ST. PAUL, Minn. — The men's cross country team finished second at the Roy Griak Invitational on Saturday, improving on last year's fourth place finish. BYU runner Kip Kangogo, a junior from Kabarnet, Kenya, won the 8K race with a time of 23:58. Kangogo won this same Griak race last year with a time of 24:48.6.
Kangogo ran a comfortable, smart race staying with the top runners until the last mile where he kicked up his run and separated from the pack.
"I was running with about six other Kenyan's which are very difficult to run with," Kangogo said. "At the end it was Robert Cheseret and I, a fellow Kenyan. It was hard to race against him but I pushed him until he wasn't responding anymore and then used my kick to push ahead."
BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said Kangogo had a very calm race. "He looked very comfortable out there running," Eyestone said. "He did weights this week so he wasn't peaking but I can only imagine what he will do when he finally does peak."
Despite BYU's finish behind No. 2 Oregon by 42 points, BYU performed well in the tough competition. In the race the No. 12 Cougars beat No. 5 Oregon, No. 10 Eastern Michigan, No. 15 Providence, No. 23 Colorado State, No. 25 Minnesota and No. 26 Iowa.
"We beat several teams that have been ranked higher than us," Eyestone said. "That will only help give the team the confidence they need for the season and help us go up in the polls."
Also finishing for the Cougars was junior Bryan Lindsay coming in 17th at 24:39, junior Nathan Robinson in 23rd place at 24:47, junior Nick McCombs in 42nd place at 25:06 and sophomore Chad Durham in 48th place with a time of 25:10. Eyestone said his team had a solid performance especially on a day when all the men were not running their best.
"We had about three guys who didn't run their best races," Eyestone said. "We still did well however and this just goes to show us that we can run against anyone. When we are running on all cylindars we will do much better."
The men will head back to Provo for a few weeks of training before they run at Pre-Nationals October 17 in Cedar Falls, Iowa the sight of the 2003 NCAA National Cross Country Championships.