PROVO, Utah (Sept. 29, 2001) In a race featuring 14 teams ranked in the top 25, the No. 15 ranked BYU men's cross country team finished 10th at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minn. Saturday.
Leading the Cougars was senior All-American John Hedengren, who completed the 8K course in 24:45 to finish 22nd. Coming in just after Hedengren for the Cougars was junior Lewis Jones, who finished 24th in a time of 24:46.5.
"We ran well as a team," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We beat the teams we needed to beat to pick up points for an at-large bid to the NCAA Championship. This race will also be a motivator for us going into the races at the end of the season."
The women's team was in Palo Alto, California to compete in the Stanford Invitational. The women split their squad between the 4K and 6K course in Stanford.
The top finisher for the Cougars in the 4K race was Michaela Mannova, a sophomore transfer from New Orleans, who took second in her first competition of the season. Mannova competed in the 4K race, finishing in 12:54 to lead the Cougars to a second-place finish behind host Stanford for the short course.
"It was nice to go run at a lower elevation than Provo," Mannova said. "For my first race of the season I ran pretty well. I thought I ran about the same as I have in the past and I'm in pretty good shape at this point."
In the 6K race, Amy Bair was the top finisher for BYU, crossing the line in 21:37 to finish 10th overall.
Tia Babbel was the second Cougar across the line on the long course, finishing 14th in a time of 21:50.
The Cougars scored 88 points in the long race, finishing third behind Stanford with 24 and Arkansas with 39. Twenty-five teams competed in the long course and 19 teams ran on the short course.
"We had really good performances from everybody," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "I was particularly impressed with Tia Babbel in her first collegiate race. She had a breakthrough performance tonight."
Both the men's and women's teams will not be racing next weekend. The two teams next travel to Greensville, S.C. to compete in the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 13.
For men's results from the Roy Griak Invitational, go to http://gophersports.com/Griak/GoldMens.htm
For Stanford Invitational results go to http://www.fansonly.com/schools//stan/sports/c-xc/stats/092901aaa.html
The BYU men's cross country team will finally get a chance to see how they match up with the rest of the nation when the team travels to Minnesota to compete in the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The Cougar men's team is ranked No.15 in the nation this week in the national polls, the same position it held in the preseason poll.
The race will be a chance for BYU to gain national recognition and improve their position for a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
"This is the first weekend when races finally count towards at-large points at the end of the season," head coach Ed Eyestone said. " We are going to have the opportunity to go head-to-head against some of the top teams in the nation. We'll be able to see whether or not our No. 15 ranking is justified but I think it is."
The women's cross country team will also be on the road this weekend, traveling to Palo Alto, Calif. to compete in the Stanford Invitational.
The squad traveling to Stanford will be split between a 4K race and a 6K race to allow more athletes to compete and give the team a chance to get ready for the rest of the season.
"Some teams will be dividing their runners between races and some will be putting all their runners into one race," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "This meet will mostly be a preparation for our athletes. I expect us to do well but the race won't tell us much about other teams."
Next weekend both the men's and women's teams will take a week off from competition to prepare for the Pre-National Invitational in Greensville, S.C. on October 13.