Led by runners James Corrigan and Kenneth Rooks, the BYU men’s cross country team placed third in the NCAA cross-country championships in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, Nov. 18, for the second consecutive year.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of a team performance, particularly a team who has faced some adversity over the course of the season with injuries like we’ve had,” BYU men’s head coach Ed Eyestone said in a news release. “Quite frankly, the best we could have done was third place, and my guys really put it together.”
The BYU women’s team finished 14th at the national competition.
The men’s race
In the men’s race, BYU came in third with 196 points behind Oklahoma State (49 points) and Northern Arizona (71). This race marks the eighth straight top-10 finish for the BYU men’s team and fifth podium finish in the last eight years.
Corrigan was BYU’s top runner. He finished 32nd in the field of 254 runners with a time of 29:40.1. Corrigan served a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and Tempe, Arizona (2020-22).
Rooks, the U.S. and NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase champion, also earned All-American status (the top 40) by placing 35th with a time of 29:42.9. Rooks was also named the recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award in recognition of academic excellence. Rooks served in the Uganda Kampala and Utah Orem Missions.
The women’s race
The Cougars came into the NCAA championships ranked No. 3 in the nation and having won four of its five competitions this season. They also finished second in the NCAA Mountain Regional and were the first BYU sports team to win a Big 12 championship.
BYU’s runners started the race aggressively but couldn’t maintain the pace, according to the Deseret News. BYU’s top runner was Aubrey Frentheway, who placed 14th with a time of 19:36.5. BYU’s next highest finisher was Carlee Hansen in 66th.
This marks the Cougars’ eighth consecutive top-15 finish at the national meet.
Frentheway’s performance garnered her fourth-career cross country All-America honor and her 14th-place finish was a career-best at nationals. The senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming, is now the second-most decorated BYU women’s cross country athlete of all time, second only to five-time All-American Elizabeth Jackson (1995-99).