Women, Men Put On Strong Showing in Idaho and Minnesota
EAGLE -- Returning to race in her hometown for the second time in her career, sophomore Lisa Drury led the way for the Cougars, winning the 5K Bob Firman Invitational in front of all her friends and family.
“We all went in with high hopes and expectations,” BYU assistant coach Chris Shane said. “This was a very pivotal race for all of our athletes because it’s the last meet before we select our final 12 runners, and everyone performed very well.”
Positions one through six were all Cougar runners, allowing BYU to finish with a perfect score of 15 points and a third-straight team victory.
Drury finished first overall in 18:20 after leading for the duration of the race. Running alongside Drury was teammate Sarah Edwards, who narrowly lost out on the win in the final sprint, finishing second in 18:22.
“I really enjoyed this race and all the support I received from my family, friends and teammates,” Drury said. “All of my high school coaches were here, along with a lot of my family, and having so much support pushes me to run better.”
Sophomore Ashlee Thomas crossed the finish line in third in 18:31 and junior Katie Palmer followed closely behind in fourth (18:35). The next two were separated by a few tenths of a second, with senior Stacy Slight taking fifth (18:36) and sophomore Kendy Christensen placing sixth (18:36).
The women will be in action again in less than a week as they head to South Bend, Ind., for the Notre Dame Invitational on October 1. The meet will mark the biggest challenge of the season for the Cougars, and will begin at 12 p.m. MST on Friday.
Men Finish Fourth at Griak Invitational
ST. PAUL -- At its first race against several ranked teams this season, BYU men's cross country finished fourth overall at the Roy Griak Invitational in St. Paul, Minn., Saturday morning.
Junior Miles Batty led the way again for the Cougars, finishing third overall in the 8K race with a time 24:14.5.
"Batty was the top American in the race, getting beat by two Kenyan runners," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "He is on track to be a top ten guy at the NCAA national's meet if not better and is one of the best runners in the country."
BYU suffered a few setbacks in the race. Sophomore Rex Shields was feeling a little bit under the weather but still managed to finish second for the team (24:53) and 22nd overall. Senior Jon Kotter also had a mild ankle sprain in warmups that limited him to finishing 61st overall (25:29).
Senior Nate Ogden (24:53) and freshmen Jared Ward (25:03) and Aaron Fletcher (25:13) rounded out BYU's top five finishers. Complete results are available on www.gophersports.com
"Today was indication that we need to work a little bit still," Eyestone said. “If we want to meet our season goals to win conference and finish top ten at nationals we know we can do it."
BYU now has three weeks to prepare for the NCAA Pre-Nationals race in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday, October 16 at 9 a.m. MST.
Men Head to Minnesota, Women to Idaho
PROVO -- For the second consecutive weekend the BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams will be in action in two separate locations.
Minnesota will be the host for the men as they head to the elite Griak Invitational and the women will head north to Eagle, Idaho for the Bob Firman Invitational.
“I would like to see a solid team performance,” men’s head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I was very happy with our grouping between our first and fifth man at our last race and if we can do that again we will do extremely well.”
On the men’s side, the Griak Invitational will feature ranked teams. Tied for No. 11 North Carolina State and New Mexico as well as No. 13 Oklahoma will give BYU stiff competition. The race will begin at 11:20 p.m. MST and results will be available following the conclusion of the meet at gophersports.com.
Junior Miles Batty is expected to be BYU’s top runner again, with junior Rex Shields not far behind. Jared Ward will also be running officially for the team after running unattached the first two races of the year and should be another top finisher for the Cougars.
The women’s team will face off against teams from Boise State, Northwest Nazerene, Utah and Treasure Valley Community College, along with a few club teams. The 5K women’s race will begin at 9:25 a.m. MST and results will be available at runnerspace.com.
A pair of young runners, sophomore Michaelanne Laurent and redshirt freshman Candace Eddy, will look to lead the Cougars in the absence of upperclassmen Cecily Lemmon-Lew and Katie Bowen. Laurent finished first among BYU runners at the Aztec Invitational September 18 with Eddy close behind.