Thomas Zimmer Championship Course
9002 Country Road PD Madison WI 53593
MADISON, Wis. – Andrea Nelson Harrison finished first among Cougar runners for the third time this season leading BYU women’s cross country to a 26th place finish at the Wisconsin Invitational Friday.
Harrison’s time of 20:48 in the 6-kilometer race and 63rd place finish overall was an improvement from last year, yet she believes her performance could have been even better.
“I wasn’t disappointed but I was hoping to do a little better,” Harrison said. “I was happy that I improved on both time and place from last year but I didn’t feel as fresh as Notre Dame. I definitely feel like I have more in me.”
Following Harrison once again were Carrie Jube and Jennica Redd. Jube and Redd completed the course with times of 21:12 and 21:26, respectively. Makenna Smith finished fourth in 21:32. Kristi Rush was fifth place for the team finishing in 21:59.
“We were flat today, a little tired coming in,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “They ran hard, and even though they felt tired, they ran pretty well. Andrea Harrison did a wonderful job. Carrie Jube ran a solid race and Kristi Rush battled well as our fifth runner.”
The meet was important for BYU with 22 ranked teams participating and an opportunity to move up in the rankings in its effort to qualify for nationals. The goal before the meet was to place in the top 20 and perhaps the top 15. The 26th place finish overall was not the desired result for the team, but the Cougars did beat two ranked squads in Notre Dame and William and Mary.
“We didn’t help ourselves get to nationals today, but hopefully we’ve done enough at Minnesota and Notre Dame that it will work out,” Shane said. “It wasn’t what we hoped for but it was our best today.”
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day for BYU came in the “B” race with sophomore Marren Haneberg of Snohomish, Washington, finishing 18th overall with a time 21:39.
“I would have to say Marren was a great surprise and I’m really pleased with how she put it together,” Shane said.
The race was Haneberg’s second race in her first collegiate season. Her performance could earn her a spot on the team that will compete at the West Coast Conference Championships.
“I feel pretty good about my race,” Haneberg said. “Going in to the race, I wasn’t sure where I would be place-wise. I made a goal to just leave it out there and have fun. I knew 22 out of the top 30 teams were here, but the training here is great. Coach Shane knows what he’s doing, so I had confidence in that.”
The Cougars will now turn their attention to the final portion of their season that includes the West Coast Conference Championships in two weeks, followed by the Mountain Regional Championship and then the NCAA Championships.
“We are pretty excited for this last third of the season,” Harrison said. “We still have the goal and expectation of winning conference. We also feel pretty confident in the results at Griak and Notre Dame. We can still go to nationals and show what we can do. I still don’t think we’ve reached our full potential, we’re still getting there.”
BYU will have another bye week before the West Coast Conference Championships on Nov. 1 in Santa Clara, California.
Full meet results for the “A” race and “B” races can be found at the University of Wisconsin’s results page. The “B” race is listed under the open meet results.
PROVO, Utah – No. 30 BYU women’s cross country will compete against 21 of the nation's top 30 teams at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday morning.
The Cougars enter this meet after a successful showing two weeks ago at the Notre Dame Invitational. BYU finished fourth and made its season debut the following week in the national rankings at No. 30.
“What an opportunity we have in front of us,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “If we can finish in the top 14 to 15, it would be a highly successful meet.”
A successful race against the most challenging field to date will require a complete team effort, specifically from the top-five finishers. Redshirt freshman and Gilbert, Arizona, native Kristi Rush could play an important role come Friday.
Rush is coming off a personal-best performance at the Notre Dame Invitational, placing sixth for BYU and 71st overall. True freshman Alyssa Steed, like Rush also ran a personal best.
“We probably started too slow at Notre Dame,” Rush said. “But Alyssa and I decided to move up pretty early and we made some serious progress passing people. I know I felt really good and in my mind my race felt right.”
The Notre Dame Invitational was a meet that Coach Shane said played a major role in getting to nationals last season. Shane hopes the strong performance at Notre Dame this season will once again serve as momentum for the ever-important Wisconsin meet.
“Notre Dame was definitely a confidence-booster,” Rush said. ”You always want to improve obviously. You always want to get better, but my confidence is definitely higher.”
So far this season the Cougars have relied heavily on Andrea Nelson Harrison, Carrie Jube, Jennica Redd and Makenna Smith. If Rush and Steed continue to improve and build off their Notre Dame performances, BYU will have the depth to knock off opponents currently ranked higher.
“Facing all the ranked teams just makes me excited because I know that the more people we beat, the higher ranked we can get,” Rush said. “We are racing against the people we need to be racing against to make our statement and prove that we can do well at nationals.”
“If we can go out and execute our race plans individually and as a team, we can place in the top 15,” Shane said.
This will be the sixth annual Wisconsin Adidas Invitational held at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course. The first race begins at 11:00 a.m. CDT. There will be an “A” race and a “B” race. The Twitter handle @Badger_Track will be live tweeting the race. The hashtag for the meet will be #adidasinvite. Live results can be found following this link from the University of Wisconsin's website.