by Christian Martin
BYU women’s cross-country team went into one of the most competitive races of the year at Stanford last weekend and came away feeling good about it.
The Cougars established themselves as a national contender and also gained some good experience that could help them throughout the remainder of the season.
Two separate teams were sent to run in a couple different meets on Saturday, one was an open meet, and the other, the invitational, was only for teams that were invited.
In the invitational, BYU finished in second place with 54 points behind host team Stanford with 22 points. Other top finishing teams were Georgetown in third place with 107 points, UCLA fourth with 115 points, and University of California fifth with 205 points. There were 18 teams in all that competed in the invitational.
“There was more competition this year and we ran really well,” said Head Coach Patrick Shane. BYU is running a lot better than many other top 10 teams right now,” he said.
The top finishers for BYU in the invitational were Courtney Pugmire, finishing fourth overall at 17:14, Emily Nay was fifth at 17:15, Caisa Monahan was 11th at 17:43, Maggie Chan was 12th at 17:48, Lynette Jorgensen was 23rd at 18:09, and Elizabeth Jackson was 37th at 18:39.
“It was kind of intimidating at the start because there we so many people that we had heard of, but we did well as a team,” Monahan said.
Jorgensen was actually spiked during the first 200 meters of the race and continued on to finished anyway with a cut that required stitches.
Nay, a transfer from Arizona, made her mark on the team early with her fifth place finish overall, just one second behind BYU’s top finisher, Pugmire.
“If I had any doubt whether I should have left Arizona before, this put it to rest,” Nay said.
In the open meet, the Cougars won with a near perfect score of 17 points. BYU’s team consisted entirely of freshman. Top finishers for the Cougars were Sharolyn
Shields, first place at 17:56, Tara Haynes was second at 17:59, Sara Ellis was third at 18:14, Jill Rencher was fourth at 18:25, Emily Lawson was sixth at 18:31, JoLee
Gillespie was 10th at 18:40 and Kristin Barnes was 15th at 18:54.
Haynes led midway through the race and it came down to a difference of only three seconds between her and Shields.
“It was a good experience and confidence builder for the freshman,” Shane said.
“The time would probably had been faster in the invitational meet had they ran in it because it was a faster paced race,” he said.
The Cougars will be at the Mountain West Classic in Missoula, Mont. next week.