Mannova setting the pace


    By Lindsey Johnson

    Junior cross-country runner and track star Michaela Mannova is going the distance.

    “She”s one of the most tenacious competitors we”ve ever had,” distance coach Patrick Shane said. “She”s incredible, a workhorse and just gets the job done.”

    Shane said Mannova has a great attitude and is willing to do whatever she is asked to do.

    “She”s a real team player,” Shane said. “She”s an All-American and was fifth in the nation in cross-country.”

    Mannova, from Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic, said it is important to continually get better because once you start running slower, it is hard to keep going.

    “You have to love running, you really do,” Mannova said. “That”s what pushes you and gets the results.”

    Mannova said there were many talented distance runners on the team that pushed her during the cross-country season.

    Coming off a national championship cross-country season into the indoor track season, Mannova has automatically qualified for the NCAA Indoor National Championships in the mile- and the 3,000-meter run.

    Mannova won the mile run and set a new record at the Mountain West Conference Championships in Colorado Springs, Colo., with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4 minutes 50.83 seconds (altitude adjusted time of 4:40.85).

    But Mannova wasn”t completely satisfied with her record-setting time.

    “The mile was a good race, but I thought I could go faster,” Mannova said.

    Mannova also automatically qualified in the 3,000-meter run with her time of 9:16.79 at the Husker Invitational meet in Lincoln, Neb.

    Despite Mannova”s great performances, she feels she can still do better.

    “I have not been in a really good race where I could really see what I can do,” Mannova said. “I did the 3,000 and was all by myself.”

    During this year”s outdoor track season, Mannova will look to defend her MWC and NCAA outdoor titles in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and improve upon last year”s success.

    “She”s the only national champion we have coming back outdoors,” Shane said. “Her time (in the 3,000-meter steeplechase) ranked her in the top five in the world. She”s really something.”

    “I want to defend my titles and improve on my time more than anything else,” Mannova said.

    After her freshman year, Mannova transferred from the University of New Orleans to BYU. She said she is happy to be here.

    “I wanted to train somewhere with a good altitude and be on a team where I had teammates running at my level,” Mannova said. “BYU has both and I have great coaches.”

    Her coach said BYU”s running programs have felt Mannova”s influence.

    “She”s been a real great addition to our cross country and indoor and outdoor (track) teams,” Shane said.

    After her eligibility ends at BYU, Mannova hopes to qualify for the European Championships and a national team.

    She keeps busy when she”s not training with her pre-veterinary major.

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