BYU cross country claims second and third at NCAA Mountain Region Championships
PROVO, Utah - The BYU men’s cross country team claimed its spot in the NCAA Championships with a second-place finish and the women’s team made a strong case for an at-large bid by placing third at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday at the East Bay Golf Course.
The women competed in the 6K race followed by the men who ran in the 10K.
The No. 2 BYU men’s team scored 56 points for its second-consecutive second-place finish at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. Placing second automatically qualifies the men for the NCAA Championships. The Cougars finished only 14 points behind No. 1 Northern Arizona and competed against four other nationally ranked teams including No. 8 Colorado, No. 13 Air Force, No. 14 Colorado State and No. 18 Wyoming.
“We executed a plan today that enhanced our opportunities and position for the national meet," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We ran strong enough to build confidence but we left a final punch for next week.”
Conner Mantz led the way for the Cougars, taking sixth place overall with a time of 29:24.8. Rory Linkletter followed for an eighth-place finish (29:26.2) and Connor McMillan took ninth (29:26.4). Clayson Shumway finished in 15th (29:37.4), with Jacob Heslington in 18th (29.39.6), Zachry Jacklin in 24th (29:55.1) and Brandon Garnica in 28th (29:58.5). Those finishing in the top 25 were named to the all-region team.
“Our top five had a nice effort so I’m happy with that," Eyestone said. "We wanted to run as a pack. Nobody wants to run themselves into the ground the week before nationals but you still have to execute well enough to make it there.”
Men’s Team Notables
- The men’s team finished with 56 points for its second-consecutive second-place finish
- Conner Mantz took sixth place overall (29:24.8) and finished first for the Cougars
- BYU men claimed six top-25 spots and all-region honors
The No. 9 BYU women’s team took third for the second year in a row with a total score of 85 points, finishing behind No. 1 New Mexico and No. 4 Colorado. The Cougars faced two other nationally ranked teams – No. 22 Southern Utah and No. 28 Northern Arizona. Including Friday's finish, performances in this season’s races put the women’s team in a good position for its at-large selection announced in the NCAA Selection Show.
“I’m super happy with how they performed," BYU associate head women's coach Diljeet Taylor said. "The plan coming in was to get five of our girls in the top 30 without going to the well because we will be racing again in seven days. We ended up having four girls get all-region.”
All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis led the charge for the Cougars, finishing first for the No. 9 women’s team and third overall in the 6K race with a time of 19:34.9. Courtney Wayment crossed the finish line ninth (20:01.7) followed by Anna Camp in 20th (20:30.6). Olivia Hoj finished in 23rd (20:42.5), Sara Musselman in 30th (20:55.1), Aubrey Frentheway in 39th (21:03.8) and Madelyn Dickson in 79th (21:46.2). Birk-Jarvis, Wayment, Camp and Hoj received all-region honors.
“It’s always good as a coach to watch your team compete at the end of the year with a lot of heart and they did that today," Taylor said. "This is the most heart I’ve seen them race with. I’m really excited because I know they’ll be able to come back in seven days and run with heart again for a good outcome at NCAA Championships.”
Women’s Team Notables
- The Cougars took third in the women’s race with 85 points as they competed against four other nationally-ranked teams
- Erica Birk-Jarvis placed third overall in the women’s 6K for her fifth first-place BYU finish
- BYU women’s team had four top 25 runners named all-region
The Cougars head to the NCAA Cross Country Championships for their final meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 9th in Madison, Wisconsin. The NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Committee announced the team and individual qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. MT. The men's team automatically qualified and the women's team was selected at-large.
No. 2, No. 9 cross country set to host NCAA Mountain Region Championships
PROVO, Utah – BYU’s No. 2 men’s and No. 9 women’s cross country teams will compete in the NCAA Mountain Region Championships at the East Bay Golf Course in Provo, Utah, on Friday, Nov. 9.
Six of the 20 men’s Mountain Region teams will enter the meet nationally ranked with No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 BYU, No. 8 Colorado, No. 13 Air Force, No. 14 Colorado State and No. 18 Wyoming.
“Our expectation is to qualify and advance to the national meet,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We’ve been doing that every year since I started coaching here in 2000 and I have no reason to believe that we don’t have another great opportunity to advance again this year.”
The second-ranked BYU men’s team will face off against top-ranked Northern Arizona for the first time this season. Last season, the Cougars were the runner-ups to the eventual national champions at the Mountain Regionals. BYU won the Pre-Nationals White 8k earlier this season and is coming off its fourth-straight WCC championship win. The Cougars look to clinch their 20th-straight bid to the NCAA Championships.
“It can be a tricky experiment because you want to advance comfortably but not push yourselves so hard that it’s going to wreck you for the national meet,” Eyestone said. “We’ve got a plan on how we’re going to qualify and still be ready to come in full strength next week at nationals.”
Men’s Team Notables
- The men’s team has advanced to the NCAA National Championships every year since 1999
- The Cougars finished second at the 2017 NCAA Mountain Regionals
- Rory Linkletter finished as the runner-up at the 2017 Mountain Regional Championships
- Miles Batty was the last men’s runner to win the men's Mountain Region Championship race (2011)
Five of the 20 women’s Mountain Region teams head into this week’s contest nationally ranked with No. 1 New Mexico, No. 4 Colorado, No. 9 BYU, No. 22 Southern Utah and No. 28 Northern Arizona.
“We’re in championship season now and we’re excited for another opportunity to race,” BYU associate head women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “I’m excited to see what the team can do with fresh legs and racing on the same course we hosted WCC Championships on two weeks ago.”
The ninth-ranked BYU women’s team will get its first opportunity to compete against top-ranked New Mexico. The Cougars will face the fourth-ranked Buffalos for the second time this season after BYU took fourth and Colorado finished 10th in the women’s Wisconsin Pre-Nationals Cardinal 6k. The Cougars are coming off their first WCC championship since 2014 and look to clinch their fourth-straight appearance to the national meet.
“We’re coming in with a good number of points to qualify for nationals with an at-large bid, if necessary,” Taylor said. “We’re approaching it like we’re still racing it and we’ll keep working with the pack to close the gap.”
Women’s Team Notables
- The women’s team is looking to advance to the NCAA National Championships for the fourth-straight year
- The Cougars finished third overall at the 2017 NCAA Mountain Regionals
- Michaela Mannova was the last BYU women’s runner to win the women's Mountain Region Championship race (2003)
Teams that finish first and second in each region automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships while the remaining teams await the decision concerning 13 national at-large bids. The at-large selection is determined through a review of regular-season competition and finish at regional championships. More details on qualifying for the NCAA National Championships can be found on ustfccca.org.
The first race of the day will be the women’s 6k at 11 a.m. MST followed by the men’s 10k at noon. Admission will be free to the public and the race will be streamed online at FloTrack.org. Live stats, the course map and other general information can be found on byucougars.com. Follow BYU cross country’s Instagram and Twitter pages for live updates.