BYU cross country teams sweep Autumn Classic
PROVO, Utah — The BYU men's and women's cross country teams each claimed team and individual titles at the Autumn Classic at Timpanogos Golf Club on Saturday.
Conner Mantz and Aidan Troutner led the Cougars to a team win in the men’s 7.5K with a score of 24 points. Mantz flew across the course on route to his seventh career meet individual title with a time of 22:17.5.
“It’s always great to take home a win in the first race of the season,” Mantz said. “The first race is always a tough one. It’s hard to get the legs and body used to that overall fatigue that comes with hard running. You can go for it in a workout, but it’s just different in a race.”
BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone offered high praise for the defending individual national champion.
“I thought Mantz delivered, and of course expect that of him,” Eyestone said. “He chose to wait a little bit, but when Mantz moved, he moved with aggression.”
Eyestone foresees Mantz continuing to compete with the best in that nation in 2021. Troutner, the reigning West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, recorded his best collegiate finish as he came in third with a time of 22:33.4.
“I think Troutner would have taken second if he hadn’t given away a little too much real estate,” Eyestone said. “However, he came charging back over the last mile. I loved seeing him finish strong.”
BYU junior Brandon Garnica ran a 22:52.4 to come in fifth and secure his fourth career top-5 finish. The Cougars’ also welcomed good season-opening results from newcomers Lucas Bons and Creed Thompson.
After only competing in track and field last season, Bons finished seventh with a time of 23:07.1 in his first collegiate cross country action. Thompson took ninth in his BYU debut. The true freshman joined the Cougars this season following a highly successful career at Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah.
In-state foes Weber State and Dixie State followed BYU in the team scoring at second and third, respectively. BYU cross country alumni, College of Southern Idaho and College of Southern Nevada competed as well.
“This was a good start to the season,” Eyestone said. “Weber State has a really strong team. I would say they’re a top-25 team for sure.”
- Adam Wood (eighth, 23:08.6), Zac Jacklin (15th, 23:36.2) and Justin Hartshorn (16th, 23:40.2) rounded out the results for the Cougars on Saturday.
- Hartshorn, a sophomore from Alpine, Utah, competed in a BYU jersey for the first time at the Autumn Classic after transferring from Utah State.
- BYU’s Joey Nokes, Davin Thompson, McKay Johns, Zack Ericksen, William Handley, Aaron Leavens and Zachary Erikson competed unattached.
The Cougars took the top nine spots of the meet, starting with Aubrey Frentheway who clocked a first place time of 17:39.1. Kate Hunter (17:40.1), Anna Martin (17:44.9), Haley Johnston (17:46.2), Sara Musselman (17:57.1), Carmen Alder (18:05.8), Madi Moffitt (18.11.0), Julie Sumsion (18:12.2) and Heather Hanson (18:13.7) then claimed spots Nos. 2 through 9.
"I was super pleased with how the women raced today," said women's cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor. "The main focus was to work as a pack and really just enjoy this one. Some of them treated it as a rust buster, because we are traveling to Florida next week. Overall, I was really impressed with the effort and the power of the pack. I'm excited to combine the women that we rested today and the women that raced today, and open up next week in Florida."
- The women’s team won the Autumn Classic for the third-straight season, claiming eighth of the last nine since 2012.
- The Cougars earned 12 of the top-15 spots.
- Frentheway, Hunter, Martin, Johnston, Alder, Moffitt, Sumsion, Hanson, Gardner and Dildine each set career best 5K times.
Reagan Gardner, Rachel Morrin and Lizzie Dildine also contributed to BYU’s first-place finish. The Cougars had three runners compete unattached: Eliza Arrington, Destiny Everett and Brynn Esplin. They finished 10th, 12th and 14th, respectively.
- Friday, Sept. 24 (Time TBA)
- Roy Griak Invitational
- Les Bolstad Golf Course (St. Paul, Minnesota)
- Friday, Sept. 17 (8:10 a.m. EDT)
- FSU XC Open (6K)
- Apalachee Regional Park (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Cross Country opens season with Autumn Classic
PROVO, Utah — BYU cross country kicks off its 2021 season hosting the Autumn Classic at Timpanogos Golf Club on Saturday.
Both the men's and women's teams will compete in the meet. BYU men's cross country will face in-state and regional rival, Weber State at the Autumn Classic. The Wildcats entered the 2021 season ranked No. 7 in the Mountain Region, five spots below No. 2 BYU. Weber State won the College of Southern Idaho Classic in Twin Falls, Idaho on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Dixie State University, the College of Southern Idaho and the College of Southern Nevada will also join the Cougars in the Classic.
- Saturday, September 11
- Women's 5K: 9:35 a.m. MDT
- Men's 7K: 10:30 a.m. MDT
- Spectator Admission: $6
- Meet Details
- Live Results
Freshmen Carmen Alder, Lizzie Dildine and Reagan Gardner, as well as Aubrey Frentheway, Heather Hanson, Kate Hunter, Johnston, 2020-21 WCC Freshman of the Year Anna Martin, Madi Moffitt, Rachel Morrin, Sara Musselman and Julie Sumsion are slated to race in the Autumn Classic on Saturday.
The defending National Champs earned a #1 rank in both the USTFCCCA and Mountain Region preseason polls last week. The Cougars were also picked to win the WCC, with six athletes named to the Preseason All-WCC team.
All seven athletes from the 2020-21 National Championship team, including All-Americans Anna Camp-Bennett, Frentheway, Whittni Orton and Musselman. McKenna Lee Hansen, Haley Johnston and Lexy Halladay also return.
BYU looks to win its fourth-straight WCC championship this season. Frentheway, Camp-Bennett, Musselman and Lee Hansen each finished in the top-10 at last years championship meet.
Following the Autumn Classic, the Cougars will race at the FSU XC Open on Sept. 17, the Steve T. Reeder Memorial Invitational on Oct. 8 and the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Oct. 15.
The WCC Championships are slated for Oct. 29, with the NCAA Mountain Regional and NCAA Championships to follow on Nov. 12 and Nov. 20, respectively.
Returning All-Americans Conner Mantz and Casey Clinger will lead the Cougars into 2021 at the Autumn Classic. Brandon Garnica, Zac Jacklin, Creed Thompson, Aidan Troutner and Adam Wood will also represent BYU in defending their home course.
Mantz headlines the Cougars' 2021 team as the reigning NCAA Division I and West Coast Conference Individual Champion. Troutner embarks on his sophomore season after a freshman campaign in which he was honored as WCC Freshman of the Year. Thompson will appear in his first collegiate meet for the Cougars on Saturday following a decorated prep career at Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah.
Two years removed from a national title, BYU men's cross country enters the season ranked No. 3 in the USTFCCCA Division I Coaches' Poll. Following a disappointing third-place nationals finish in 2020, the Cougars will look to reclaim their crown at the NCAA Championships in Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Prior to nationals both men's and women's teams will host the NCAA Mountain Regional at Timpanogos Golf Club on Friday, Nov. 12.
BYU stands as the undisputed preseason No. 1 in the WCC Coaches' Poll and seeks to secure its seventh-consecutive league title at the conference championships in Concord, California on Friday, Oct. 29.
Following Saturday's season-opener, three regular season meets hosted, respectively, by Minnesota, Utah State and Florida State, precede the team's post-season action.