Perfect Score, Two Crowns
PROVO (Sat. Sept. 6, 2008) - It was a strong start for the BYU cross country team as both the men’s and women’s team finished first at the BYU Autumn Classic Saturday morning.
BYU’s Stephan Shay finished first overall in the men’s four mile with a time of 21:00.2, barely beating out Jimmy Grabow (21:00.3) from San Bernardino Valley College, who ran unattached, leading the Cougars to their first perfect score since 2004.
“Anytime you have a perfect score at a meet, you come out happy,” said men’s head coach Ed Eyestone. “I was impressed with Stephan’s performance and the way Brandon Hebbert stayed on top for the majority of the race; that’s one of the harder things to do and he did a great job keeping up the intensity.”
Closing in the sweep were Hebbert (21:03.4) in second, Richard Nelson (21:06.2) in third, Kyle Perry (21:10.9) in fourth and Tommy Gruenwald (21:20.3) to finish it off in fifth.
As the first race of the season, the men were able to get a better feel of how they run together as a team and how to feed of each other.
“We wanted to sweep the race,” said Shay. “I was really happy with the finish of the team. I have to give credit to Brandon; he stayed ahead practically the entire race and that is hard to do.”
Coming in behind BYU’s perfect score of 15 were Utah State (59 points), Nebraska (87 points), Utah Valley (105 points), BYU Alumni (136 points), San Bernardino Valley College (152 points), Idaho State (177 points) and Wildcat TC (243).
The BYU women’s team also came out on top, capturing the win with 35 points in the 5K and getting a chance to see what its young team is capable of accomplishing.
“Today was a very good performance,” said BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane, “both individually and as a team. The first race of the season you never know what to expect, but these girls trained really hard at camp, and this summer, and coming here today shows that they know how to race.”
It was an incredible opener for sophomore Anna Sperry who came out as the top Cougar with a time of 19:42.7 for a third place finish.
“The key to my finish today was having a good summer,” said Sperry. “I worked with my old high school team and trying to get them motivated really got me motivated and focused. Everything I was trying to help them with just kind of played back to me.”
Tallying second for the Cougars was junior Angela Wagner (19:44.7) for a fourth place finish. After being home in Africa for a while this summer, finally being back and running with her team was exactly what she needed to get back into the swing of things.
“It’s hard to keep motivated in your training sometimes without having your teammates right there to keep you going, “ said Wagner. “That last lap I was just holding on for dear life, breaking the course into sections to help make it a little easier to keep focused. It was great to hear everybody cheering on the side of the track and now I see where I can improve to come back stronger in the next race.”
Coming in third for the Cougars was freshman Katy Andrews (19:55.4) followed by Stacy Slight (20:02.1) who finished eighth overall.
Following BYU were Nebraska (51 points), Runner's Corner (78 points), USU (79 points), Idaho State (118 points) and UVU (158 points).
Now with the first meet of the season underway, the men’s team will hit the road this week and head to San Diego to compete in the Aztec Invitational, Sept. 13, while the women have to wait a week until their next meet at the Bob Firman Invitational Sept. 20.
BYU Autumn Classic, Sept. 6, 2008
Campus Cross Country Course, Provo, Utah
Men's Four Mile
1. BYU, 15
2. Utah State, 59
3. Nebraska, 87
4. Utah Valley Univ., 105
5. BYU Alumni, 136
6. San Bernardino Valley College, 152
7. Idaho State, 177
8. Wildcat TC, 243
1. Stephan Shay, BYU, 21:00.2
2. Jimmy Grabow, Unattached, 21:00.3
3. Brandon Hebbert, BYU, 21:03.4
4. Richard Nelson, BYU, 21:06.2
5. Kyle Perry, BYU, 21:10.9
6. Tommy Gruenwald, BYU, 21:20.3
7. Ben Kessen, Utah State, 21:23.8
8. Ryan Merriman, BYU, 21:30.4
9. Jacob Gustafsson, BYU, 21:31.8
10. Nate Ogden, BYU, 21:35.8
1. BYU, 35
2. Nebraska, 51
3. Runner's Corner, 78
4. Utah State, 79
5. Idaho State, 118
6. Utah Valley Univ., 158
1. Lara Crofford, Nebraska, 19:10.9
2. Rachel Carrizales, Nebraska, 19:28.2
3. Anna Sperry, BYU, 19:41.7
4. Angela Wagner, BYU, 19:44.7
5. MaryAnn Schauerhamer, Runner's Corner, 19:47.8
6. Katie Andrews, BYU, 19:55.4
7. Sarah Ingebretsen, Runner's Corner, 19:58.8
8. Stacy Slight, BYU, 20:02.1
9. Jessie Chugg, Utah State, 20:03.5
10. Caroline Berry, Utah State, 20:04.3
Harriers Host On-Campus Meet
PROVO -- Both prep and college cross country teams will join host BYU at the annual Autumn Classic Saturday (Sept. 6) for he Cougars' only home meet of the season.
The Cougars' season debuts at the BYU Cross Country Campus Course, adjacent to the Helaman Halls dormitories. The Cougar men start at 10 a.m., while BYU's women run at 10:50 a.m.
BYU will be matching up against Nebraska, Idaho State, Utah Valley University, Utah, Utah State and San Bernardino Valley College.
With nine new freshmen to the BYU women’s team, the young team is excited to see how they can run collectively. The Cougar men also have a relatively young team with eight freshmen. Both teams have just returned from pre-season camps at Park City.
“We’re excited to open at home and set the stage for what we want to accomplish this year as a team,” said BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “We have nine new freshmen and they are making a very solid transition; I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Saturday’s meet will determine which 12 will be selected for BYU's men's traveling team.
“I’m pleased so far with how the men have been running,” said men’s head coach Ed Eyestone. “In this meet we will be establishing the top 12 who will be traveling with us. I’m looking for big things from our returning upper classman, and the new incoming freshman, to put themselves on that traveling team.”
Although this meet will be the first grand entrance of the season for the Cougars, one unique aspect of this event is that several of the top cross country teams from local high schools will be competing as well. This is a chance for BYU to bring together several of the best cross country runners in the state. The schedule for all of Saturday's events is: 9:00 a.m. Frosh/Soph Boys 5K; 9:05 a.m. Frosh/Soph Girls 5K; 9:30 a.m. JV Boys 5K; 9:35 a.m. JV Girls 5K; 10:00 a.m. Univ. Men's 4 Mile; 10:25 a.m. Varsity Boy's 5K; 10:50 am Univ. Women's 5K; 11:15 am Varsity Girl's 5K; and 11:45 a.m. Awards.
“We’re excited to have another large high school-combined-with-college event,” said Shane. “Some of the top college teams are going to be there and we look forward to hosting them. This is also a wonderful opportunity to present the young runners as future recruiting opportunities to some of these top schools.”
Entrance to the Autumn Classic is $3 for adults, $2 for students with ID; children 5 and under are free. Youth athletes, age 14 and under wearing their favorite track or cross country uniform, are admitted free.