MEET RECAP: Silver State Collegiate Cross Country Challenge

Twelve teams that were ranked in the most recent NCAA Division I Cross Country National Coaches’ Polls descended on the Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas today for the Silver State Collegiate Cross Country Challenge.

BYU completed the sweep as the second-ranked men and third-ranked women took home team titles.

Keep reading below to find out what happened in the City of Lights.

Men’s Recap

BYU and Northern Arizona put on a racing clinic on Monday.

The top-2 teams in the most recent National Coaches’ Polls battled toe-to-toe over the 8K course at the Craig Ranch Regional Park in North Las Vegas. When the dust settled in the City of Lights, the two teams combined for seven of the top-10 finishers and the second-ranked Cougars pulled out a five-point win thanks to putting four of their runners in the aforementioned top-10.

Conner Mantz of BYU earned the individual title in 22:50.4, beating NAU freshman Nico Young to the finish line by 2.3 seconds (Young finished in 22:52.7 in his debut). Mantz, who finished third at the NCAA meet in 2019, pulled away down the stretch to his fifth victory on the cross country circuit in the past two years (Mantz started the 2019 season a perfect 4-0).

The Cougars packed the top-10 behind Mantz. Casey Clinger finished fourth in 23:05.5, followed by Brandon Garnica in sixth at 23:11.5 and Clayson Shumway in 10th at 23:26.4. Elijah Armstrong rounded out the scoring lineup for BYU in 28th place.

The top-ranked Lumberjacks – racing without a full lineup (2020 OSU Invitational champion Luis Grijalva was absent, among others) – had three runners in the top-10, including Young. Abdihamid Nur took fifth place in 23:09.3, while Blaise Ferro earned seventh place in 23:11.6. Ryan Raff finished 14th in 23:37.1. Corey Gorgas capped the lineup in 27th place.

No. 18 Washington took third in the team standings with 75 points with No. 4 Notre Dame not too far behind in fourth with 80. No. 27 Air Force posted the smallest spread out of any team in the race at 12 seconds and ended up a strong fifth.

Women’s Recap

On a day where many of the teams rested their top athletes – primarily due to racing just a few days earlier in an attempt to collect qualifying marks for the NCAA DI Indoor Championships – No. 3 BYU showcased its depth with a 15-point win over No. 13 Boise State.

The Cougars, led by an individual runner-up finish by Anna Camp, were the only team with more than two athletes in the top-10. Camp was followed by Aubrey Frentheway in fourth at 20:00.2 and Lexy Halladay in 10th at 20:22.6. BYU also had the distinction of being the only squad with four top-15 runners as Haley Johnson took 13th in 20:31.6.

Tyler Beling led the Broncos with a third-place individual finish in 19:55.0. Beling wasn’t alone in the top-15 as Olivia Johnson took seventh in 20:10.4 and Grace Brock ended up 14th in 20:36.8.

Taryn O’Neill picked up the individual title in 19:51.2 to pace third-place Northern Arizona. The 26th-ranked Lumberjacks packed up well with Delaney Rasmussen (12th, 20:29.2), Pipi Eitel (15th, 20:38.9) and Bryn Morley (16th, 20:39.2) all finishing closely bunched.

No. 8 Washington took fourth place with 88 points, followed by Weber State with 123.

Two teams listed as provisional entries didn’t race: No. 4 New Mexico and No. 24 Notre Dame. The Irish are expected to race at the FSU Winter XC Invitational this weekend, instead.