BYU cross country teams take first at Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Ind. – The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams took first place at the Joe Piane Invite in convincing fashion on Friday, Sept. 28 in Notre Dame, Indiana. It marked the second-straight meet both the men and women finished first.
The No. 2 BYU men’s team finished with 23 points, rising above the other 16 schools, including No. 28 Furman. The No. 11 women’s team earned 37 points, finishing ahead of 18 other schools, including No. 12 Furman, No. 21 California and No. 22 Notre Dame.
The women competed in a 5K race followed by the men who ran in a 5-mile race.
“What we were hoping for was a strong performance. We really didn’t back down for this meet at all,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We accomplished that goal and showed that we could race really well on tired legs. The bottom line is, at the finish we had guys in the first and second position. Overall, it tells us we’re in a good position. We need to continue to improve however. ”
All-American Connor McMillan led the BYU men’s team with his first-place finish (23.43.22), followed closely by senior Danny Carney’s second-place finish with a time of 23:43.70. The Cougars secured three more spots in the top 10 with Conner Mantz (23:52.37) finishing in fifth, Clayson Shumway (23:55.32) in sixth and All-American Rory Linkletter (24.06.61) in ninth. The men’s team had two more top-20 finishes from Jacob Heslington and Zachry Jacklin.
In terms of standout performances, Eyestone said he was impressed with Shumway for closing the gap and stepping up to lead the overall race early on and the way McMillan and Carney battled for the 1-2 spots. Eyestone also commented that this meet will help determine the top 12 runners for Pre-Nationals.
Men’s Team Notables
The men’s team finished first with a score of 23 points.
This was All-American Connor McMillan’s first Notre Dame Invitational championship title.
BYU men’s team claimed five of the top 10 spots.
The Cougars took first at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2001 and second place in 2014
Coming off a win at the Autumn Classic, the BYU women’s team secured another meet title, with Erica Birk-Jarvis leading the team. Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton were close behind Notre Dame’s Anna Rohrer, until the two of them gradually ran ahead and battled it out for the finish. Birk-Jarvis ran a career-best time of 16:19.53 to win the race while Orton (16:26.02) finished in second and Courtney Wayment took fifth (16:47.44). All together, they claimed three of the top five spots. The Cougars had three more top-20 finishes from Olivia Hoj, Madelyn Dickson and freshman McKenna Lee.
“I was super pleased with our performance as a team. Coming in as the highest ranked team, I was expecting a good performance,” BYU women’s cross country coach Diljeet Taylor said. “We still have some things that we want to work on going into Pre-Nationals. It was a good opportunity for me to see how our women line up with a couple ranked teams and just what we need to work on moving forward.”
Taylor was glad to see Birk-Jarvis and Orton work together throughout the entire race, as well as how some of the other girls stepped up. Combined with practice, this meet will be taken into consideration when determining the seven-women lineup for Pre-Nationals.
Women’s Team Notables
The women’s team finished first with a score of 37 points
All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis ran a career-best time of 16:19.53 for her first Notre Dame Invitational first-place finish
BYU women’s team claimed three of the top five spots
BYU last competed at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2014 and took fourth place
Morgan Haws took second place at Notre Dame in 2011, the team's best individual finish since 1999
Next week, the Cougars will return to Logan, Utah for the Steve T. Reeder Memorial on Friday, Oct. 5.
No. 2 men’s, No. 11 women's cross country set to compete at Notre Dame
PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete at Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational in Notre Dame, Indiana, on Friday, Sept. 28.
The No. 2 BYU men’s cross country team will race against 17 schools, including No. 28 Furman. The No. 11 BYU women’s team will compete against 20 schools that are headlined by No. 12 Furman, No. 21 California and No. 22 Notre Dame.
“It will be a nice opportunity to get out and run hard,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “There will be some very talented athletes we’ll be competing against. It will be an opportunity to get used to running fast early on because the national meet is all about starting with a good pace, establishing a position and advancing from there.”
After sweeping the Autumn Classic to start the season, Eyestone expects another competitive performance from the men’s team. He expects Danny Carney, All-American Rory Linkletter, Conner Mantz and All-American Connor McMillan to lead the way for the Cougars.
Eyestone plans on resting senior Clayton Young another meet and is counting on other runners to step up. FloTrack published an article last week analyzing the BYU men’s cross country team's depth and how runners eight-through-12 could potentially be a top-15 NCAA squad on their own.
“A deep team is a strong team,” Eyestone said. “You know you have a teammate that can step in if a guy can't compete. It also creates a sense of urgency on the part of the athletes to perform well to make sure they’re in a good place and keeping up.”
Clayson Shumway is one runner Eyestone believes can step up in Young’s absence. Shumway won his first collegiate cross country meet at the Autumn Classic, tenths of a second ahead of Carney, Linkletter, Mantz and McMillan.
Men’s Team Notables
- The Cougars last competed at Notre Dame in 2014 and took second place
- BYU took first at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2011
- Miles Batty won the Notre Dame Invitational in 2011
- This will be the fourth time since 1999 that the Cougars have competed at the Notre Dame Invitational (2007, 2011, 2014)
“I think this meet will give us an idea of where we rank up against some of the better teams in the country,” associate head women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “This is a big meet for us to earn points toward qualifying for nationals and see what we need to do moving forward.”
The women’s team dominated the smaller field of competition in its first meet of the season at the Autumn Classic, scoring a perfect 15 points. Though facing tougher competition, Taylor expects All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton to be battling at the front of the pack throughout the upcoming race.
Taylor will use this meet as another opportunity to determine her top seven runners as well as solidify who the traveling team will be for the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 13.
“Every single girl is going out to compete for something,” Taylor said. “Some girls are competing for points to qualify for NCAAs while other girls are competing to continue to travel. Everyone has their own fight that they’re working for and I’m excited to see what that competition brings out.”
Women’s Team Notables
- BYU last competed at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2014 and took fourth place
- Morgan Haws took second place at Notre Dame in 2011, the team's best individual finish since 1999
- The Cougars have finished in the top five as a team twice with fourth-place finishes in 2013 & 2014
- This will be the fifth time since 1999 that the Cougars have competed at the Notre Dame Invitational (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
The Joe Piane Invitational will be hosted at the Burke Golf Course with the women’s 5K starting at 1 p.m. EDT followed by the men’s 5-mile at 1:45 p.m. Follow the BYU cross country Twitter account for live updates on the race.