BYU cross country teams sweep Autumn Classic
PROVO, Utah — The BYU men's and women's cross country teams each claimed team and individual titles at the Autumn Classic at Timpanogos Golf Club on Saturday.
Conner Mantz and Aidan Troutner led the Cougars to a team win in the men’s 7.5K with a score of 24 points. Mantz flew across the course on route to his seventh career meet individual title with a time of 22:17.5.
“It’s always great to take home a win in the first race of the season,” Mantz said. “The first race is always a tough one. It’s hard to get the legs and body used to that overall fatigue that comes with hard running. You can go for it in a workout, but it’s just different in a race.”
BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone offered high praise for the defending individual national champion.
“I thought Mantz delivered, and of course expect that of him,” Eyestone said. “He chose to wait a little bit, but when Mantz moved, he moved with aggression.”
Eyestone foresees Mantz continuing to compete with the best in that nation in 2021. Troutner, the reigning West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year, recorded his best collegiate finish as he came in third with a time of 22:33.4.
“I think Troutner would have taken second if he hadn’t given away a little too much real estate,” Eyestone said. “However, he came charging back over the last mile. I loved seeing him finish strong.”
BYU junior Brandon Garnica ran a 22:52.4 to come in fifth and secure his fourth career top-5 finish. The Cougars’ also welcomed good season-opening results from newcomers Lucas Bons and Creed Thompson.
After only competing in track and field last season, Bons finished seventh with a time of 23:07.1 in his first collegiate cross country action. Thompson took ninth in his BYU debut. The true freshman joined the Cougars this season following a highly successful career at Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah.
In-state foes Weber State and Dixie State followed BYU in the team scoring at second and third, respectively. BYU cross country alumni, College of Southern Idaho and College of Southern Nevada competed as well.
“This was a good start to the season,” Eyestone said. “Weber State has a really strong team. I would say they’re a top-25 team for sure.”
- Adam Wood (eighth, 23:08.6), Zac Jacklin (15th, 23:36.2) and Justin Hartshorn (16th, 23:40.2) rounded out the results for the Cougars on Saturday.
- Hartshorn, a sophomore from Alpine, Utah, competed in a BYU jersey for the first time at the Autumn Classic after transferring from Utah State.
- BYU’s Joey Nokes, Davin Thompson, McKay Johns, Zack Ericksen, William Handley, Aaron Leavens and Zachary Erikson competed unattached.
The Cougars took the top nine spots of the meet, starting with Aubrey Frentheway who clocked a first place time of 17:39.1. Kate Hunter (17:40.1), Anna Martin (17:44.9), Haley Johnston (17:46.2), Sara Musselman (17:57.1), Carmen Alder (18:05.8), Madi Moffitt (18.11.0), Julie Sumsion (18:12.2) and Heather Hanson (18:13.7) then claimed spots Nos. 2 through 9.
"I was super pleased with how the women raced today," said women's cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor. "The main focus was to work as a pack and really just enjoy this one. Some of them treated it as a rust buster, because we are traveling to Florida next week. Overall, I was really impressed with the effort and the power of the pack. I'm excited to combine the women that we rested today and the women that raced today, and open up next week in Florida."
- The women’s team won the Autumn Classic for the third-straight season, claiming eighth of the last nine since 2012.
- The Cougars earned 12 of the top-15 spots.
- Frentheway, Hunter, Martin, Johnston, Alder, Moffitt, Sumsion, Hanson, Gardner and Dildine each set career best 5K times.
Reagan Gardner, Rachel Morrin and Lizzie Dildine also contributed to BYU’s first-place finish. The Cougars had three runners compete unattached: Eliza Arrington, Destiny Everett and Brynn Esplin. They finished 10th, 12th and 14th, respectively.
- Friday, Sept. 24 (Time TBA)
- Roy Griak Invitational
- Les Bolstad Golf Course (St. Paul, Minnesota)
- Friday, Sept. 17 (8:10 a.m. EDT)
- FSU XC Open (6K)
- Apalachee Regional Park (Tallahassee, Fla.)