Batty Wins MWC Championship and Male Athlete of the Year Award
LARAMIE -- Junior Miles Batty won the 8K at the men’s cross country Mountain West Conference Championships in Laramie, Wyo., but it wasn’t enough to secure a team win as the Cougars finished second behind the New Mexico Lobos.
BYU finished with 53 points behind the Lobos 40, with Batty leading the way in an 8K time of 25:01.6. Following for the Cougars was freshman Jared Ward taking third (25:13.1), senior Nate Ogden in 10th (25:30.7), sophomore Travis Fuller in 19th (25:58.2) and junior Alden Bahr in 20th overall (25:58.9) to round out BYU’s top five finishers.
"We got really great performances out of Batty and Ward," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "New Mexico's depth was just too much for us though."
With Batty’s third win of the season and first MWC title, he was named the MWC cross country Male Athlete of the Year. He also earned first team All-MWC honors for the second consecutive year in his collegiate career. Ward also earned first team All-MWC with Ogden earning second team All-MWC honors.
"With Ward's performance and Batty to win the conference it was a great way to close out the conference," Eyestone said.
Strong performances were also turned in by senior Jon Kotter finishing 23rd overall with a time of 26:12.5 and sophomore Jared Rohatisnky taking 27th in 26:26.9. Talented freshmen Conner Peloquin and Ben Johnston also showed well in their first MWC Championships finishing in 29th and 36th, with times of 26:29.0 and 26:57.7, respectively.
Junior Kate Bowen led the women’s team for the fourth consecutive race Friday, finishing fifth and helping the team to a third place finish at the MWC Championships.
“We are a little bit disappointed,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “New Mexico is a great team and we just couldn’t beat them today. Kate (Bowen) did perform really well for us and I am proud of our whole team.
The final standings saw New Mexico in first with 20 points, Colorado State in second with 60 points and BYU in third with 72 points. This marks the fourth consecutive season finishing in second or third at the MWC Championships for the Cougars.
Bowen completed the 6K course in 21:46.1, earning first team All-MWC honors. Edging out Bowen in the race was Ellie Keyser from Colorado State in fourth and New Mexico athletes in the top three spots.
Coming in second for the Cougars and 14th overall was sophomore Nicole Nielsen. Nielsen crossed the line in 22:30.5 and earned second team All-MWC honors. Just behind Nielsen was 2009 MWC Cross Country champion Cecily Lemmon-Lew who crossed the line in 15th (22:32.6).
Junior Katy Andrews was the fourth Cougar runner to finish, coming in 17th overall in 22:36.4. The final scoring position for BYU came from Millie Rapp, who finished 21st. Rapp finished in 22:57.2.
“We will keep our heads up and start preparing for the Mountain Regional,” Shane said. “We are now focusing on qualifying for nationals and will have a few good weeks of practice to get ready.”
Complete results are available on www.themwc.com.
The NCAA Mountain Regional will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on Nov. 13. Race time for the women is set at 10:30 a.m. MST with the men beginning at 11:30 a.m. MST.
1. Miles Batty 25:01.6
3. Jared Ward 25:13.1
10. Nathan Ogden 25:30.7
19. Travis Fuller 25:58.2
20. Alden Bahr 25:58.9
23. Jonathan Kotter 26:12.5
27. Jared Rohatinsky 26:26.9
29. Conner Peloquin 26:29.0
36. Ben Johnston 26:57.7
5. Kate Bowen 21:46.1
14. Nicole Nielsen 22:30.5
15. Cecily Lew 22:32.6
17. Katy Andrews 22:36.4
21. Millie Rapp 22:57.2
26. Rachel Lange 23:18.0
38. Lisa Drury 23:57.6
42. Sarah Edwards 24:09.0
47. Katie Palmer 24:18.8
Men and Women Look to Recapture MWC Title
PROVO -- Championship season begins Friday for the BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams as they head to Laramie, Wyo. for the 2010 Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championships.
The men’s team is looking to bring home the conference title it has held for eight of the last 10 seasons. Men’s head coach Ed Eyestone would like to make it nine of 11.
“We’d like to go out on top,” Eyestone said. “The guys realize we have our work cut out for us though.”
Defending champions, New Mexico, are strong again coming into the meet ranked No. 12 in the USTFCCCA poll, one spot higher than the No. 13 Cougars.
“If we can close our gaps and break up their top guys I think we can do enough to win,” Eyestone said. “I think we are in good shape.”
Miles Batty, the junior from Sandy, is hoping to the lead the way for the Cougars and compete for an individual championship. Batty has been BYU’s top finisher in every race this season and has been one of the top runners in the nation.
The women of New Mexico, currently ranked No. 10, poses the main threat for the women's team as they also try to regain the MWC title. BYU has finished second to the Lobos for the past three seasons after winning the title each season from 1999 – 2006.
“We go into this race with a singular focus and that is to win the conference,” BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “We have had to deal with being second the last three years and we are prepared to make the leap back to number one.”
Junior Kate Bowen is expected to pace the Cougars as she has for the majority of this season. Bowen enters the championships with the best 6K time in the MWC this season (20:42.3).
Reigning MWC champion Cecily Lemmon-Lew will try to defend her title in only her second race of the season. Lemmon-Lew has been hampered by injuries for the majority of the season and competed for the first time in 2010 at Pre-Nationals on Oct. 16.
Also expecting to be out in front for BYU are junior Katy Andrews and sophomore Nicole Nielsen. Andrews has the second fastest 6K time for the Cougars this season (21:02.1) while Nielsen looks to improve on her 11th-place finish in 2009.
“This race will be a team effort,” Shane said. “We have a race strategy in place and if everyone does their part and is unselfish then we can be successful.”
Start time for the women’s 6K is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. MST and the men’s 8K at 11:00 a.m. MST. Complete results and photos will be available at the conclusion of the event at the Mountain West web site (TheMWC.com).