Men and Women Make Statement At Pre-Nationals
TERRE HAUTE -- The No. 19 BYU men’s cross country took home a second-place finish, beating several ranked teams, at the Pre-National Invitational on Saturday on the campus of Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind.
"We had a great outing today, probably one of our best finishes ever,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. "Everyone stepped up and performed very well and that’s all you can really ask for from a team.”
The men were led by junior Miles Batty who took fifth overall with a time of 23:42.4. Batty came into the race with a severe sore throat but still managed run well for the Cougars. Senior Nate Ogden finished second for the team and 21st overall (24:12.6), followed by junior Alden Bahr (24:19.9),sophomore Travis Fuller (24:26.7) and freshman Jared Ward (24:29.7).
BYU had just 17 seconds between its second and fifth finisher.
With the second place finish over so many ranked teams, including No. 4 Colorado and No.8 Portland, BYU was able to score enough points to be able to ensure success at the Mountain Region meet on Nov. 13 leading up to the NCAA National Championships nine days later.
“The team accomplished everything it needed to,” Eyestone said. "This will allow us to relax a little bit and put it all on the line at Nationals.”
Junior Kate Bowen led the BYU women’s cross country team to an 11th–place finish at the Pre-National Invitational.
“We had some really good and some bad performances at today’s meet,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “Kate (Bowen) ran amazingly well and I am very, very proud of her.”
Bowen led the way for the Cougars with an 18th–place finish overall in 20:42. This marks the third time Bowen has been the top finisher for the Cougars.
Trailing Bowen was junior Katy Andrews, who finished 37th with another season-best performance. The other impressive run came from junior Rachel Lange, who came in to the meet as the sixth BYU runner but finished third on the team and 73rd overall in 21:27.
“Our top three runners really impressed me today,” Shane said. “We just did not run an overall good team race like we normally do, but those three (Bowen, Andrews, Lange) really ran well today.”
Sophomore Nicole Nielsen, running after battling an illness for the duration of the week, finished 122nd in 21:53. Rounding out the top five was junior Katie Palmer, who crossed the line in 21:54 to snag 129th place.
BYU finished the race 11th overall with 379 points. This is the final competition before the championship portion of the season begins.
Wyoming will play host to the Mountain West Conference Championships on Friday, October 29. Race time is set for 10 a.m. MST.