Shields finishes fourth at WCC Cross Country Championships

(Photo by Kyle WCC)

PROVO, Utah – Freshman Natalie Shields finished first for BYU and fourth overall at the West Coast Conference Cross Country Championships in Portland, Ore., this weekend, only three seconds behind the leader.

“I felt like I finished this race the way I wanted to,” Shields said. “My goal was to stay with the San Francisco runners at the front, and I did that throughout most of the race. I wasn’t able to push as hard as I would have liked, but overall, I felt good about the way I preformed.”

Shields finished the race with a time of 20:38 and earned All-West Coast Conference honors due to her finish in the top-10. San Francisco’s Eva Krchova finished first overall in 20:35 to win the WCC title.

As a team, the Cougars ended up third overall with 85 points, behind San Francisco (26 points) and Portland (52 points).

Rachel Stewart, a freshman walk on, finished second for BYU and 18th overall in 21:15. Lindsey Sowards Nielson (21:21), Sarah Darby (21:21) and Michaelanne Laurent (22:22) finished third, fourth and fifth for the Cougars and 21st, 22nd and 23rd overall, respectively.

Heading into the WCC championships, BYU head coach Patrick Shane felt confident in his team’s ability to preform and finish first in the conference standings despite the lack of experience the team has. He also felt they could out race conference powerhouse San Francisco, who has won the conference championship the last three seasons in a row.

“We came into this race going for first place,” Shane said. “We had a race plan to come out on top ahead of San Francisco, but we didn’t execute it like we wanted to. It was a tough, rainy, cold day, so the situation wasn’t ideal, but our runners ran hard. Our experience in today’s race gives us a chance to regroup and see if we can learn from what happened for our final races.”

Official results from the WCC Championships can be found here.

The Cougars race one more time before the NCAA Championships at the Mountain Regionals on Nov. 9 in Fort Collins, Colo.

 

2012 Women's Cross Country All-West Coast Conference Team

  • Eva Krchova, San Francisco, Jr.
  • Elena Burkard, San Francisco, Fr.
  • Sheree Shea, LMU, Sr.
  • Natalie Shields, BYU, Fr.
  • Alice Baker, San Francisco, Sr
  • Laura Hottenrott-Freitag, Portland, Fr.
  • Laura Suur, San Francisco, Sr.
  • Tansey Lystad, Portland, So.
  • Lindsey Drake, Gonzaga, Sr.
  • Chloe Treleven, San Francisco, Sr.

Honorable Mention

  • Maor Tiyouri, San Francisco, Jr.
  • Lyndy Davis, Portland, Sr.
  • Gina Paletta , Portland, Sr.
  • Natasha Verma, Portland, Jr.
  • Lauren Bergam, Gonzaga, Jr.

WCC Player of the Year

  • Eva Krchova, San Francisco, Jr.

WCC Women's Coach of the Year

  • Helen Lehman-Winters, San Francisco

WCC Freshman of the Year

  • Elena Burkard, San Francisco