Men continue upward trek

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    By James Bates

    “From good to great,” is the slogan for this year”s BYU men”s cross country team, as they look to finish in the Nation”s top 10.

    The Cougars have won the Mountain West Conference title the last four years, and three of those years they went on to compete in nationals. Last year they finished 16th in the nation, but head coach Ed Eyestone said he wasn”t satisfied.

    “We were capable of doing better,” Eyestone said at the end of last season. “This will give us motivation to come back and do better next year.”

    Last years” 16th place finish would have been more impressive, if it wasn”t for the national championship won by the women”s cross country team. The women have actually won three of the last five national championships and are exerting some pressure on their counterparts said Kip Kangogo, a junior runner from Kenya.

    Now is the time for the team to live up to its potential, and Eyestone is pleased with the progress the runners have made during the summer. He said this progress really showed up in the results on Saturday.

    At the first event of the season, BYU ran over, no pun intended, the competition. Cougar runners finished in seven of the top 10 places.

    The three other runners that finished in the top 10 for the race were also BYU students. But they were running unattached to the university because Eyestone is still trying to decide if they will red shirt this season or not.

    One of these runners is Richard Nelson, a freshman who has only been back from his mission for about a month. He finished sixth overall for the race.

    Josh Rohatinsky, also a freshman, finished third.

    Kip Kangogo, Matt Adams, Chad Durham and Nathan Robinson are all returning from a year ago and are expected to be the core of the team. Some other members of the team to keep an eye on this year are Nicholas McCombs and Josh McAdams, according to BYU media relations.

    McCombs is coming off a red-shirt season and has been training hard. He finished ninth in the race on Saturday.

    McAdams is a new member of the team this year. He trained hard during the off-season, and, Eyestone said, could become either the fifth or sixth runner on the team. He finished eighth in the alumni race.

    The Cougars next race is the Autumn Classic which they will host Saturday, Sept. 13, at Cascade Springs Golf Course in Orem. This race should prove to be a greater challenge as several nationally recognized programs will be competing, including Weber State.

    The team then goes on the road for the rest of the season. They will participate in the Griak Invitational in Minn. on Sept. 27, the pre-nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Oct. 17, and followed by the MWC championship in San Diego on Nov. 1. The NCAA Mountain Regional competition will take place in Ogden on Nov. 15. The final competition is the NCAA Nationals in Cedar Falls, Iowa on Nov. 24.

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