Natalie Lopez | Posted: 15 Sep 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU cross country sweeps the Autumn Classic

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LOGAN, Utah – The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams took first place in the season opener for both programs at the Autumn Classic on Saturday, Sept. 15, in Logan, Utah.

Due to poor air conditions from two large mountain fires in Utah County, the Autumn Classic was relocated from East Bay Golf Course in Provo to Innovation Park Course in Logan.

Both men’s and women’s teams finished on top with perfect scores of 15, placing them above the other teams that competed at the meet – Utah State, Santa Clara, Weber State, Dixie State and Westminster.  

The women competed in a 5K race followed by the men who ran in a 7K race.

“I was impressed with the group running that we had, especially early on. We wanted to cruise the first 4K and then push the last 3K,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “For Clayson Shumway to get the win was fun, and the other guys looked great and under control. It’s early in the season, but it’s a good way to start.”

The No. 2 men were led to victory by Clayson Shumway (20:56.2) in first place, Conner Mantz (20.56.5) in second, Rory Linkletter (20.56.6) in third, Connor McMillan (20.56.7) in fourth and Danny Carney (20:56.8) in fifth. BYU claimed seven of the top 10 spots. Utah State (60) and Weber State (87) finished behind the men’s team.

Along with the performance of the top-five scoring men, Eyestone said he was impressed by the non-uniform runners who will be considered over the next two weeks as candidates for the official travel team.

Men’s Team Notables

  • The men’s team finished with a perfect score of 15
  • This is the men’s team’s 10th-consecutive Autumn Classic championship (2008-2018)
  • The BYU men claimed seven of the top 10 spots
  • This is Clayson Shumway’s first collegiate first-place finish

On the women’s side, Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton finished in first and second place in the 5K race. For her first meet back since the 2016 season, Birk-Jarvis ran a career-best time of 17:00.9. Orton ran a time of 17:15.1, followed by Olivia Hoj (17.41.2) in third, Courtney Wayment (17:46.4) in fourth and freshman Aubrey Frentheway (17:51.0) in fifth. The No. 16 women’s team secured nine of the top 10 spots, finishing ahead of Utah State (53) and Santa Clara (96).

“I was pretty pleased overall. We wanted to get a good race prior to going to Notre Dame at the end of this month,” BYU women’s cross country coach Diljeet Taylor said. “It’s good for me to see our lineup going into our season. We’re in a pretty hard block of training so I expected them to be running with tired legs. The times that they ran with tired legs is impressive for this early in the season.”

Taylor was pleased to see how Birk-Jarvis and Orton worked together to ultimately take the top two spots with a close finish. Taylor also said that today’s meet was a good indicator of how the freshmen will perform at a collegiate level.

Women's Team Notables

  • The women's squad has now won the Autumn Classic six of the seven seasons since 2012 (Finished second behind Utah State in 2017)
  • Erica Birk-Jarvis ran a career-best time of 17:00.9 for a first-place finish to add to her 2016 BYU Autumn Classic championship
  • BYU women’s team secured nine of the top 10 spots, with a perfect score of 15
  • Freshman Aubrey Frentheway placed fifth in her first collegiate race

After a two-week break, the teams will head to the Joe Piane Invite in Notre Dame, Indiana, on Friday, Sept. 28.

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