BYU cross country: From regionals to nationals

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The BYU men's cross country team runs together at the Cougar invitational earlier this season. Photo courtesy BYU Athletics/ BYU photo
The BYU men’s cross country team runs as a pack. (Photo courtesy BYU Athletics/ BYU photo)

The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to the regional meet this past weekend on Nov. 14. Each team competed with the goal of making it to the national meet.

At the beginning of the season, the women’s team signed a contract that stated the athletes understood what they needed to achieve to make it to the national competition. The competition rounded off at 20 teams, including a varying number of well-known competitors who will be good competition for the Cougars.

“All the girls were excited and anxious for the competition at the regional meet,” BYU runner Carrie Jube said. “We understood that we had to achieve all of our goals to have a solid performance.”

The women’s team wanted to run as a pack throughout the race. At the start of the competition, BYU runners Andrea Nelson Harrison and Jube decided to clasp onto the leaders and stay with them. Harrison and Jube ran alongside each other the entire race and stayed with the lead pack up to the finish line. The two teammates made their move up to fourth and fifth place during the second half of the race. Harrison and Jube kept those positions and ended the 6K race with times of 21:07.46 and 21:09.98 respectively.

“The race felt amazing,” Harrison said. “I’m extremely happy to place fourth and even happier that Carrie and I were able to fight together through the course.”

Jube said she is excited to be going to nationals with Harrison and excited for the chance to run alongside her again to see what they can do together.

Jube also said it has been a great year for all members of the team.

“The team achieved our goal of third place, and every girl did her part,” Jube said. “It’s sad that the team won’t be with us this weekend at nationals because they’ve all had solid performances this season and have helped push us to accomplish our big goals.”

The men’s team, ranked 15th nationally, started out fast at the NCAA Mountain Regional meet and placed third overall, getting them to the national meet. Teammates Steve Flint, Dylan Shawn, Conner Peloquin and Aaron Fletcher stayed packed up and all placed within the top 25 individuals.

“Going into the regional race, we knew that the better we could run as a team, the better the results of the meet would be,” Flint said. “We were able to do just that, and sure enough, the race went well.”

Flint led the group to nationals with a time of 30:17.4 on a 10K course with an 18th overall finish.

The men’s team set goals throughout the season and started to recognize that these goals helped the athletes achieve certain standards they wanted to hit.

“As this year has progressed, we’ve been able to find more and more success through setting good goals and running as a tight pack throughout our races,” Flint said.

Shawn said they feel satisfied with the results.

“I’d say we accomplished our goal, which was to qualify for nationals with an easy enough effort that will allow us to feel recovered for the national meet,” Shawn said.

Flint said he and the team understand what it will take to have a good performance at nationals.

“As we head into nationals, we’re ready to run as a team,” Flint said. “We’ve set a goal of placing in the top six and are excited to go out and chase after one of those top six spots by doing what we do best — running as a pack.”

With the men’s team and Harrison and Jube competing at the national meet, the Cougars should have a good showing. The national meet will be held this weekend, Nov. 22, in Terre Haute, Indiana.

“The teams ran really well at regionals,” Jube said. “I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to show what I can do, and I’m really glad Harrison and I both qualified; I think we race well together, and it’s going to help immensely to have a teammate there in such a big, important race.”