Sophomore Connor Williams
Nov. 12, 2011
The Montana cross country teams struggled to 16th-place finishes in both the men's and women's races Saturday at the NCAA Mountain Region Championships at Provo, Utah. Neither team put its top individual runner among the top 60 overall.
Lynn Reynolds, who had his third top-five Big Sky Conference finish two weeks ago at Pocatello, Idaho, gave the Grizzlies their best chance at advancing someone to the NCAA Championships, which will be held Monday, Nov. 21, at Terre Haute, Ind.
Reynolds was 40th at regionals in 2009 and 39th last year, and needed at minimum a top-25 finish Saturday to put himself in the running for an individual at-large spot to his first nationals.
The senior finished 63rd with a time of 32:28 over the 10-kilometer course, more than a minute and a half off his career best.
"Lynn got out well and was running with the two Colorado runners who would finish sixth and seventh, but at the 3k mark he got spiked from behind and lost his shoe," UM coach Courtney Babcock said.
"He handled it well and did his best to get back into it, and then a side ache came on.
"It's disappointing, because this was as confident and ready to race as I've seen him at regionals."
Montana finished 16th out of 17 teams.
Sophomore Connor Williams was the Grizzlies' No. 2 runner, finishing the course in 94th place in a time of 33:37. Rounding out Montana's top five were sophomore Jordan Collison, 97th in 33:45, junior Max Hardy, 100th in 34:09, and freshman Sam Willis, 107th in 34:44.
BYU senior Miles Batty won the race in a time of 30:09 to lead the Cougars to the team title by six points over second-place Colorado.
Northern Arizona, which is expected to earn an at-large spot to nationals with its third-place team finish, placed senior Diego Estrada in fourth and senior Jordan Chipangama in fifth.
BYU, Colorado and Northern Arizona took seven of the top nine individual spots.
The Montana women, who were not expected to send any athletes to nationals, finished 16th out of 19 teams and fifth out of the five Big Sky Conference schools in the region.
Weber State, ranked sixth in the region entering the race, upset Texas Tech, BYU and Colorado State to finish third behind New Mexico and Colorado, which tied for the team title.
Northern Arizona was seventh, Idaho State ninth and Montana State 15th.
Texas-El Paso junior Risper Kimaiyo won the women's six-kilometer race in a time of 20:35. Weber State sophomore Amber Henry was the top Big Sky finisher, running to sixth in a time of 21:04.
Freshman Allie Parks led Montana at the Big Sky championships and she did so again Saturday, finishing 64th in a time of 22:56.
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