Cougars Sweep MWC Championships
SAN DIEGO -- The conference title will make its home once again in Provo, as the Cougars swept the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships Saturday at Morley Field in San Diego.
The women (24) continued their domination in the conference, as they won their 17th straight conference championship holding off and defeating Colorado State (59) by 35 points.
"I am encouraged in what I saw today," women's coach Patrick Shane said. "We finally came together as a team."
The men (39) held off the Air Force Academy (57) and reclaimed the conference title, making it their fifth championship in six years.
"The cadets were very strong today," said men's coach Ed Eyestone. "For about two-thirds of the race it was anybody's ball game."
Pacing the women's team was Laura Turner, who excelled on a tough and challenging course. The senior ran through her competition finishing first overall, with a time of 21:23. For her efforts the Mountain West Conference honored her as the MWC women's Athlete of the Year.
"It was a great race today," Turner said. "I felt really good out there on the course and I know exactly what I need to do in the next race."
Finishing behind Turner was senior Rena Chesser (21:49, 2nd) and freshman Heidi Magill (22:01, 3rd).
Magill was honored as the MWC Freshman of the Year, an award the Cougars have taken home two years in a row. Last year's recipient, teammate Amber Harper finished eighth this year, with a time of 22:37.
"Having Laura, Rena and Heidi finish the way they did, was a highlight of the race," Shane said. "Overall as a team it was a sound performance."
Along with the conference championship, the women placed six athletes on the All-MWC teams. Turner, Chesser and Magill earned First Team All-MWC honors as Harper, Jami Caldwell and Julie Cameron earned Second Team All-MWC honors. Caldwell finished 10th with a time of 22:51 and Cameron finished 11th, with a time of 22:53.
On the men's side, Josh Rohatinsky (25:03) and Bryan Lindsay (25:16) finished third and fourth overall, as they lead the Cougars to an 18-point defeat over the Falcons of Air Force.
Dustin Bybee finished seventh, with a time of 25:22 and Nathan Robison (25:29,10th) and Chad Durham (25:43, 15th) rounded out the scoring for the men.
"Dustin pulled the rabbit out of the hat today," said Eyestone. "He finished the race strong and in a spot where we needed him to be. It seems like each week we have someone stepping it up and Dustin was the man today."
Four athletes for the men were honored as members of the All-MWC teams. Rohatinsky, Lindsay and Bybee earned First Team All-MWC, as Robison earned Second Team All-MWC honors.
"The pieces of the puzzle are coming together now," Eyestone added.
Along with his team reclaiming the conference title, Eyestone was honored as the MWC Cross Country Men's Coach of the Year, an award, which is voted on by the coaches.
"It's an honor,especially when your peers are the ones who vote," said Eyestone. "We have some great coaches in this conference and its nice to know they recognize and see your hard work and effort."
2004 Mountain West Conference Men's All-Conference Teams
Shadrack Biwott, Fr., New Mexico
Matt Gonzales, Sr., New Mexico
Josh Rohatinsky, Jr., BYU
Bryan Lindsay, Sr., BYU
Mike Nicks, Sr., Colorado State
Josh Glaab, Jr., Colorado State
Dustin Bybee, Fr., BYU
Abe Wengel, Sr., Air Force
Brian Dumm, Sr., Air Force
Nathan Robison, Sr., BYU
Mark Walter, Jr., Air Force
Delfino Arevalo, Sr., Utah
Nick Wilson, Jr., Air Force
Cameron Clarke, Jr., New Mexico
Coach of the Year:
Ed Eyestone, BYU
2004 Mountain West Conference Women's All-Conference Teams
Laura Turner, Sr., BYU
Rena Chesser, Sr., BYU
Heidi Magill, Fr., BYU
Jacquelyne Gallegos, Jr., New Mexico
Elise Greenwood-Bahr, Jr., Utah
Danielle Korb, Jr., Colorado State
Jennifer Thompson, Sr., Wyoming
Amber Harper, So., BYU
Michelle Carman, Sr., Colorado State
Jami Caldwell, Sr., BYU
Julie Cameron, Fr., BYU
Nicole Feest, Jr., Colorado State
Kelly Robinson, Fr., Air Force
Christal Cuadra, Jr., San Diego State
Runner of the Year:
Laura Turner, Sr., BYU
Freshman of the Year:
Heidi Magill, BYU
Cougars ready for MWC Championship
PROVO, Utah (October, 27, 2004) -- The men and women's cross country teams gear up for the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships this weekend, in San Diego, California.
The 10th ranked men look to reclaim the conference title from the Air Force Academy, as the 13th ranked women look to win their 17th straight conference title.
Prior to last year's finish, the men had won three conference titles in a row, but a gutsy and determined Cadet team swept the title from underneath their feet as the Cougars came in a disappointing second.
"The Cadets will be gunning for us," men's coach Ed Eyestone said. "They got us last year and they beat us at the Notre Dame Invitational, but things are different now we're a much healthier and deeper team then we were then. It's going to be a great race."
As for the women, they will be in a situation they've become used to being in the last 16 years, which is defending off a pack of hungry and eager runners who want a taste of the conference title.
Colorado State has been the runner-up to the Cougars for quite some time and women's coach Patrick Shane feels the battle for first will come between the two teams.
"CSU and ourselves will be the two teams competing for the conference title," said Shane. "Their coaches are probably telling their athletes, this is the year, and so I anticipate and expect a strong race from CSU."
Running strong and picking up the reins of leadership has been senior Laura Turner. Turner has competed in two races this year and in those races, she has placed fourth overall and has twice been named MWC Athlete of the Week.
"Laura right now is running really strong," noted Shane. "She has the best conference time this year in both the 5,000m and the 6,000m. She'll definitely challenge for the overall title."
A runner, who has made a name for himself this year, is Josh Rohatinsky. The sophomore has been unbelievable this season as he's won three overall events and was named the MWC Athlete of the Week for his performance at the Notre Dame Invitational.
"Josh is a competitor and he continues to get stronger as the season moves on," added Eyestone. "It will be a battle up front for the overall title."
Both Shane and Eyestone noted that several runners in both the men and women's races will compete for the overall title. Shane couldn't recall the last time one of his athletes hadn't placed first at the meet and Eyestone mentioned that New Mexico's, Matt Gonzalez will also push for the men's overall champion.
But Eyestone said he has an athlete who isn't afraid of a little competition.
"Josh isn't a guy who will let him go," said Eyestone. "It will be fun to watch the battle and see who will claim the individual title."
The Cougars will travel to San Diego on Friday in hopes of returning with an overall sweep at conference.
"Our guys' expectations are high and they're training towards that end," Eyestone said.
Shane noted that he has been telling his athletes to not be afraid of blowing up. In other words, stop running conservatively.
"You can't be afraid to blow up," Shane said. "We need the attitude and courage of a champion and right now we're running conservatively. This is a chance for us to make a statement and prepare ourselves for the following weeks ahead."
The event will be at Morley Field in Balboa Park at 9 a.m. Saturday.