Cougars Advance to Nationals after Strong Regional Performance
OGDEN -- Even after running on a wet course with some of the best competition in the nation, the Cougars women's and men's cross country teams placed first and fourth respectively in the NCAA Mountain Regional Cross Country meet at Weber State's Riverside Golf Course Saturday Nov. 15th.
Beside several individual personal records that were set on the Riverside Golf Course, the Cougars had ten individuals honored to the NCAA All-Mountain team and will advance to the National Championship Nov. 24th in Cedar Fall, Iowa.
"This is the best race we have had as a team by far this year," women's head coach Patrick Shane said.
Finally the Cougars accomplished their season goal--to make it to nationals healthy. The final component of this goal was reached as Kassi Anderson joined the women's team with a strong run and the men ran well to position themselves for an at-large bid to nationals.
"With Kassi back running strong our potential is finally being reached," Shane said. "Without Kassi we are a running as the third or fourth team in the nation, but with her we actually have a shot at winning nationals."
Kassi said all she wanted to do was get back and be healthy again so she could be in a position to help the team out.
"I was a little nervous running since this was the second race I have ran in this season," Andersen said, "but I felt good the whole way. I am confident and pumped for nationals."
In addition to Kassi's top performance, the women's team had strong finishes by both first place winners Michaela Mannova, who placed first at regionals last year, and third place finisher Laura Turner.
"Because of their hard preparation they both had the best race of their lives," Shane said. "Our top five runners really ran well today."
On the men's side, they performed well in what has been termed the top cross country region in the nation. Facing No. 10 BYU was No. 3 Colorado, No. 5 Northern Arizona University and No. 8 Air Force.
"We did really well considering that we had four Top 10 teams racing here today," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We did exactly what we needed to do. The goal was to get to nationals without doing anything to ourselves and we will."
After the men's strong finish and top five finish the Cougars expect to be the second team invited to nationals on an at-large bid.
"We knew coming into this meet that we had good competition here," Eyestone said. "We also knew that we could be in the top five and get into nationals as long as the top teams finished well. They all did and so now it is just a matter of an invitation."
Junior Kip Kangogo contributed to BYU's finish with his second place 30:47 run.
"I was racing Dathan Ritzenhein the top runner in the nation," Kangogo said. "It was a fight for the finish and I ran well so I feel good about what happened."
Coach Eyestone said that he was priming his team for nationals and so he expects his men to be stronger there.
"I expect Kip and Dathan will have a rematch at nationals," Eyestone said. "And I expect them to go tooth and nails at nationals."
Both teams said they are ready for nationals and will take this week to make final preparations before heading to Cedar Fall, Iowa for the NCAA National competition.
ADDITIONAL MEET NOTES:
- Senior All-American Laura Turner reached a new personal record.
- Sophomore All-American Kassi Andersen ran in her second race of the season.
- The women's team won an automatic bid to Nationals.
- Coach Eyestone expects the men will be the second team to contend for an at-large bid to nationals.
- The women's team won last years Mountain Regionals and the men placed third.
- Mannova repeated her performance at last year's regionals by winning first place.
- NCAA All Mountain Region Honors:
o Kip Kangogo
o Bryan Lindsay
o Chad Durham
o Nathan Robison
o Michaela Mannova
o Laura Turner
o Kassi Andersen
o Breanne Sandberg
o Lisa Antonelli
o Rena Williams
NCAA Mt. Region XC Champs
Schneiter's Riverside Golf Course
November 15, 2003
Women's 6K Team Results
1. Brigham Young University 34
2. University of Colorado 67
3. Colorado State University 104
4. Northern Arizona University 111
5. Texas Tech 144
6. University of Nevada 169
7. Weber State University 222
8. Utah State University 247
9. Southern Utah University 255
10. University of Texas at El Paso 272
11. Montana State University 297
12. Wyoming 303
13. New Mexico 317
14. Air Force Academy 329
15. Utah 373
16. Idaho State 446
Overall Bib Name Class Team Time Score
1. 311 Michaela Mannova Jr. 1. Brigham Young University 20:33.8 1.
2. 331 Ida Nilsson Jr. 1. Northern Arizona University 20:47.8 2.
3. 313 Laura Turner Jr. 2. Brigham Young University 20:53.4 3.
4. 322 Renee Metivier Jr. 1. University of Colorado 21:05.4 4.
5. 312 Kassi Andersen Jr. 3. Brigham Young University 21:09.2 5.
6. 332 Johanna Nilsson So. 2. Northern Arizona University 21:17.0 6.
7. 323 Kalin Toedebusch Jr. 2.yy
Cross Country Looks to Show its Cougar Pride at Regionals
PROVO -- - - After placing first and second in the MWC Championships two weeks ago, the women's and men's cross country teams head to Ogden for the NCAA Mountain Regionals Saturday. The men's 10K race will begin the meet at 11 a.m. with the women's following at 12:15 p.m.
The women's team is lead by senior All-American Michaela Mannova who placed first in the MWC Championships to be awarded the Women's Athlete of the Year. The men are led by junior Kip Kangogo who is running undefeated this season.
Both teams are coming to the meet ready to qualify for the NCAA Championships on Nov. 24.
"Last year this meet came down to a photo finish between Mannova and the top runner from NAU," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "I expect the competition to be just as extreme and tough. We are all going to have to run well to perform as we did last year."
The women's team won the regional meet last year and the men placed third. The women then went on to win the National Championship and the men finished 16th.
The regional meet determines which teams will compete at the NCAA National meet. The top two teams and four individuals from each region will automatically earn a spot at nationals. The other teams will hope to get an at-large bid according to NCAA criteria.
The meet will feature top competition for the women with No. 6 Colorado and No. 10 Northern Arizona University. The men will face off once again with the No. 8 MWC Champions Air Force, No. 3 Colorado and No. 5 NAU.
"Not only will we have top competition from the different teams," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said, "we will have tough competition from many individual runners who are some of the top in the nation. We hope to run strong and show the Mountain Region what BYU is all about."
The meet will be hosted by Weber State University at Schneiter's Riverside Golf Course. All media wishing to attend should contact AmyAnn Rupp at BYU Media Relations for credentials and meet information.