The BYU women scored a perfect 15 points at the Bob Firman Invitational. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
EAGLE -- Returning to race in her hometown for the second time in her career, sophomore Lisa Drury led the way for the Cougars, winning the 5K Bob Firman Invitational in front of all her friends and family.
“We all went in with high hopes and expectations,” BYU assistant coach Chris Shane said. “This was a very pivotal race for all of our athletes because it’s the last meet before we select our final 12 runners, and everyone performed very well.”
Positions one through six were all Cougar runners, allowing BYU to finish with a perfect score of 15 points and a third-straight team victory.
Drury finished first overall in 18:20 after leading for the duration of the race. Running alongside Drury was teammate Sarah Edwards, who narrowly lost out on the win in the final sprint, finishing second in 18:22.
“I really enjoyed this race and all the support I received from my family, friends and teammates,” Drury said. “All of my high school coaches were here, along with a lot of my family, and having so much support pushes me to run better.”
Sophomore Ashlee Thomas crossed the finish line in third in 18:31 and junior Katie Palmer followed closely behind in fourth (18:35). The next two were separated by a few tenths of a second, with senior Stacy Slight taking fifth (18:36) and sophomore Kendy Christensen placing sixth (18:36).
The women will be in action again in less than a week as they head to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational on October 1. The meet will mark the biggest challenge of the season for the Cougars, and will begin at 12 p.m. MST on Friday.
Men Finish Fourth at Griak Invitational
ST. PAUL -- At its first race against several ranked teams this season, BYU men's cross country finished fourth overall at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday morning.
Junior Miles Batty led the way again for the Cougars, finishing third overall in the 8K race with a time 24:14.5.
"Batty was the top American in the race, getting beat by two Kenyan runners," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "He is on track to be a top ten guy at the NCAA national's meet if not better and is one of the best runners in the country."
BYU suffered a few setbacks in the race. Sophomore Rex Shields was feeling a little bit under the weather but still managed to finish second for the team (24:53) and 22nd overall. Senior Jon Kotter also had a mild ankle sprain in warmups that limited him to finishing 61st overall (25:29).
Senior Nate Ogden (24:53) and freshmen Jared Ward (25:03) and Aaron Fletcher (25:13) rounded out BYU's top five finishers. Complete results are available on www.gophersports.com
"Today was indication that we need to work a little bit still," Eyestone said. “If we want to meet our season goals to win conference and finish top ten at nationals we know we can do it."
BYU now has three weeks to prepare for the NCAA Pre-Nationals race in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, October 16 at 9 a.m. MST.