PROVO, Utah -- BYU men's cross country claimed the 2011 NCAA Mountain Region Cross Country Championship at East Bay Golf Course on Saturday to earn a spot at nationals on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind. Miles Batty led the way for the Cougars, taking the individual title in the 10K race with a time of 30:09.3.
"Our number one goal was just to take it easy and run as a team, which we did," Batty said. "It was a good result and hopefully we can recover and get ready for nationals."
The BYU women had a strong performance finishing fourth as a team with a score of 140. Morgan Haws led the Cougars, taking second overall with a time of 20:53.2 in the 6K race. With her second place finish, Haws individually qualified for nationals.
"I’ve been looking forward to this race all season, especially knowing that this is how we qualify for nationals," Haws said. "I’ve been really anxious and nervous, but it was fun, especially running at home, and I’m really happy with how things turned out."
The BYU men had a team score of 49 to edge Colorado, which finished six points behind with 55. Northern Arizona rounded out the top three with a score of 69. Batty — the 2011 West Coast Conference Champion — ran in the lead pack throughout and pulled ahead with the top three late in the race. He made a strong kick to outpace Southern Utah's Cameron Levins and claim the title.
"The team ran extremely well," men's head coach Ed Eyestone said. "This is the best team I have coached in my eleven years and I’m really proud of the boys and look forward to nationals."
Coming in behind Batty for BYU were Rex Shields (30:42.2) and Jared Ward (30:42.5), who finished eighth and ninth overall, repectively. Jason Witt (31.03.4) and Curtis Carr (31:03.7) rounded out BYU's top five and finished 15th and 16th overall, respectively.
"It was an exciting race," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "Morgan Haws ran her best race of the year. We’ll have to see how the rest of the races stack up to see if we’ll be able to go to nationals, but I’m excited for Morgan and we’ll keep our fingers crossed."
BYU to Host NCAA Mountain Region Championships
PROVO, Utah--BYU is hosting this year’s 2011 NCAA Mountain Region Cross Country Championships at East Bay Golf Course in Provo, Utah, on Saturday, Nov. 12. The men’s championships begin at 11 a.m. and the women’s championships begin at 12:15 p.m.
The men’s race will be very competitive, featuring the No. 3 ranked team in the country, BYU, and No. 4 Colorado. Northern Arizona, which is currently ranked 12th in the nation, will also be competing, as well as many other local schools, including Southern Utah, Utah State, Utah Valley and Weber State. Southern Utah’s Cam Levins looks to extend his undefeated season and Northern Arizona’s Deigo Estrada and BYU’s Miles Batty look to challenge Levins up front.
The women's race will feature two nationally ranked teams, including No. 3 Colorado and No. 19 New Mexico, who are the defending region champions. Risper Kimaiyo, a junior from UTEP, looks to defend her individual championship and will be challenged by BYU’s Morgan Haws, Colorado’s Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp and several others from Texas Tech and New Mexico.
The men's race will be a 10K and the women's race will be a 6K. The top two teams in each race will automatically advance to nationals, and the top four athletes in each race not on a team that advances also automatically advance. The results from the nine regions across the country will be compiled by the NCAA to determine the 13 at-large teams, which will be announced on Monday. The NCAA Cross Country National Championships will take place on Nov. 21 in Terre Haute, Ind.
Full results from the meet will be available at www.byucougars.com at the conclusion of the event.