Women’s cross country team dominates NCAA meet


    By Christian Martin

    The women’s cross country team went into the NCAA District VII meet as the favorite and didn’t dissapoint as they dominated the field finishing 35 points ahead of the second-place team.

    One of the only surprises for the Cougar was that Maggie Chan was able to come across the finish line in first place ahead of Western Athletic Champion Courtney Pugmire.

    “Normally I won’t catch Courtney because she’s so fast, but after the first mile I thought to myself, run strong and you can do it,” Chan said.

    Chan won the race with a time of 17:13. Pugmire finished in fifth place at 17:26, followed by teammates Emily Nay in sixth at 17:32, Caisa Monahan in eigth at 17:44, Elizabeth Jackson in ninth at 17:50, Julie Orton in 20th at 18:02 and Lynette Jorgensen in 48th at 18:40.

    Maggie ran a perfect race, and I’m really pleased she was able to pull the win out,” said women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “The first two teams go to nationals and that was our goal here. If we can get it right eight days from now, that’s what really matters.”

    The Cougars automatically qualify for the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 24 with their victory. The No. 2 Cougars now look to improve on their third place finish at nationals last year, but No. 1 Stanford stands in the way. BYU was defeated earlier this year by Stanford, but the Cougars’ times have improved over the season indicating anything could happen.

    In the men’s race, the favorite Colorado was simply overpowering as they swept the field with a perfect score of 15. Colorado’s Adam Goucher won the race nearly a minute ahead of anyone else with a time of 30:04.

    BYU finished in fourth place behind Weber State and Northern Arizona. Matt Poulsen was the top finisher for the Cougars in 14th place with a time of 31:38. Other finishers for the Cougars were MacArthur Lane in 20th at 31:51, Sam St. Clair in 21st at 31:59, Jeff Wilson in 47th at 32:38, Fikre Wondafrash in 54th at 32:47 and Marc Lawson in 63rd at 33:12.

    BYU’s top runner this season, Brandon Wilding, was right in the front of the pack for most of the race but eventually had to drop out because of cramps.

    “The guys have had a very good season and we need to focus on the indoor season now and not feel bad,” said men’s head coach Sherald James.

    The BYU men’s team will not compete at nationals. Only the top two teams will advance out of District VII even though four of the top teams in the nation raced in the district.

    The women’s team will compete on Nov 24 at the NCAA championships in South Carolina.

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