people that whole last half of the race.”
“This was actually my first cross country race in four years. I think the biggest thing I was worried about was coming out too fast but because of Coach Shane’s race strategy that wasn’t a problem and it felt really good.”
“I didn’t know exactly where I was at fitness-wise, so coming into the race we just wanted to see where we were at as a team and where I was at individually and it worked out really well.”