The No. 6 BYU men’s cross country team finished 12th and the No. 24 women’s cross country team finished 23rd at the national meet.
BYU intentionally let a few runners sit out during the regional meet so that they would be fresh for the national meet. This is the 17th straight national meet appearance, the third-longest active streak according to a press release. The Cougars had high expectations coming into the meet, but were unable to reach them.
“Our expectations going in were much higher, but I’m proud of the guys for the effort they put forth,” BYU men’s cross country coach Ed Eyestone said in a press release. “It was a very fast start, and I think we ran smart. If you go out too hard in a race like that, it can totally destroy you.”
Senior Aaron Fletcher was in 28th with 3 kilometers to go in the race according to the BYU track and field and cross country Twitter account. His pace progressively slowed during the last mile of the race and he finished 81st. Dallin Farnsworth had the best finish for the Cougars as he came in 74th. The Cougars gained a total of 406 team points which landed them in 12th place overall.
This 12th place finish marks the eighth consecutive season BYU has finished in the top 20 according to a press release.
The women’s team finished well in the national meet despite hardship.
According to a press release, runner Jennica Redd was so sick that she couldn’t even jog the course the night before and during the race Natalie Shields-Connolly lost a shoe and had to run over cold and rough terrain.
Redd finished seventh on the team and 243rd overall. Shields-Connolly finished 137th overall. Carrie Jube led the way for the Cougars with a 99th-place finish.
“We did our very best,” BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane said in a press release. “We came in ranked 24th and we ended up 23rd. Considering how things went for us, that was really good.”