Nov 13 | 01:00 PM

Championship Golf Course

3601 University Boulevard Southeast Albuquerque NM 87106

Blake Dorton | Posted: 13 Nov 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

Cougars punch ticket to nationals


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – No. 3 BYU men’s cross country has punched its ticket to compete at the NCAA Championships for the 17th consecutive year after finishing third at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships Friday.

The Cougars now have eight days to prepare and rest before next Saturday’s race in Louisville, Kentucky, where a national championship will be on the line. BYU coach Ed Eyestone thought his team executed their game plan very well on the course today.

“I was happy with it,” he said. “They did exactly what they had to do. Now it’s all about recovering and getting ready for the national meet. The regional is nothing more than a qualifying race for the NCAAs, and we did just that.”

West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year Dallin Farnsworth paced the Cougars in New Mexico, finishing ninth overall. Aaron Fletcher (16th), Connor McMillan (17th), Dylan Shawhan (25th) and Mitchell Briggs (31st) all figured into BYU’s third place score of 98 points. The Cougars finished behind two time defending national champion Colorado (67 points) and UTEP (77 points). Clayton Young also competed for the Cougars, finishing 68th overall. Dallin Taylor was forced to withdraw from the competition after suffering an injury on the course during the race.

Farnsworth, Fletcher, McMillan and Shawhan were each named to the 2015 All-Mountain Region Team at the conclusion of the meet by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. 

Eyestone once again applauded his team’s overall strength when Taylor went down early on in the contest.

“We avoided disaster today because of our team depth. Dallin (Taylor) got shoved early in the race and ended up badly bruising his heel, so I had to pull him from the race. We still had six runners and I was proud of the way they responded.”

A runner from another school pushed Taylor at about the one-mile mark while going around a rocky turn. He suffered a bruised heel when he stepped on a sharp rock in an attempt to catch his balance. Taylor did not finish the race. The Cougars are unsure at this time if he will be healthy enough to compete next week. 

BYU finished in the top three despite holding out one of their top runners, Nicolas Montanez, for some extra rest. Jonathan Harper also sat out Friday. Eyestone is looking forward to having the second overall finisher at the WCC Championships back in uniform next week.

“The main emphasis is we accomplished what we wanted to do today,” he said. “We moved on, and we did it without Nico (Montanez) who we’re going to put in for nationals. He’ll be a big help to our team.”

The Cougars will conclude the 2015 cross country season at the NCAA Championships next Saturday, Nov. 21 in Louisville, Kentucky. The men’s 10k race will begin at 1 p.m. EDT. Broadcast information will be updated on the BYU men’s cross country schedule page as it becomes available.


Blake Dorton | Posted: 11 Nov 2015 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

No. 3 Cougars ready for regionals


PROVO, Utah – No. 3 BYU men’s cross country can punch its ticket to the NCAA Championships this Friday afternoon when they compete at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

The Cougars can add more accolades to their already outstanding year at the penultimate meet of the season, but coach Ed Eyestone views this race mainly as a stepping stone to his team’s ultimate goal.

“I tend to think of regionals kind of like a preliminary heat in a big meet,” Eyestone said. “You want to advance safely without giving your coach a heart attack, but you don’t want to exert so much energy that you’re exhausted for the final. We’ll run hard but safe.”

Eyestone added what it will take to ensure that his team receives one of 31 available entries to the NCAA Championships.

“We need to be in the top two to get an automatic bid,” Eyestone said. “We could probably finish as low as fourth place and still be safe to receive an at-large bid because of the number of points we’ve received from good performances throughout the year. Our goal is to run for one of the automatic spots, and I’d be surprised if we finished any lower than second place.”

BYU will face a quick turnaround of only eight days between Friday’s race in Albuquerque and the NCAAs held in Louisville, Ky., on Saturday, Nov. 21. Up to this point of the season, the Cougars have had two weeks to recover between each meet. To compensate for the dip in rest between events, Eyestone is shuffling his lineup to ensure his team has fresh legs with a national title on the line.

“One of the ways we make sure the team is strong at the NCAAs is to run a couple of our substitute guys this round,” Eyestone said. “Then we’ll go with our top seven fresh guys at the national meet.”

BYU will be without Jonathan Harper and Nicolas Montanez on Friday for some extra rest going into nationals. West Coast Conference Athlete of the Year Aaron Fletcher and WCC Freshman of the Year Dallin Farnsworth will lead a Cougars team that will also include Connor McMillan, Dallin Taylor, Dylan Shawhan, Mitchell Briggs and Clayton Young on the 10,000-meter course. The Cougars expect another big-time performance from the runners in uniform.

“The great thing about our team is that we have wonderful depth and because of our it, I think we can sub in a couple of guys and still be very strong and competitive,” Eyestone said.

The men’s 10k race will begin at 1 p.m. MST on the University of New Mexico North Golf Course.

There will not be a live stream for this event, but live results can be found on the BYU men’s cross country schedule page. In addition, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association has created a National Results Wall live blog that will provide play-by-play updates from each of the nine regional championships held across the country this weekend. The site can be accessed here. You can find BYU-specific updates on various social media outlets by searching #D1Mountain.