CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 18, 2001) Tara Northcutt won the collegiate race at the Great American Cross Country Festival, finishing the 5K course in a time of 16:56.
"The humidity here was different but the course we ran was fun," Northcutt said. "When I finished the race I was surprised I was done. It was a good confidence builder and I was really happy with my time."
The Cougars were unable to bring home the team title, coming in just behind No. 9 N.C. State for a second-place finish. The Wolf Pack had 41 points to BYU's 59.
"We have some work to do but I feel good about how well the team performed against a talented field," Shane said. "We lost to a team that was underrated in the polls but you'll see N.C. State rise in the rankings after this win."
In addition to the No. 4 Cougars and No. 9 N.C. State, the field consisted of four other teams ranked in the top 25. Those teams are No. 6 North Carolina, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 21 Wake Forest and No. 25 Duke.
Lindsey Thomsen was the second BYU finisher, coming in 13th overall in a time of 17:31. Thomsen has been hampered by injury and had only trained for three days coming into the race.
"I'm excited that I did as well as I did with very little training," Thomsen said. "The team did a great job of helping each other today and I thought we stayed in a pack well during the race."
Great American Cross Country Festival
Top Five Team Finishers
1. N.C. State 41
2. BYU 59
3. North Carolina 83
4. Arkansas 95
5. Duke 130
Individual BYU Finishers
1. Tara Northcutt 16:56
13. Lindsey Thomsen 17:32
14. Jessie Kindschi 17:34
17. Katie Martin 17:41
18. Sarah Taylor 17:42
21. Amy Bair 17:49
26. Emily Mars 17:57
32. Jill Rencher 18:05
43. Devra Vierkant 18:17
54. Anika Smith 18:27
59. Jaime Cottle 18:29
62. Tiffany Rust 18:34
The BYU women's cross country team will travel across the country this weekend to compete in the Great American Festival in Charlotte, North Carolina on Friday.
The race will be the first opportunity for the fourth-ranked Cougars to match up against some of theteams expected to contend for this year's national title.
Head coach Patrick Shane said, "This race is going to be the first race of the season for many of our athletes. We've got a strong team that should do well but we will be tested."
In addition to No. 4 BYU, No. 9 N.C. State and No. 25 Duke are slated to run in the collegiate race.
"I'm looking forward to running against some top-ranked teams. The field will also consist of some good individuals as well," Shane said.
The race is scheduled to begin at 7:10 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, Sept. 21.
BYU last competed on Sept. 8 at the Great Race in San Francisco. Jessie Kindschi, a transfer from South Dakota State, won that event for BYU, leading seven BYU runners who finished among the top ten that day.
The men's and women's teams did not compete last week as a result of circumstances surrounding the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
The 15th-ranked BYU men's cross country team will not be in action the second consecutive weekend. The men will take the week off, as previously scheduled, to prepare for what will become their season-opener next Saturday at the Roy Griak Invitational in Minneapolis, Minnesota.