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Natalie Lopez | Posted: 13 Oct 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Natalie Lopez

BYU cross country secures first and fourth at the Pre-National Invitational


MADISON, Wis. – The BYU men’s cross country team, led by Rory Linkletter, finished in first place and the women’s team took fourth place at the Pre-National Invitational Saturday in Madison Wisconsin.

The No. 2 BYU men’s team scored 29 points for a first-place finish ahead of 34 other schools, including No. 4 Portland, No. 8 Syracuse and No. 10 Air Force. The No. 9 women’s team finished fourth with 175 points and a victory over No. 1 Colorado, No. 13 NC State and No. 18 Ole Miss.

The women competed in the 6K Cardinal race followed by the men who ran in the 8K White race.

Leading up to Pre-Nationals, the men’s and women’s cross country teams had three straight first-place finishes this season at the Autumn Classic, Joe Piane Invitational and Steve T. Reeder Memorial.

Erica Birk-Jarvis led the way for the Cougars, finishing first for the No. 9 women’s team and fourth in the Cardinal race with a career-best time, 20:12.2. This is her third first-place BYU finish this season. Courtney Wayment followed in 13th place (20:29.9) as BYU’s second runner. Anna Camp finished in 44th (21:08.4), with Aubrey Frentheway in 50th (21:12.7), Madelyn Dickson in 64th (21:21.6), Olivia Hoj in 73rd (21:26.4) and McKenna Lee in 77th (21:30.1).

"I was really pleased overall," BYU women's cross country coach Diljeet Taylor said. "We picked up some points for Nationals and the girls got to preview the course and those were our main objectives coming in. We were running without Whittni Orton, so finishing fourth without one of our top runners is really good. Erica and Courtney had great performances today and Anna Camp stepped up huge for us, being our number three runner today."

Taylor said that the women's team will continue to train hard in preparation for the West Coast Conference Championships and eventually, NCAA Championships. She's looking forward to seeing the momentum continue through the rest of the season. 

Women’s Team Notables

  • The Cougars took fourth in the Cardinal race with 175 points, rising above six other top-25 teams
  • All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis finished fourth in the 6K Cardinal race with a career-best time of 20:12.2

"We had a nice day today. I’m proud of the guys. They were well prepared and executed the race to nearly perfection," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "It’s always fun to win a big race like Pre-Nationals as a team and also get the individual as well, so we’re happy with that. Rory had a very nice finish at the end to overtake."

All-American Rory Linkletter (23:54.4) led the No. 2 BYU men’s team to victory in the White division with his back-to-back first-place finish at Pre-Nationals. The Cougars claimed three more spots in the top seven, including Conner Mantz (23:55.5) in fourth, Clayson Shumway (23:55.7) in fifth and Connor McMillan (23:56.9) in seventh. Clayton Young (24:03.7) followed in 12th place, with Jacob Heslington (24:10.8) in 20th and Zachry Jacklin (24:41.7) in 53rd.

Along with Linkletter's finish, Eyestone was impressed by Mantz for leading the majority of the race and Shumway's bolt in the last 50 meters to close the gap. Eyestone commented that there was only a nine-second gap between the men's first and fifth runners. 

Men’s Team Notables

  • The men’s team finished first with a score of 29 points
  • This was All-American Rory Linkletter’s second individual championship title after winning the Pre-National Invitational in 2017
  • The BYU men’s team claimed four of the top seven spots
  • This is the second-consecutive Pre-Nationals first-place finish for the Cougars

After a two-week break, the teams will race back at home in the West Coast Conference Championships on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Pre-Nationals Invitational Results


Braden Taylor | Posted: 11 Oct 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Braden Taylor

No. 2 men’s, No. 9 women’s cross country to be tested at Pre-Nationals


PROVO, Utah – The BYU cross country teams will race against some of the top teams in the nation at the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Madison, Wisconsin, on Saturday.

The format of this year’s Pre-National meet will split teams into either the Cardinal or White sections. The No. 2 BYU men’s team is seeded in the men’s White division, along with No. 3 Portland, No. 6 Syracuse, No. 11 Washington, No. 15 Air Force, No. 19 Purdue, No. 21 Washington State, No. 23 Indiana and No. 25 UCLA.

The No. 9 BYU women’s team will race against four other top-10 teams in the women’s Cardinal section. The Cougars' ranked competition will be No. 1 Colorado, No. 4 Oregon, No. 7 Arkansas, No. 10 North Carolina State, No. 12 Indiana, No. 15 Portland, No. 16 Ole Miss and No. 23 Minnesota.

“We’ve known that Pre-Nats is going to be our true test,” BYU associate head women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “This will be an opportunity to preview the competition and course ahead of Nationals. The girls know that the competition is going to be stiff.”

The Cougars took seventh last season at Pre-Nationals and head into this year’s meet on a three-meet winning streak. All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis has taken first place in two meets this season and Taylor expects the senior to continue to lead the way for BYU.

Birk-Jarvis will race with teammates Anna Camp, Madelyn Dickson, Aubrey Frentheway, Olivia Hoj, McKenna Lee and Courtney Wayment, with Whittni Orton being a race-day decision.

“Our first goal is to race well enough to pick up points again for Nationals,” Taylor said. “However, the main things we’ll be working on are getting comfortable with the course and working together as a team to close the gap between runners.”

Women’s Team Notables

  • The Cougars took seventh at the 2017 Pre-Nationals with a score of 273
  • Former BYU runner Laura Bluth took 24th overall and crossed the finish line first for the women’s team in 2017
  • The women’s team has taken first at every meet this season

“We’ve been approaching it like another day at the office,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “At this point of the season, this will be the most important and competitive meet we’ve faced yet. We haven’t had a meet where we’ve had to dig down and check the character of the team.”

All-American Rory Linkletter won the individual title at the 2017 Pre-Nationals, leading the men’s team to a first-place finish. The Cougars have cruised to win all three meets of the 2018 season and have had a different runner take first in each race.

BYU will suit up Jacob Heslington, Zachry Jacklin, Linkletter, Conner Mantz, Connor McMillan, Clayson Shumway and Clayton Young, while Danny Carney will be a race-day decision.

“I want to see us have a good performance and battle to the finish,” Eyestone said. “I want us to have a better start after not doing as well as I would’ve hoped at Notre Dame. So much of the National meet is getting out quick and establishing yourself in the pack.”

Men’s Team Notables

  • Rory Linkletter is back to defend his individual title after winning the Pre-National Invitational in 2017
  • BYU won the 2017 Pre-Nationals with a score of 41 points
  • The men’s team will look to win its seventh-straight regular season meet (since start of 2017 season)

The Pre-National Invitational will be hosted at Wisconsin’s Thomas Zimmer Championship Course on Saturday, Oct. 13. The women’s team will race first at 10 a.m CDT followed by the men’s team at 12:15 p.m. The meet will be streamed live on FloTrack.org and live stats can be found on rtstp.com. Follow the BYU cross country Instagram and Twitter accounts for live updates on the race.