Ottawa Park Golf Course
2315 Walden Pond Drive Toledo OH 43606
TOLEDO, Ohio – In her first race of the season, Natalie Shields finished first for BYU and sixth overall to lead the women’s cross country team to a sixth-place finish in Toledo.
“I felt like I had a great start,” Shields said. “I jumped out in front early with several other runners, but after mile one, people started breaking off. The last 1,000 meters I was running strong, but still think I could have run a bit harder. There was a group of runners right ahead of me, but overall I’m really happy with my race. I didn’t really know what to expect, so finishing sixth was very realistic to me.”
Shields was the highest placing freshman with a finishing time of 13:24.7.
“For any runner, Natalie’s performance was excellent, and she’s only a freshman,” head coach Patrick Shane said. “She didn’t give anyone any slack. She finished ahead of several strong runners from San Francisco, Toledo and Butler, who are all top-30 teams. I’m pleased with the way she ran and with our whole team. We ran well.”
Michaelanne Laurent finished second for BYU and 31st overall in 13:57.3 in her first race of the season. She was followed closely by Lindsey Sowards Nielson, who finished four-tenths of a second behind Laurent to finish third for BYU and 32nd overall in 13:57.7.
As a team, BYU finished behind Butler, San Francisco, Columbia, Toledo and Syracuse. Butler’s Katie Clark finished first overall in 13:04.8.
BYU is back in action next week September 29, 2012, at the Greater Louisville Invitational in Louisville, Ky.
Full individual results from the Toledo Bubble Buster can be found here.
Full team results can be found here.
“The top-three teams in the West Coast Conference were here today, San Francisco, us and Portland," Shane said. "We still have several weeks until the conference championships, where we will meet these teams again. That gives us plenty of time to prepare.”
Cougars set to race top runners for first time at Toledo Bubble Buster
PROVO, Utah – Heading into its fourth race of the season, the BYU women’s cross country team will race its top runners at the Toledo Inter-Regional Bubble Buster for the first time on Friday.
“Going into this race, we are all optimistic,” head coach Patrick Shane said. “Our workouts have been going well. When that is happening, I can compare these workouts with previous years and make a judgment on how we are doing. This race will be a great measure of where we really are.”
BYU will face four teams ranked in the top-25 national poll including Toledo (18), Syracuse (22), San Francisco (23) and West Virginia (25). Wisconsin, Iowa and Portland, who also received several votes, are competing in the Bubble Buster as well.
Competing for the Cougars this week are the top-12 runners on the roster, several of which are running in their first race of their collegiate career. Upperclassmen Stephanie Bills, Michaelanne Laurent, Brooke Holt and Shaylynn Baugh Fuller will compete in their first race this year. They are joined by two of the team’s top recruits, Natalie Shields and Erika Reddish, who have yet to race in a collegiate competition.
Sheilds, a native of Salt Lake City, broke the 1600-meter Utah state record at last year’s BYU High School Invitational in 4:51.02. Reddish, a standout from Murreita, Calif., won the 1,600 at the Southwestern League finals four years in a row and set three Valley records in the 800, the 1,600 and the 3,200.
Freshmen Ashleigh Warner, Danica Wyson, Rachel Stewart and Laura Young began their college careers at the Reno Twilight Classic two weeks ago finishing second, third, fifth and sixth, respectively. They are set to compete in their second race of the year.
“I’m convinced we are a top-25 team,” Shane said. “In the past, we’ve only had one or two standouts. This year, I’m impressed with our depth. This team, collectively, is strong and tightly knit.”
The women's race is scheduled to begin Friday at 6:10 p.m. at Ottawa Park in Toledo, Ohio.