Oct 16 | 10:45 AM
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Thomas Zimmer Championship Course

9002 Country Road PD Madison WI 53593

Blake Dorton | Posted: 16 Oct 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

Cougars make statement, take second in Wisconsin


MADISON, Wis. – In the biggest meet of the season to date, things could not have gone much better as the No. 9 BYU men’s cross country team took second overall at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday.

In a meet that featured 17 of the nation’s top 30 ranked teams, BYU took a huge, and somewhat unexpected, step toward qualifying for the NCAA Championship meet. BYU coach Ed Eyestone was thrilled with his team.

“Going into this meet, we thought a top five finish would be nice,” Eyestone said. “We thought we would get all the points we needed if we were in the top five. We thought a top three finish would be fantastic, and so I think we surpassed all of our wildest expectations today.”  

The Cougars were able to accomplish each one of their goals heading into Wisconsin, namely to get ready for the WCC Championships coming up on Halloween.

“This is good for us,” Eyestone said. “It shows how strong we are. I think our guys believe we can do good things at the conference, regional and national meet. We’re not going to let it go to our heads by any means, but it’s a nice midseason report card. We certainly got an ‘A’ on this one.”

The only team to beat the Cougars in Madison was the No. 2 Syracuse Orange. Eyestone believes such a performance distinguishes BYU as the second best team in the Mountain Region, behind Colorado. The top two teams in each region are automatic qualifiers into the NCAA Championships.

Eyestone knew he would have a good team coming into the season. But with such a young group, he admits they are full of surprises.

“As we looked at this season, we knew we were going to be a pretty young team with Aaron (Fletcher) being the only senior among our top five,” he said. “I think we had modest expectations. But each meet, the guys keep showing that they believe. Sometimes it’s good to have a young team that’s naïve. They believe that awesome things are going to happen, and that’s what’s been happening thus far.”

BYU was led by its usual top three, Dallin Farnsworth (16th overall), Aaron Fletcher (18th) and Connor McMillan (26th), respectively. Jonathan Harper (44th) and Mitchell Briggs (82nd) came in fourth and fifth to round out the scoring for the Cougars. Dylan Shawhan and Clayton Young also ran in the “A” race, but did not figure in the team score. Eyestone was really impressed with the way Harper stepped up on a huge stage.

“I decided yesterday to put (Jonathan) Harper in the “A” race instead of Nicolas Montanez because he’s had a cold all week long,” Eyestone said. “He certainly made the most of it. He ended up being our fourth man overall. I told him after the race that I’d give him the performance of the week, though we had great performances from all of our top five. But Harper really stepped up today.”

Four Cougars also competed in the “B” race Friday. Dallin Taylor (2nd), Montanez (3rd), Steve Morrin (11th) and Rory Linkletter (16th) all showed well. BYU looks to have a very deep group of nine runners they will take to the conference meet in two weeks.

Up next for the Cougars is a repeat visit to Plante Ferry Park in Spokane, Washington, for the WCC Championships on October 31.  

For complete race results, click here


Blake Dorton | Posted: 15 Oct 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

No. 9 Cougars head to Wisconsin


PROVO, Utah – The No. 9 BYU men’s cross country team will compete against 17 of the nation’s top 30 ranked teams when they travel to the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational Friday.

Now in the heart of the cross country schedule, coach Ed Eyestone believes his team’s performance this week will have a major impact on the season as a whole.

“This is the point-getting portion of the season,” Eyestone said. “This race here is crucial for us. As long as we have a solid race I think we’ll finish around the top five which will help us.”

Along with a handful of teams ranked just below the Cougars, there are also five teams ahead of them in the polls who will compete in Madison. Syracuse (2), Stanford (4), Iona (5), Virginia (7) and Michigan (8) will all be on the course Friday morning. A field with so much depth can swing the tide for the Cougars moving forward.

“This will be a great opportunity for us to get some quality wins against teams that will be in the NCAAs,” Eyestone said. “It will be crucial for us to get some at-large points with some wins here.”

Friday’s meet offers two race heats, A and B. The “A” race will count for points and it will feature each school’s top runners. The “B” race serves a two-fold purpose: (1) help teams determine who will be its eighth and ninth runners at their respective conference races and (2) give others a chance to get some college racing experience. Both 8-kilometer races will be on the Thomas Zimmer championship course.

BYU will have 11 runners in uniform in Wisconsin. Those anticipated to compete in the “A” and “B” race are listed below.

Coach Eyestone listed a number of things he hopes his team can accomplish come race day.

“Our main goals here are to get a lot of at-large points,” he said. “I think top three is realistic, but definitely top five. We also want to get a good look at our team since this is the last race before the conference meet. Lastly, we want to close the gap between our four and six runners. Our top three are running a little ahead of our four, five and six guys, so we want to close that gap a little bit.”

The men’s “A” race will start at 11:45 a.m. CDT Friday, while the “B” race will follow at approximately 1:10 p.m. CDT. Live stats will be available on the BYU men’s cross country schedule page. In addition, get real time updates by visiting the National Results Wall. Follow the meet on social media by using #adidasinvite.

BYU “A” race representatives: Dallin Farnsworth, Aaron Fletcher, Connor McMillan, Mitchell Briggs, Clayton Young, Nicolas Montanez and Jonathan Harper.

BYU “B” race representatives: Dylan Shawhan, Steve Morrin, Rory Linkletter and Dallin Taylor.