Men’s cross country dominates the MWC Championships

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    By James Bates

    The BYU men”s cross country team came up a little short at the Mountain West Conference Cross Country Championship in New Mexico this Saturday, Nov. 1, as it finished a disappointing second.

    BYU came into the meet ranked No. 12 in the nation and as the four-time defending conference champions. However, the team was also the underdog because it was ranked lower nationally than the Air Force Academy at No. 9 and Colorado State University at No. 10.

    While the Cougars were able to defeat the Rams by 12 points, they finished a meager four points behind the now champion Falcons. However, head coach Ed Eyestone said he was still happy with the team performance.

    “The men did well,” Eyestone said in a press release. “We didn”t have our best day, but at least we fell to worthy competition. Air Force, who is No. 9, have great depth, and they were 100 percent today, where we were not.”

    Coming in fourth in the championship was the University of New Mexico, fifth was the University of Wyoming and sixth was the University of Utah.

    While BYU didn”t win first place, its team members still had plenty of reasons to celebrate. Junior runner Kip Kangogo won his second MWC Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year award with his impressive first place finish of 24 minutes 16 seconds.

    Kangogo has won first place in every meet he has competed in so far this season. Eyestone said Kangogo is one of the top-five runners in the nation and should compete for a national championship title individually.

    “It has been refreshing to finally see the fruits of my labor,” Kangogo said in a press release. “Winning is the result of preparation. I have tried this year to prepare well for every meet, and I am just grateful that it has paid off as I have placed first in every race.”

    While Kangogo took home the top individual honor, BYU newcomer Rich Nelson earned the Male Freshman of the Year award. He came in 16th overall for the race.

    Also competing for the Cougars were juniors Matt Adams, who took eighth place, Bryan Lindsay in ninth, Nathan Robinson in tenth and sophomore Chad Durham in 13th. All four of these runners were named to the MWC Men”s All-Conference Second Team.

    Kangogo was the only member of the Cougars to earn First-Team All-Conference honors. Three members each from Air Force and Colorado State joined him on that team.

    Eyestone, however, said he is still optimistic about the rest of the season.

    “I think that we”re certainly capable of being a top-10 team in the country,” Eyestone said. “If we put everything together, we could even finish top six which, for this year, would be outstanding and certainly moving in the right direction.”

    The Cougars will now rest from competition this week while they prepare to compete in the NCAA Mountain Regional in Ogden on Nov. 15.

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