Wagner, Shay Lead Cougars at Pre-Nationals
TERRE HAUTE -- Pre-Nationals is a good mid-season barometer of where a team stands, and the BYU women's and men's cross country teams showed well finishing in sixth and 11th place, respectively.
The meet was broken down into four separate races with a Blue and White Race for both the men and the women. The No. 15 BYU women ran in the 6K White Race against 35 other teams, with freshman Angela Wagner leading the way in a time of 20:59, good for 26th place. The men ran in the 8K Blue Race against 38 other teams, as junior Stephan Shay paced the Cougars with a time of 23:52. Shay finished in 26th place as well.
"It was probably our best overall run this year," BYU men's coach Ed Eyestone. "I was particularly impressed with our third through six runners. We've just got to close the gap a little bit between our second and third runner."
Trailing just five seconds behind Shay for the Cougars was 2005 All-American Chandler Goodwin. There was then a 19-second gap with the next four Cougar runners finishing just six seconds apart.
"Stephan and I ran by each other the whole race," Goodwin said. "This course that we ran on today was in great shape. It was cool and overcast -- perfect racing conditions."
Rounding out the top five for the Cougars were sophomore Brandon Hebbert (24:16), junior Dan Hinckley (24:18) and junior Jacob Gustafsson (24:22).
The BYU women tied for sixth in a stacked race, with key wins over No. 18 Providence, No. 20 Florida, No. 23 Iowa and No. 28 Georgia.
"Beating those teams gives us a leg up going into Nationals if we don't qualify through Regionals," BYU women's coach Patrick Shane said. "It was also nice to see how well we ran as a group."
Just 26 seconds separated the scoring top five for BYU, the closest splits the team has had with its top runners all year. Coach Shane said he was especially impressed with the race of senior Jenna Jensen.
"Jenna Jensen had the best race of the year, and maybe her life," Shane said of Jensen's 21:18 6K performance, good for third among Cougar runners. "I'm really happy with her effort, and it shows the depth of our team."
Wagner said she ran well for the first 3K, but got tired over the final half-mile.
"That last half-mile went pretty bad," Wagner admitted. "A 6K race is still a stretch for me considering I'm an 800m runner."
Behind Wagner was sophomore Katie Bowen (21:00), Jensen, freshman Cecily Lemmon (21:20) and junior Amber Duffin (21:25).
Both BYU teams will be in action on Oct. 27 in San Diego for the Mountain West Conference Championships.
6K White Race Overall Team Results
1. Princeton (149)
2. Arizona State (171)
3. Michigan (173)
4. Washington (187)
5. Illinois (189)
6. Colorado (231)
6. Brigham Young (231)
6. Brigham Young - White Race
Team Overall Name Time
1 26 Angela Wagner 20:59
2 30 Katie Bowen 21:00
3 51 Jenna Jensen 21:18
4 56 Cecily Lemmon 21:20
5 68 Amber Duffin 21:25
6 (75) Amy Fowler-Layne 21:31
7 (104) Tawny Bybee 21:49
Women's Open Invitational
Place Name Time
21 Anna Sperry 22:03
34 Stacy Slight 22:25
36 Carolyn Quebe 22:26
50 Angela Peterson 22:41
56 Wendy Harris 22:53
8K Blue Race Overall Team Results
1. Northern Arizona (124)
2. Iona (136)
3. California (157)
4. Virginia (203)
5. Alabama (207)
6. Tulsa (240)
7. Portland (250)
8. UCLA (251)
9. Louisville (263)
10. Iowa State (270)
11. Brigham Young (278)
Team Overall Name Time
1 26 Stephan Shay 23:52
2 39 Chandler Goodwin 23:57
3 68 Brandon Hebbert 24:16
4 70 Dan Hinckley 24:18
5 75 Jacob Gustafsson 24:22
6 (76) Dustin Bybee 24:22
7 (162) Curis Carr 25:06
Men's Open Invitational
Place Name Time
4 Tyrel Jensen 24:45
5 Derek Taylor 24:48
20 Taylor Farnsworth 25:04
22 Ryan Merriman 25:06
71 Jon Kotter 25:57
Nation's Best at Pre-Nationals
PROVO -- A stacked lineup awaits the BYU men's and women's cross country teams at Pre-Nationals in Terre Haute, Ind., on Saturday.
The men's pool consists of 83 teams, 27 of which are ranked in the national top 30. On the women's side, a total of 82 teams will make the trip, with 22 teams in the top 30.
"This will be the most competitive meet we run in until we get to Nationals," BYU women's coach Patrick Shane said. "It's going to be an opportunity for us to see if we're making progress as a team."
The teams will be evenly divided and compete in either the Blue or White races. The BYU men will compete in the 8K Blue men's race, beginning at 11 a.m. EST. The Cougar women will run in the 6K White race, beginning at 12:55 p.m.
The BYU women's and men's teams have never finished outside the top 10 at Pre-Nationals, with the women winning the race in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
Freshman Angela Wagner and sophomore Katie Bowen have led the Cougars in their first few races. Wagner paced all Cougar runners at the BYU Autumn Classic with a third-place finish, earning Mountain West Conference Athlete of the Week honors. Bowen led the way in Oregon at the Bill Dellinger Invitational two weeks ago, placing fifth with a 6K time of 20:31.
"We're looking to run together for longer periods of time and keep our top five splits as close together as possible," Shane said. "In terms of team goals, we want to beat teams that are in the top 30, giving us a better shot at qualifying for Nationals if we don't automatically qualify through Regionals."
On the men's side, junior Stephan Shay and senior Chandler Goodwin have been out front for the Cougars. Shay finished in second place at the BYU Autumn Classic and the Dave Murray Invitational. With his performance at the Classic, the MWC honored him with the Athlete of the Week award. Goodwin, a 2005 All-American, placed 13th at the Notre Dame Invitational two weeks ago to lead the Cougars to a seventh-place finish.
"Pre-Nationals will be a good test for the team," men's coach Ed Eyestone said. "It's always fun to race against the best competition around, and that's what Pre-Nationals offers us."