Nokes, Frentheway sweep WCC runner of the week honors


SAN MATEO, Calif. – No. 2/No. 5 BYU men's and women's cross country swept the West Coast Conference's runner of the week awards as Joey Nokes and Aubrey Frentheway were each recognized by the league on Tuesday. 

Nokes received the conference honor after finishing 15th in the 8,000-meter race at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational in Madison, Wisc. on Friday. The sophomore’s 23:26.6 finish marked his eighth career meet and fourth top-15 finish, with each occurring in the four meets so far this season.

The Riverton, Utah native’s strong performance Friday included victories over Isaac Akers and Cormac Dalton of No. 5 Tulsa, Austin Vancil and Seth Hirsch of No. 8 Colorado, and Graham Blanks of No. 20 Harvard. The nearest WCC finishers – aside from four BYU teammates who crossed the line within two seconds – were Wil Smith of No. 14 Gonzaga (32nd) and Portland’s Matt Strangio (38th).

Nokes’ individual finish at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational helped solidify a second-place finish for the Cougars despite the absence of All-Americans Casey Clinger and Christian Allen. BYU totaled 89 points, a safe distance ahead of third-place Northern Arizona’s 145 points. The meet loosened NAU’s dominance at the invitational as it had won four of its previous five appearances at Thomas Zimmer.

Tuesday’s honor marks Nokes’ first career WCC Runner of the Week award. Nokes looks to build on last year’s 24th-place individual finish at the WCC Championships on Oct. 28.

Frentheway’s first-career runner of the week award comes after she finished 11th with a 6k time of 20:06.6 at the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational at Madison’s Thomas Zimmer Championship on Oct. 14. The two-time All-American pulled away from Amelia Mazza-Downie of New Mexico, Everlyn Kemboi of Utah Valley and Oregon State’s Grace Fetersonhaugh to preserve her top-15 spot.

The closest opposing WCC finisher to Frentheway was Portland’s Laura Pellicoro at 32nd (20:23.2).

Frentheway’s performance led No. 5 BYU to a fourth-place finish against 19 nationally ranked teams, six of which accompany the Cougars in the top-10.

Through 22-career meets, Frentheway has 15 top-15 finishes to her name and three-career top-10 finishes at WCC Championship meet. The senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming will look to leave her mark on the conference title meet as she leads the Cougars in their quest for a fifth-consecutive WCC crown on Oct. 28 at Fernhill Park in Portland, Oregon.