On the heels of a dramatic win a couple weeks ago, I had to give some props to the BYU women’s soccer team. Most sports other than basketball and football don’t get much pub, so I had to put some blog-o-sphere love out there. So, as I floated along the Twitterverse today, I saw that BYU AD Tom Holmoe gave this shout out to the BYU men’s cross country team:
Tylor Thatcher and men’s cross country win individual AND team titles again at Minnesota. Ranked 4th in NCAA. Keep on flyin’!
— Tom Holmoe (@TomHolmoe) September 30, 2013
And I thought it might be time to spread some more love to the sports that may not get much recognition.
BYU Men’s Cross Country
These guys could very well be the best kept secret on campus. They’re ranked 4th in the nation, and they’ve placed 1st in all 3 of this season’s meets. Most recently, they bested the competition at the Griak Invitational in Minnesota on Saturday. Senior Tylor Thatcher edged out the competition to take first place, and senior Jason Witt placed 7th. All 7 of their runners placed in the top 29. There were 246 runners at the meet. All of the runners in the top 29 out of 246? Not too shabby.
For those unfamiliar with cross country, much like I am, each team has up to seven runners participating in the race. Results reflect the total placing of the best five runners from each team. On Saturday, BYU’s 5 best runners placed 1st, 7th, 15th, 17th, and 22nd. Add ‘em up – their final score was 62.
Earlier in the season, BYU edged conference foe Portland to win the Autumn Classic in Provo. Thatcher and Witt came up big in that meet as well with a 1st and 2nd place finish.
Another major player for BYU is sophomore Johnathan Nelson. He’s finished 1st, 5th, and 22nd in the 3 meets this season.
As it pertains to the WCC, this season’s conference championship race should be a nailbiter between Portland and BYU once again. Both are highly ranked – BYU is #4 and Portland is #7. Both finished in the top 2 at last year’s WCC Championships, and they were only separated by 1 point. After BYU’s 25-33 win at the Autumn Classic, Portland is sure to be looking for some payback. After all, the Pilots have won 33 of the last 34 WCC Cross Country Championships. The only blemish on their near-perfect record? Yup. BYU.