PROVO -- BYU's two All-Americans showed why they are team leaders at the Mountain Regional Cross Country Championships held at East Bay Golf Course on Saturday.
The No. 2 Cougar women reclaimed the regional crown they lost last year to No. 7 Colorado, dominating the field with all five scoring runners finishing in the top ten. The Cougars scored 31 points to win the race, followed by Colorado with 48 and No. 13 Northern Arizona with 81.
Northcutt finished second in the 6K race behind Colorado senior Jodie Hughes in a race that wasn't won until the final 400 meters.
"Being in front of our some BYU fans and having the cheerleaders there was awesome," Northcutt said. "You catch the excitement of the crowd and it makes you push that little bit more, especially when you hear them cheering for you."
While Northcutt led the way for the Cougars, the race was won for BYU with their three through five runners, who finished 7, 8, 9 to give the Cougars just a 36-second split between their top five runners.
"The win meant a lot for the team and I'm happy for them," head coach Patrick Shane said. "The results were what we wanted and it was nice to beat Colorado."
Despite a slow start to the race, the Cougars ran together throughout the race and the team's pack proved to be the difference in the scores at the end.
"Having the whole team run together helps a lot because we really push each other to run and keep everybody going," Jessie Kindschi, BYU's second finisher and the fifth overall finisher, said. "We really feed off each other during the race."
A strong race by John Hedengren was just what the No. 12 BYU men needed to finish third and beat out conference rival Colorado State by just four points.
The Cougars third-place finish does not give them an automatic berth at the NCAA Championships on Mon., Nov. 19 but virtually assures both BYU teams will be making the trip to Greenville, S.C.
"Today's finishcould be good for us going into nationals because we will go in wanting to prove something," head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We had some guys who were sick but they gutted it out and got the job done. John Hedengren came through as our go-to guy and that's what you count on from an All-American."
The men's field at the Mountain Regionals is one of the strongest in the nation, with seven of the teams being ranked in the top 25.
No. 1 Colorado ran away with the team victory, beating out Northern Arizona by 45 points. Jorge Torres, a Buffalo, won the individual crown for the second straight year, narrowly beating teammate Dathan Ritzenhein and University of Utah All-American Teren Jameson.
The NCAA Championships will be held on Nov. 19 in Greenville, S.C., the same place the BYU women won their first national title in 1997.
2001 Mountain Region Cross Country Championships Results
Men's Top Five Team Finishers
1. Colorado 48
2. Northern Arizona University 93
3. Brigham Young University 115
4. Colorado State University 119
5. Air Force Academy 133
Men's Top Ten Individual Finishers
1. Jorge Torres Colorado 30:52.3
2. Dathan Ritzenhein Colorado 30:52.8
3. Teren Jameson University of Utah 30:53.2
4. Ed Torres Colorado 31:07.3
5. Travis Laird Northern Arizona University 31:09.0
6. John Hedengren Brigham Young University 31:19.9
7. David Romero Air Force Academy 31:24.1
8. Henrick Ahnstrom Northern Arizona University 31:26.7
9. Matt Gonzales New Mexico 31:28.6
10. Bashar Ibrahim UTEP 31:32.3
Other BYU Finishers
18. Andy Carman 31:53.0
26. Ammon Larsen 32:00.1
27. Lewis Jones 32:07.9
38. Steve Barrus 32:21.2
57. Mark Nevers 32:58.5
58. Mike Thatcher 32:58.8
Women's Team Finish
1. Brigham Young University 31
2. Colorado 48
3. Northern Arizona University 81
4. Colorado State University 85
5. Weber State University 159
Women's Top Ten Individual Finishers
1. Jodie Hughes Colorado 21:13.9
2. Tara Northcutt Brigham Young University 21:21.0
3. Molly Austin Colorado 21:21.6
4. Ida Nilsson Northern Arizona University 21:26.2
5. Jessie Kindschi Brigham Young University 21:32.7
6. Susan Rutherford Northern Arizona University 21:37.2
7. Lindsey Thomsen Brigham Young University 21:43.4
8. Sarah Taylor Brigham Young University 21:47.0
9. Nan Evans Brigham Young University 21:49.4
10. Marget Larson Colorado State University 21:51.5
Other BYU Finishers
12. Michaela Manova 22:05.3
17. Amy Bair 22:26.2