Cross country cruises to wins at Run Elite Classic
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — No. 4/No. 7 BYU cross country exhibited its 2022 capabilities as both men’s and women’s teams cruised to dominant victories at the Run Elite Cross Classic at Valley Regional Park on Friday night.
The No. 4 men’s team fielded eight runners in the 7,500-meter race to place first on the night with 15 points. In-state foe Utah Valley also competed in the meet, finishing as the runner-up with 62 points.
“Our athletes showed a good, solid effort today," said BYU men's cross country head coach Ed Eyestone. "This helped set them up to be well-prepared and confident as they go to the national course in a couple of weeks to learn what it’s all about in Oklahoma.”
Three Cougar sophomores separated themselves from the pack in the last mile - twin brothers Davin and Creed Thompson along with Joey Nokes. Davin Thompson captured his first collegiate first-place finish with a time of 22:08.6 while Creed Thompson and Nokes clocked a 22:08.7 as the three ran across the line together.
“We saw nice performances by the Thompsons,” said Eyestone. “This was a good outing for our crew. We’ll continue to be stronger when we add in Casey Clinger, Lucas Bons, Christian Allen and Aidan Troutner in the coming weeks.”
Freshman Kenneth Rooks, the No. 2 BYU all-time steeplechase record holder in track and field, placed fifth at 22:21.9 while redshirt freshman Luke Grundvig participated in his first meet as a Cougar, registering a time of 22:37.0.
Zach Erikson, Brandon Garnica, and highly-touted newcomer Isaac Teeples rounded out the Cougar finishers on the night.
No. 7 BYU won the women’s 5,000-meter with 15 points behind individual winner Lexy Halladay-Lowry and podium finishers McKenna Lee-Hansen and Aubrey Frentheway. The Preseason All-WCC First Team trio crossed the finish in quick succession, all within a tenth of a second of each other at 17:24.6, 17:24.7 and 17:24.8, respectively. Friday marked Halladay-Lowry's first collegiate meet win.
“For the season-opener, we wanted to see our top group work together and see where the rest of the team filled-in,” said women’s cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor. “We have a super young team, so this was the perfect opportunity for us to see where our starting point is this season.”
While competing in her first career collegiate meet, freshman Riley Chamberlain also finished sub-18 minutes with a fourth-place spot at 17:46.1.
The Cougars controlled the front pack with finishers five through 13 also wearing the BYU singlet.
Returners Anna Martin, Madi Moffitt and Julie Sumsion took fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, all at under 18:13. Carmen Alder and Sadie Sargent also finished top-10.
Chamberlain wasn’t the only BYU underclassman to contribute on Friday.
Addi Bruening, a freshman from South Jordan, Utah, took eighth at 18:13.4. Freshman Jacey Farmer came in 11th at 18:18.5, with sophomore Destiny Everett close behind at 18:23.4. Taylor Rohatinsky, Taylor Lovell, Jenna Hutchins and Natalie Hlusi also competed for the Cougars, with each finishing top-30.
“I’m still figuring out our freshmen,” Taylor said. “I love that they committed to the pack, followed the race plan and finished strong.”
East Tennessee State transfer Lindsey Stallworth saw her first action at altitude as she finished 18th at 18:35.2 in her first meet with BYU.
Even with Friday’s success, Taylor knows her team has improvements to be made down the stretch of a season that culminates at the NCAA National Championships on Nov. 19.
“We can walk away from this knowing that we have to put our heads down and work really hard over the next couple of months.”
No. 4/7 BYU will return to action in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Cowboy Jamboree. The course, Oklahoma State University Cross Country Course, will be the site of the NCAA Championships on Nov. 19.
Following the Cowboy Jamboree, the Cougars will travel to Madison, Wisconsin for the Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational on Friday, Oct. 14.
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