PROVO -- Running against six of the top ten teams in the nation, the BYU women earned a solid third-place finish to assert themselves as one of the best teams in America.
Stanford, the nation's top-ranked team, won the team competition with 36 points, followed by No. 2 Arkansas' 51 points. The No. 4 Cougars were next with a total of 82 points.
"Even though we lost today, we are right where we want to be at this point in the season," said Coach Patrick Shane. "We're focusing on the last four meets of the season and we're treating everything else as preparation for those meets. We ran tough but we're not sharp yet, not where we're gonna be. Stanford and Arkansas were just better teams today."
Two years ago, Stanford put together an even more resounding victory over the Cougars in the same meet. It was the year that BYU took the national title.
BYU's three All-Americans led the way to the finish line at Stanford. Sophomore Laura Heiner led the way for the Cougars, finishing in ninth place in a career-best 16:56. Elizabeth Jackson was next for BYU in 12th place in a time of 17:20, followed by Sharolyn Shields in 16th in 17:30.
Other Cougar finishers were Tara Rohatinsky in 19th, Tara Haynes in 26th, Sarah Ellett in 30th, and Sherida Rogers in 44th.
The Cougars fielded two teams for the invitational, with five more BYU runners competing in the "collegiate" division.
The 'B' team finished second with 84 points behind Stanford's 26. Jill Rencher led the B team in second place overall in 18:04.
The Cougars had a scare at the finish line when junior Kristen Barnes collapsed, unconscious just past the tape. She was taken to the hospital for observation and released. Physicians will look into the incident over the next several days.
1. Stanford 36
2. Arkansas 51
3. BYU 'A' 82
4. Wisconsin 102
5. Kansas State 132
6. Washington 157
7. Arizona 189
8. Cal-Irvine 277
9. UC Davis 312
10. Weber State 331
1. Stanford 26
2. BYU 'B' 84
3. Victoria, B.C. 136
4. UCLA 137
5. San Jose St. 179
9. Laura Heiner 16:56
12. Elizabeth Jackson 17:20
16. Sharolyn Shields 17:30
19. Tara Rohatinsky 17:33
26. Tara Haynes 17:47
30. Sarah Ellett 17:52
44. Sherida Rogers 18:11
2. Jill Rencher 18:04
12. Caisa Monahan 18:31
14. Emili Lawson 18:32
21. Lindsay Nadauld 18:48
36. Kristen Barnes 19:13
PROVO, Utah (September 30) - The No. 4 BYU women look to return to the top of the rankings as they face No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Arkansas at the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., on Saturday.
The Cougars are coming off a second-place finish at the Roy Griak Invitational, where they rested their three returning All-Americans, Sharolyn Shields, Laura Heiner and Elizabeth Jackson, in preparation for Saturday's meet.
Also returning for BYU is talented sophomore Tara Rohatinsky, who bounced back from early-season illness to finish first for the Cougars and third overall last week in Minneapolis.
Competition at the Stanford Invitational includes six of the nation's top 10 teams. No. 1 Stanford and No. 2 Arkansas lead the way, followed by No. 4 BYU, No. 5 Wisconsin, No. 8 Kansas State and No. 10 Washington.
The meet will be a rematch between BYU and Stanford, who edged the Cougars 31-33 to open the season at the Triple Crown Invitational September 18.