BYU cross country finishes strong in Wisconsin

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The No. 8 BYU men’s cross country team finished second and the No. 22 women’s cross country team finished eighth in the Wisconsin Invitational.

Aaron Fletcher, Dallin Farnsworth and Connor McMillan lead the pack in the BYU Autumn Classic. They lead the men's cross country team to a second-place finish in the Wisconsin Adidas Invite. (Travis Mortenson)
Aaron Fletcher, Dallin Farnsworth and Connor McMillan lead the pack in the BYU Autumn Classic. They lead the men’s cross country team to a second-place finish in the Wisconsin Adidas Invite. (Travis Mortenson)

The #AdidasInvite featured 17 of the top 30 ranked teams and six of the top 10 teams. BYU took second place behind No. 2 Syracuse and avenged a one-point loss to No. 4 Stanford two weeks prior.

The Cougars were able to minimize the gap between their top three and four-through-six runners — a pre-race goal of Coach Ed Eyestone. BYU’s top seven come across the finish line within 53 seconds of each other. The five scoring runners were within about 30 seconds of each other.

Dallin Farnsworth, Aaron Fletcher and Connor McMillan led the way for the Cougars finishing at 23:50.7, 23:52.1 and 23:58.8 respectively.

Ed Eyestone said via his Twitter account, “Men roll to second place! Big finish! Last time we were second at Wisco we were podium at nationals! Great job!”

The women’s race featured 20 of the teams ranked in the top 25. The Cougars beat eight teams ranked ahead of them.

Natalie Shields-Connolly led the way for the Cougars for the second straight race. She finished with a time of 20:25.9. Three of her teammates quickly crossed the finish line after her. Yesenia Silva finished at 20:29.6, Carrie Jube finished at 20:32.1 and Jennica Redd finished at 20.34.9.

This race was particularly important for the team’s chances of getting to nationals.

Coach Patrick Shane said in a press release that the Wisconsin Adidas Invite would be the second most important meet they run in.

“Basically, you go to Wisconsin or you go to Pre-nationals to get criteria points to ensure you can go to the national championship,” Shane said.

The team’s finish today helped the women gain criteria points to hopefully clench a bid for nationals.

The next race for both cross country teams will the the West Coast Conference Championship in Spokane, Washington on Oct. 16.

 

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