Josh Rohatinsky placed third and led the Cougars to a first place finish at the Griak Invitational on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
FALCON HEIGHTS -- After sitting out last week, Josh Rohatinsky placed third, leading the No. 5 Cougars to victory at the Griak Invitational. The women also had success on Saturday placing second in two races. They ran an A and B team in the Great America Cross Country Festival in Gary N.C.
The women's A-team, who ran in the Nike Race of Champions, were led by Chelsea Smith McKell. Smith McKell ran the 5K race in a time of 17:15 placing fourth. Heidi Magill, in her first race of the season, followed Smith McKell with a fifth place finish. Anne Heiner (20), Jocelyn Gardner (25) and Amy 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 and Virginia place third behind the Cougars with 110 points.
"We knew Duke was going to be very good this year, there is a reason they are No. 1," women's head coach Patrick 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 Sarah Ingebretsen who came in 12th place with a time of 18:34. Amber Duffin (17), Ann Marie Thomas (21), Carolyn Quebe (24) and Allison Passey (43) followed Ingebretsen to give the team a second place finish out of a 14-team field.
On the men's side, the Cougars placed three runners in the top 20 to give them the first place finish over No. 1 Wisconsin. Following Rohatinsky's third place finish was, Chandler Goodwin (16), Dustin Bybee (20) and Josh McAdams and Nick McCombs rounded out the top five.
"Wisconsin got out really well but we ran a smart race and ended up beating them," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "It was a very strong team effort. We came to do the best we can and the guys ran well."
Rohatinsky said the course was tough but he was pleased with his, as well as the team's performance.
"The race was kind of back and forth for me, which isn't common but overall I think I stuck in there mentally," he said. "The team did great. I finished, took a couple breaths and turned around and saw Chandler and Bybee come in and McAdams and Nick did well too. We packed it up and we were able to stay together. I think we really deserved the win."
Next week the women will be running in a 5K road race in Salt Lake City, after which they will have a week off to get ready for Pre-Nationals.
The men have the next two weeks off to prepare for Pre-Nationals on Oct. 15. The Pre-National race is in Terra Haute, Ind., and is run on the same course as nationals. This gives the team a chance to get a feel for the course before that event which takes place in November.