BYU cross country claims second and third at NCAA Mountain Region Championships
PROVO, Utah - The BYU men’s cross country team claimed its spot in the NCAA Championships with a second-place finish and the women’s team made a strong case for an at-large bid by placing third at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships on Friday at the East Bay Golf Course.
The women competed in the 6K race followed by the men who ran in the 10K.
The No. 2 BYU men’s team scored 56 points for its second-consecutive second-place finish at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships. Placing second automatically qualifies the men for the NCAA Championships. The Cougars finished only 14 points behind No. 1 Northern Arizona and competed against four other nationally ranked teams including No. 8 Colorado, No. 13 Air Force, No. 14 Colorado State and No. 18 Wyoming.
“We executed a plan today that enhanced our opportunities and position for the national meet," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We ran strong enough to build confidence but we left a final punch for next week.”
Conner Mantz led the way for the Cougars, taking sixth place overall with a time of 29:24.8. Rory Linkletter followed for an eighth-place finish (29:26.2) and Connor McMillan took ninth (29:26.4). Clayson Shumway finished in 15th (29:37.4), with Jacob Heslington in 18th (29.39.6), Zachry Jacklin in 24th (29:55.1) and Brandon Garnica in 28th (29:58.5). Those finishing in the top 25 were named to the all-region team.
“Our top five had a nice effort so I’m happy with that," Eyestone said. "We wanted to run as a pack. Nobody wants to run themselves into the ground the week before nationals but you still have to execute well enough to make it there.”
Men’s Team Notables
- The men’s team finished with 56 points for its second-consecutive second-place finish
- Conner Mantz took sixth place overall (29:24.8) and finished first for the Cougars
- BYU men claimed six top-25 spots and all-region honors
The No. 9 BYU women’s team took third for the second year in a row with a total score of 85 points, finishing behind No. 1 New Mexico and No. 4 Colorado. The Cougars faced two other nationally ranked teams – No. 22 Southern Utah and No. 28 Northern Arizona. Including Friday's finish, performances in this season’s races put the women’s team in a good position for its at-large selection announced in the NCAA Selection Show.
“I’m super happy with how they performed," BYU associate head women's coach Diljeet Taylor said. "The plan coming in was to get five of our girls in the top 30 without going to the well because we will be racing again in seven days. We ended up having four girls get all-region.”
All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis led the charge for the Cougars, finishing first for the No. 9 women’s team and third overall in the 6K race with a time of 19:34.9. Courtney Wayment crossed the finish line ninth (20:01.7) followed by Anna Camp in 20th (20:30.6). Olivia Hoj finished in 23rd (20:42.5), Sara Musselman in 30th (20:55.1), Aubrey Frentheway in 39th (21:03.8) and Madelyn Dickson in 79th (21:46.2). Birk-Jarvis, Wayment, Camp and Hoj received all-region honors.
“It’s always good as a coach to watch your team compete at the end of the year with a lot of heart and they did that today," Taylor said. "This is the most heart I’ve seen them race with. I’m really excited because I know they’ll be able to come back in seven days and run with heart again for a good outcome at NCAA Championships.”
Women’s Team Notables
- The Cougars took third in the women’s race with 85 points as they competed against four other nationally-ranked teams
- Erica Birk-Jarvis placed third overall in the women’s 6K for her fifth first-place BYU finish
- BYU women’s team had four top 25 runners named all-region
The Cougars head to the NCAA Cross Country Championships for their final meet of the season on Saturday, Nov. 9th in Madison, Wisconsin. The NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Track and Field and Cross Country Committee announced the team and individual qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's and Women's Cross Country Championships on Saturday, Nov. 10, at 3 p.m. MT. The men's team automatically qualified and the women's team was selected at-large.