The Cougars competed well at the UC Riverside Invitational as the men finished in first and the women in second.
RIVERSIDE -- Battling warm weather at the University of California at Riverside Invitational, the BYU cross country teams competed with 30 other schools as the men’s team rose victorious while the women came in second place overall.
In the men’s 8K event, BYU sophomore Miles Batty came in first place in a field of 343 runners with a time of 23 minutes, 41.1 seconds, shattering a course record to lead the team to its second consecutive victory and his second individual victory of the season. Senior Brandon Hebbert (24:00) came in fourth place, followed by Nate Ogden (24:05), Ryan Merriman (24:11) and Alden Bahr (24:15).
“It was an outstanding race for our team and I’m very happy with the result,” said BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone. “To finish with 23 points in a field as big as this was is a nice victory. I thought we settled down after the big rush at the beginning and ran very well.”
Junior Jon Kotter arrived in 11th place followed by Richard Nelson (13th), Tommy Gruenewald (14th), Dylan Shawhan (18th), Travis Fuller (22), Jonathan Nelson (23), Robert Harrison (26) and Reagan Frey (35). Brandon Babiracki also competed well for the Cougars with a time of 26:50.
“We concentrated on running as a pack and getting off to a good start,” Batty said. “It was harder today because there were so many people, but it narrowed quickly and we were able to fight through the traffic.”
BYU was trailed by host UC Riverside (73), Southern Utah (131) and Loyola Marymount (156) in the men’s event.
The women’s team fought to a second-place finish with 98 points in their 5K race as the Cougars fell just behind host UC Riverside, who won the event with 89 points. BYU was led by junior Cecily Lemmon-Lew, who came in second place overall with a time of 16:32 behind Azusa Pacific’s Jacky Kipwambok (16:29). Both marks were new course records.
“It was a good race for our young team,” said BYU women’s cross country head coach Patrick Shane. “We would have liked to have run with a bit more power but it was a great effort on our part and for Riverside. Cecily had a phenomenal race.”
Redshirt freshman Sarah Edwards came in second for the Cougars (19th overall, 17:37) with true freshman Michaelanne Laurent placing 23rd with a time of 17:44. Ashlee Thomas (25th) and Sarah Hansen-Frey (29th) rounded up the top five spots to give the Cougars their respective points.
“It was a great opener for us and an opportunity to gel with each other,” Lemmon-Lew said. “We’re pleased with our effort with this being our first meet on the road and we’re happy with the result.”
Freshmen Katie Swanson, Kendra Christensen, Lindsey Sowards, Kathryn Vidmar and sophomore Katie Palmer also competed well for the team.
“It was a good experience for the younger runners on our team and will help us get ready for the Bob Firman Invitational next week,” Shane said.
Results from the meet can be found at flashresults.com/flashwest/.
The men’s team will next compete at the Dellinger Invitational Oct. 3 in Oregon while the women compete Sept. 26 at the Bob Firman Invitational.
2009 UC Riverside Invitational
Women - 5K Men - 8K
2 C. Lew 16:32.8 1 M. Batty 23:41.1
19 S. Edwards 17:37.6 4 B. Hebbert 24:00.8
23 M. Laurent 17:44.1 5 N. Ogden 24:05.2
25 A. Thomas 17:46.5 6 R. Merriman 24:11.6
29 S. Frey 17:48.3 7 A. Bahr 24:15.8
36 K. Swanson 17:50.8 11 J. Kotter 24:23.7
58 K. Christensen 18:10.3 13 R. Nelson 24:26.7
66 L. Sowards 18:13.4 14 T. Gruenewald 24:32.2
82 K. Vidmar 18:26.9 18 D. Shawhan 24:46.2
137 K. Palmer 19:18.5 22 T. Fuller 24:52.2
23 J. Nelson 24:54.4
26 R. Harrison 24:59.5
35 R. Frey 25:15.0
142 B. Babiracki 26:50.5