Men Third, Women Fourth in Mountain Region
SALT LAKE -- In search of back-to-back NCAA Mountain Region championships, the No. 15 BYU men’s cross country team fell short, finishing 3rd overall with 80 points, behind No. 10 New Mexico and No. 9 Colorado in Salt Lake City, Saturday morning.
“We ran just like we needed to,” men’s coach Ed Eyestone said. “You want to run hard enough to advance but not too hard and we ran right where we needed to be.”
The Cougars wanted to put on a strong showing but wanted to leave something in the tank for the NCAA Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., just nine days away. BYU needed to finish higher than 5th to ensure they would qualify.
Junior Miles Batty led the team for the sixth consecutive race this season, taking second place overall, finishing the 10K race in a time of 29:30.1 . He was followed closely by sophomore Travis Fuller in 11th (30:15.3), freshman Jared Ward in 15th (30:19.1), senior Nate Ogden in 25th (30:30.1), and junior Alden Bahr in 27th (30:32.9) to round out BYU’s top five.
“Miles (Batty) had a very good race,” Eyestone said. “I think we will be able to have our best race of the season though at nationals.”
Junior Rex Shields (30:50.9) and senior Jon Kotter (31:20.9) also took 34th and 48th overall, putting the entire team in the top 50 finishers.
Junior Kate Bowen led the BYU women’s cross country team to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA Mountain Region meet on Saturday and earned an individual bid to the National Championships in the process.
“I am very proud of our entire team and especially of Kate for qualifying as an individual,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “We felt good about today’s race and finally had our team hit on all cylinders.”
The Cougars finished behind top-10 teams New Mexico, Texas Tech and Colorado but beat conference rival Colorado State, the same team that topped BYU two weeks ago at the MWC Championships.
Bowen finished 12th overall in 20:50.7 to earn the individual bid to nationals. Following Bowen was junior Katy Andrews in 23rd in 21:17.7 and senior Cecily Lew in 35th with a time of 21:39.2.
“I was hoping to do a little bit better, but I am still happy with how everything turned out,” Bowen said. “I am proud of our team and excited to represent BYU at nationals.”
Rounding out the top-five for the Cougars was sophomore Nicole Nielsen who finished 38th in 21:42.9 and junior Rachel Lange who crossed the line in 21:58.7 to earn 48th-place.
Andrews, Nielsen and Lange will all return to BYU next season while Lew will graduate. Bowen has an opportunity to appeal for another season of eligibility due to an injury during her sophomore year.
“I had a fun time coaching the team this season,” Shane said. “Everyone worked hard all season and always went out and ran their best.”
With the men's team scoring enough points to advance, the women's team will find out if the team has qualified for nationals on Monday. Indiana State will host the NCAA Championships on Nov. 22 in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Cross Country Headed to Region Championships
PROVO -- Head coach Patrick Shane will lead the BYU women’s cross country team to the NCAA Mountain Region meet Saturday in hopes of earning an at-large bid to the NCAA National Championships.
“We are optimistic that our team can come out and hit on all cylinders,” Shane said. “We are in one of the more competitive regions in the country and will need to run well to finish among the top four teams.”
After finishing third in the MWC Championships for the first time in school history, the BYU women’s team will enter competition Saturday ranked sixth in the Mountain Region, which features 15 teams. The top five teams the Cougars will face off against include, in order of ranking, Texas Tech, Colorado, New Mexico, Colorado State and Montana.
Senior Kate Bowen is expected to pace the Cougars throughout the race as she has all season. Cecily Lew, the second-place finisher at the 2009 Mountain Region meet, will compete for the third time in 2010 after battling injuries for most of the season.
“Kate (Bowen) has led our team all season and we expect her to do the same in this race,” Shane said. “Cecily (Lew) has also been improving since the MWC Championships and continues to move up within our team and I think she will run better than she did at conference.”
Also expected to lead BYU is sophomore Nicole Nielsen, a second-team All-MWC runner. Nielsen finished 34th last season and will look to improve on that finish. Junior Katy Andrews, a 12th place finisher in 2009, will also look to place in the BYU top-five.
The No. 15 BYU men’s cross country team will look to create a repeat of last year where it came up short against New Mexico at the MWC Championships only to defeat them at the Mountain Regional meet. While the repeat would be nice, men’s coach Ed Eyestone is just looking for solid performances to build on.
“I think we can run well enough to reach all of our goals and advance to the Championships,” Eyestone said. “We want to run solid and knowing our guys I won’t be surprised to see them finish at the top.”
In search of its first back-to-back regional title, the team will rely on a strong performance from junior Miles Batty, who finished second overall in 2009, along with quality races from senior Nate Ogden and junior Alden Bahr who finished 16th and 20th in 2009, respectively.
Batty is fresh off his win at the MWC Championships where he earned MWC Male Cross Country Athlete of the Year. He currently holds the fastest time in the MWC for the 2010 season with an 8K time of 23:42.2.
“Miles (Batty) has been big time,” Eyestone said. “The rest of the team has been able to look up to him and his consistency.”
Start time is scheduled at 10:30 a.m. MST for the women and 11:45 a.m. MST for the men. Click HERE for results after the completion of the race.