Both BYU cross country teams motivated from Notre Dame’s Invitational

The men's cross country team run a tactical race.
Spencer Gardner runs a tactical and smart race. (Kensey Berry)

The men’s and women’s cross country teams traveled to Indiana this past weekend to compete in Notre Dame’s Invitational. The competition for both the men and the women was fierce.

BYU runner Jonathon Nelson led the No. 10 ranked Cougars to a second-place finish. He finished No. 10 overall. The drawback to this second-place finish was realizing that No. 19 Michigan came through before the Cougars and claimed the first-place title.

“The team came into the meet with the desire to beat many of the top-ranked teams that we would compete against — and we did just that,” coach Ed Eyestone said.

The men’s team now recognizes the race strategy it needs to win the next meet although it did not claim the first-place title at this meet. Eyestone still believes that the team ran well as a whole.

Nelson came in with a time of 23:33.0 for a five-mile course, then seven seconds behind Nelson came senior Spencer Gardner. Teammates Conner McMillan, Mitchell Briggs and Conner Peloquin came shortly after. Each attempted to better the team’s chances for beating out the competitors.

The women’s cross country team found Notre Dame’s Invitational a big confidence boost. The team understood that it needed to run a tactical race to put forth a good performance against the well-known competition. Despite the race course being flat and the optimal weather conditions, the team knew the race wasn’t going to be easy.

Andrea Nelson Harrison was the top finisher for the 5K race, running a time of 16:29.4. Both Harrison and Carrie Jube, running 16:46.2, finished in the top 25, helping the women to receive a fourth-place finish.

“It was a good first big meet where we got to see where we are at early on,” Harrison said.

Jube also felt that the meet went well.

“Overall, the meet was a success,” women’s coach Patrick Shane said. “The girls ran a good race knowing what we needed to get out of it.”

Both teams left the meet recognizing the positives and understanding the changes that need to be enhanced during the next competition.

The men’s and women’s teams will compete next on Oct. 17 at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Adidas Invitational will be the final meet before the West Coast Conference Championship in Santa Clara, California, on Nov. 1.

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