Men and Women Sweep MWC
SALT LAKE -- The BYU cross country teams retained their conference titles at the Mountain West Conference Championship on Saturday at Rose Park Golf Course in Salt Lake City.
Kassi Andersen led the women's team and won her third race of the season with a time of 20:52.7. BYU finished with 35 points, ahead of Colorado State (44).
"It was as we thought it would be," said women's head coach Patrick Shane. "It was a close race. I felt like we ran well and beat a very good Colorado State team."
Andersen started the race by running along with several of the other girls, before making a move in the second half of the race.
"I really like running with all the girls at the beginning," said Andersen. "During the last mile I tried to pick it up. I knew there were girls trying to catch me so I tried to push it. I had a great time."
"Kassi is running really solid now," said Shane. "She's winning races without having to rest yet. We'll make sure she's fresh going into these next couple races, but she's getting the job done."
Rounding out the women's top seven were Amber Duffin (5), Amy Fowler (7), Breanne Sandberg (9), Anne Heiner (13), Jenna Jensen (15) and Tawny Bybee (16).
Five BYU women were awarded All-Conference honors. Andersen, Duffin and Fowler received first team recognition, while Sandberg and Heiner were named to the second team.
The women's cross country team after winning the MWC Championship
With top runner Josh Rohatinsky back from injury the men's team brought home it's seventh conference title in eight years.
"The team ran up to our expectations," said head coach Ed Eyestone. "It was a strong dominating performance that I knew we were capable of doing."
Rohatinsky finished with a time of 23:56.8, beating Wyoming's Mark Korir by nine seconds. He collapsed shortly after crossing the finish line but quickly recovered.
"Josh ran extremely well," said Eyestone. "He expanded on the lead about halfway through the race. It was a hard effort."
Kyle Perry finished third overall and had probably the best race of the team. Also in the top seven for the Cougars was Chandler Goodwin (6), Dustin Bybee (7), Jacob Gustafsson (10), Alden Bahr (11) and Brandon Hebbert (19).
Six members of the men's team were recognized as All-Conference runners. Rohatinsky, Perry, Goodwin and Bybee received first team honors. Gustafsson and Bahr received second team awards.
As the men prepare for their next race, Eyestone recognizes how crucial preparation will be.
"We'll still keep our volume up and get a good work week in," he said. "We want to have a good run at regionals."
The men's cross country team after winning the MWC Championship
In addition to team recognition, both Eyestone and Shane walked away with Coach of the Year honors. Andersen and Rohatinsky received the awards for Runner of the Year.
Up next both teams will prepare for the NCAA Regional meet in Albuquerque, N.M. on Nov. 11.
2006 Mountain West Conference Women's All Conference Teams
Kassi Andersen, Jr.
Amber Duffin, So.
Amy Fowler, So.
Breanne Sandberg, Sr.
Anne Heiner, Sr.
Runner of the Year
Coach of the Year
2006 Mountain West Conference Men's All Conference Teams
Josh Rohatinsky, Sr.
Kyle Perry, So.
Chandler Goodwin, Jr.
Dustin Bybee, Jr.
Jacob Gustafsson, So.
Alden Bahr, Fr.
Runner of the Year
Coach of the Year
Freshman of the Year
Cougars Hope to Defend MWC Titles
PROVO -- Both the men's (No. 21) and women's (No. 11) cross country teams will race to defend their Mountain West Conference titles this Saturday in Salt Lake City.
"I want us to defend as conference champions," said men's head coach Ed Eyestone.
"I like our chances," said women's head coach Patrick Shane. "We have a great team. We're even better than we were last year."
After sitting out of the Pre-National White Race in Terre Haute, Ind. due to injury, senior Josh Rohatinsky is healthy and ready to return to competition. At last year's race he recorded the second fastest clocking in MWC Championship history with a time of 24:12.9.
"Josh is doing well," said Eyestone. "He had a great workout yesterday and he's back to 100 percent."
Rohatinsky will have to lead his team against several worthy conference opponents, including Wyoming's Mark Korir, a native of Kenya.
The Cougars have captured the title in eight of the last nine seasons. Eyestone has high hopes and confidence that the team has what it takes to do it again.
"Ideally it would be great to have four of our guys in the top seven All-Conference," said Eyestone. "I want everyone to run at the best of their ability. If they do that things will work out well for us."
The BYU women will have to do their best against a good Colorado State team that took first place at the BYU Autumn Classic earlier in the season. For the first time in school history CSU has the potential to win the conference title and knock off BYU.
"We will be tested by a very good CSU team," said Shane. "At the Autumn Classic we didn't run all of our top girls, but neither did they. We didn't get a chance to fairly compare our two teams."
The team will be led by four girls, including two-time All-Americans Kassi Andersen and Breanne Sandberg, and sophomores Amy Fowler and Amber Duffin.
"Kassi Andersen should do very well," said Shane. "She is probably the best individual runner we've ever had."
The depth Shane has been hoping would appear all season has finally surfaced. The five other runners making the trip all have an equal chance at landing the fifth spot to be counted towards the team score.
The MWC Championship will be held at Rose Park Golf Course in Salt Lake City on Saturday, Oct. 28. The women's race will begin at 10 a.m. with the men's following at 11 a.m.