PROVO, Utah – Andrea Nelson Harrison finished first overall and led BYU women’s cross country to a second place team finish at the 2014 BYU Autumn Classic at the Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex.
“I feel really good about everything,” said Harrison, the senior from Spokane, Washington. “I went in to the race wanting to win it, so I had that mindset from the start and I felt strong the whole race.”
Harrison started out fast taking control of the race early and never relinquished her lead as she completed the 5k race with a time of 17:55.6.
As a team the Cougars led two-thirds of the race with its top four runners staying together ahead of all other runners. However, in the final third of the race, No. 25 ranked Minnesota finished strong overcoming a few runners to finish first with 29 team points. The Cougars finished with 35 points.
“We wanted to win, but we didn’t and that never feels good,” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “Minnesota is a very good team. Its race strategy was perfect and they deserved to win.”
“It was a good beginning race to get the bugs out,” Smith said. “I have some work to do, but I was happy with what I did today. Our team will also get better than it was today.”
Jube crossed as the third Cougar runner and finished eighth overall with a time of 18:16.3
“I haven’t been feeling my best this week so under the circumstances I feel like I did as well as I was hoping to,” Jube said. “I definitely had some nerves. I haven’t raced cross country in a year so getting back in to the rhythm of it is an adjustment.”
Jennica Redd finished fourth for BYU and 11th overall while Mckenzie Weir rounded out the scoring for the Cougars as the fifth finisher for the team placing 15th overall.
“We need to work on our depth,” Shane said. “It needs to be strengthened but there are ways we can do that.”
Even though it wasn’t the result the team was hoping for, there was a feeling of optimism for the season among coaches and athletes.
“I think we have the potential to be a lot better,” Harrison said. “I’m excited to see us grow with each race.”
BYU will next race in two weeks at the Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota on Sept. 27th.
Complete results can be found at this link.