Senior Chandler Goodwin's All-American finish paced BYU's top 20 finishes Monday at the NCAA Cross Country Championships.
Goodwin finished 46th individually in leading the Cougar men to a No. 22 place, while BYU's women placed No. 25. The senior from Pleasant Grove was awaiting official word of the displacement rule which subtracts foreign runners from the All-American selection.
By the time word reached Goodwin, the blood had dried on right knee after a collision at the six-mile mark in the 10 K race.
"I saw a guy push another runner into the fence and he bounced back, so I put my hand out, but his spike came up and got me in the knee," said Goodwin. It was the second time during the race Goodwin had to dodge the pack.
"He had to demonstrate his steeplechase skill and hurdle a couple of people, that's why he's an All-American in that event," said BYU men's coach Ed Eyestone. Goodwin had a goal of finishing in the top 50 to have a chance of being All-American, but helped his team in the process.
"We took exception to being ranked 27, so to move up five is great," said Eyestone. "We ran an inspired race and we believe Chandler may have been an All-American. This is a solid end to a strong season."
The Cougar women didn't fare as well due to freshman Angela Wagner from South Africa barely finishing the 6K race.
"Everything had been good had Angela had her normal race, but she hyperventilated and it was too late to correct it when I realized what was happening," said BYU women's coach Patrick Shane. "She hadn't had a bad race yet and we've been working on her breathing problem."
Wagner ended up as BYU's sixth runner, out of the scoring as the Cougar women were led by another freshman, Cecily Lemmon.
"Cecily had another solid race, the best she's ever done for us. Katie (Bowen) got out early and finished strong. Jenna (Jensen) ran well the whole race and had her best race of the year."
Lemmon, from Vacaville, Calif., was BYU's most improved runner through the season and placed 65th overall as its top scorer Monday.
"I felt great and strong through the 3K mark," said Lemmon. "I could tell Angela was struggling off the last loop, so I gave it everything I had. I had visualized myself finishing strong."
Behind Goodwin's 35 in team scoring for BYU's men was Brandon Hebbert at 92 , Dustin Bybee at 98, Jacob Gustafsson at 120 and Derek Taylor at 104. Taylor, a senior, will finish this year as a second lieutenant in the Army after being cut three times from the Cougar roster.
Scoring for the Cougar women behind Lemmon's 45 in team scoring was Katie Bowen at 92, Jenna Jensen at 97, Amber Duffin at 122 and Tawny Bybee at 129.
The Cougar men were running inspired due to the influence of transfer Stephan Shay, who's brother Ryan collapsed and died on Nov. 3 at the U.S. Olympic Trials in New York. BYU's men again wore black wristbands which read "Believe in Yourself," Ryan's last words. The Cougar men warmed up on Monday wearing red gloves as did Notre Dame, which read "Ryan Shay."
"Stephans loss of a close family member has been an inspiration to us, but he has helped us from day one," said Eyestone. It was Shay's first complete race for the Cougars in a month and he had run on pace with Goodwin through the mile mark on Monday before shedding the gloves and falling behind.
Right at Home in Terre Haute
PROVO -- Traveling to Terre Haute, Ind., for the NCAA Cross Country National Championships is something to which the BYU women's and men's teams are accustomed.
Four national titles for the women (1997, 1999, 2001, 2002), and seven top-25 finishes in as many years for the men, indicate that Terre Haute is a place where the two teams feel right at home.
"More than the fact that we're familiar with the course itself, we know the importance of the race, and that helps us rise to the occasion," BYU men's coach Ed Eyestone said.
Both races will be nationally televised live Monday on CSTV. The BYU men's team will hit the 10K course at 12:05 p.m., and the women's team will follow at 12:55 p.m. (ET)
The No. 17 women's team enters nationals following a third-place finish at the Mountain Region Championships, giving the team an at-large bid into the biggest race of the year. The team's young guns have been leading all year, and nationals will be no exception.
Freshman Angela Wagner led the team at regionals with a 6K time of 21:12, good for ninth place, and Cecily Lemmon, a redshirt freshman, finished four seconds behind Wagner in 12th place. Sophomore Katie Bowen, who placed fifth at the prestigious Bill Dellinger Invitational earlier in the year, will undoubtedly be running alongside Wagner and Lemmon at nationals.
"We have a lot of youth up front that have come along and really developed nicely this year," BYU women's coach Patrick Shane said. "I think when you combine our youth with our experience, we're going to run well at nationals. Our senior leadership has been fantastic this year, and they really understand their roles."
Though the team's younger runners will likely be in the top three, it's the team's experienced runners who add depth and consistently finish out the scoring five. Seniors Jenna Jensen and Tawny Bybee, along with juniors Amber Duffin and Amy Fowler Layne have played key roles in the success of BYU's team this year, providing the Cougars with their trademark depth.
On the men's side, senior Chandler Goodwin and junior Stephan Shay have been battling out for the top spot on the team.
Shay started the year off fast with two second-place overall finishes, one at the BYU Autumn Classic and the other coming at the Dave Murray Invitational. A sore back and food poisoning have kept him out of the team's last two races. His last complete race was pre-nationals on Oct. 13.
Goodwin placed first for the Cougars and 13th overall at the Notre Dame Invitational, a race that included many of the top runners in the country. At regionals last week, Goodwin finished in 11th place.
"My personal goal is to finish in the top 25 at nationals so I can finish my cross country career at BYU as an All-American, and our team goal is to finish in the top 10," Goodwin said.
BYU seniors Dustin Bybee and Tyrel Jensen, both first-team All-MWC recipients, will run their final cross country race in a BYU uniform on Monday. Bybee placed first for the Cougars at the MWC Championships and Jensen came in third for BYU and seventh overall. Senior Derek Taylor will also be running his last cross country race. Taylor came on strong at the end of the year, placing 14th at the MWC Championships and 29th overall at regionals.
"We've got a good nucleus of seniors on the team, and I think they realize that and are going to run well for us at nationals," Eyestone said.