CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams both took first place at the Virginia/Panorama Field’s Invitational Friday morning at Panorama Fields.
The No. 19 BYU women’s team finished the 5k race with a score of 47. BYU finished ahead of Southern Methodist University (89) in second place and No. 16 Syracuse (98) in third place.
“The race plan was to run as a pack and be aggressive from the start,” BYU women’s cross country coach Diljeet Taylor said. “The women did a great job executing the race plan. This was a mentally and physically challenging course and it really tested our grit. I’m so proud of the women for stepping up to the challenge. This was a great confidence builder for us again, just like the Autumn Classic was, against higher ranked national opponents.”
Taylor said senior Yesenia Silva and sophomore Erica Birk-Jarvis were phenomenal by setting the tone for the team and the rest of the team carried that energy throughout the race. Silva (17:17.2) finished first for BYU, fourth overall, and Jarvis (17:17.2) finished just behind her coming in fifth overall. Taylor was also pleased with freshman Olivia Hoj (17:28.1)who finished as BYU’s third runner and 11th overall.
The No. 12 BYU men’s team finished the 8k race with a top score of 39. No. 1 Syracuse was right behind the Cougars in second with a score of 44 and No. 11 Virginia finished third with 89 points. All 10 of the BYU competitors finished in the top 35 out of 113 competitors.
Senior Nicolas Montanez (23:53.9) was BYU's first finisher coming in fourth overall. Sophomore Clayton Young (23:55.8) came in less than two seconds behind Montanez and finished second for BYU and fifth overall. Junior Jonathan Harper (24:01.5) and sophomore Rory Linkletter (24:06.2) finished third and fourth. Harper and Linkletter finished eighth and ninth overall giving the Cougars four athletes finishing in the top 10.
After a two week break, the teams will head to Utah State University in Logan, Utah, on Oct. 7 to compete in the Steven Reeder Cross Country Invitational.