Seasiders Sweep PacWest Cross-Country
Championships (Oct. 23, 2004)
Lady Jackets Impressive in Second
BILLINGS, MT – The BYU-Hawaii men and women ran away
with the top honors at the 2004 Pacific West
Conference Cross-Country Championships on Saturday,
capturing first place team and individual titles in
both races. The Seasiders’ Jeremy Van Tress pulled
away down the stretch for the men’s individual
crown. Teammate Chelsea Smith cruised to the
women’s title, setting a new course record along the
While Van Tress and Smith were the individual stars
of the day, it was the Seasiders’ 3-5 runners who
were critical in winning the team titles. The
Seasider men edged rival Hawaii-Hilo by just 11
points, 33-44, while the Seasider women outlasted
host Montana State-Billings by 12 points, 34-42.
After a cautious start, Van Tress and Hawaii-Hilo’s
Germain Ortiz emerged from the pack about midway
through the men’s 8,000 meters. Van Tress pulled
away down the final 300 meters to win in 26:05,
while Ortiz slipped to fourth place in 26:12. Van
Tress’s teammate Jacob Rushton kicked for a second
place finish in 26:08, followed by Chaminade’s
Bedora Lim in 26:09.
“I expected the pace to be fast at the beginning,”
said Van Tress afterwards. “I expected Germaine to
go out fast, be he didn’t. We broke out together
and battled it out. This is something I’ve been
preparing for since last year when I knew there
would be a conference race. I feel good [about the
“The courses we run in Hawaii are very hilly and a
lot more rugged,” added Van Tress of his race
strategy. “This course was very fast. I knew it
would be quick, so I hung back at the start. I
could feel the altitude change when we tuned up this
week, so I hung back and ran conservatively for the
BYU-Hawaii arrived in Billings on Wednesday, and the
extra preparation proved to be worthwhile. The
Seasiders practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
on the course that looped around Lake Josephine.
“They knew the course,” said Seasiders head coach
Norman Kaluhiokalani. “We ran it for three days,
and I told them that it was their course now. It
was an advantage for the kids to know the course.”
The Seasiders used four top 10 finishes to hold off
the Vulcans. Along with Van Tress and Rushton,
Jacob Puzey placed sixth in 26:37, and Joseph
Sybrowsky placed eighth in 26:56. UH-Hilo’s Paul
Moth (seventh in 26:44) and Alastair In (tenth in
27:25) joined Ortiz in the top ten. The Vulcans
also took home eleventh and twelfth places to beat
Hawaii Pacific for third place in the team race.
UHH’s Gustavo Arceo was eleventh in 27:27, and
Ikaika Ho was twelfth in 27:36.
Yellowjackets, who placed sixth, were led by Sam
Hartpence's 17th place finish. He ran a
season-best 29:23, over a minute and a half better
than his previous best this year. Scott Brown
was close behind Hartpence in 19th place in 28:35,
also a season best.
was the Jackets' third runner, placing 26th in 29:31
for his first sub-30 minute 8K of the year.
Ryan Archibald placed 27th in 29:38, and Joe Kragt
finished 29th in 29:59. It was also the first
time this season that Archibald and Kragt had run
below 30 minutes for 8,000 meters.
The result of the women’s race—at least the race for
the individual title—was clear after the first 200
meters. Smith, the defending NCAA II National
Champion, shattered the course record by over a
minute and outpaced her nearest competitor by over
two minutes. She set a personal record for 5,000
meters, finishing in 16:57. The previous course
record was 18:04, and Smith’s previous personal best
for 5,000 meters was 17:22.
“It’s funny. I didn’t feel that fast,” said Smith,
who ran alone the entire race. “[Running without
anyone close] is hard mentally, but I have an
awesome team. Our men’s team is always out there
yelling and pushing me. I get comfortable when I’m
that far out in front, but I have to make myself
uncomfortable. I see the clock ahead of me. I see
17:00, and I wanted to break that today. I didn’t
tell anyone before the race, but that was my goal.”
Smith’s teammates held off an MSU Billings team that
took places 2, 3 and 5. The Yellowjackets’ Heidi
Robertson finished second in 19:00, followed by Sarah Lord in 19:04 and Chelsea Lynnes in 19:19. While
MSUB’s next two runners finished 14th and
18th, the Seasiders placed four runners
in the top 10 and five in the top 12.
The Seasiders’ Diana Choi came in fourth in 19:13,
followed by Jennifer Puzey in eighth in 19:28 and
Melissa Flake in ninth in 19:38. Emily Williams
rounded out BYU-Hawaii’s scoring five with a twelfth
place finish in 19:55.
For the Lady
Jackets, Robertson, Lord and Lynnes all had
season-best times. By capturing three of the
top five individual places, MSU Billings was the
surprise of the women's race.
Piplica and Diana Davis rounded out the
Yellowjackets' five scorers. Piplica placed
14th in 20:04, almost two minutes faster than her
best time this season. Davis finished in 18th
in 20:18, a personal best by over two minutes.
Yellowjackets had the largest number of runners in
the race with ten. Their second five included
Mandy Brown (23rd place in 20:57), Tracie Overberg
(27th place in 21:59), Kisa Kron (29th place in
22:09), Kristy Burns (32nd place in 22:36), and
Kendra Bebee (35th place in 22:54). All five
ran personal bests for the year.
The Yellowjackets will host their
annual fun run and invitational on October 30. The six PacWest teams will next compete in
the NCAA West Regional on November 6 in Bellingham,
WA. The National Championships will be held in
Evansville, IN, on November 20.
Men’s Team Results
1. BYU-Hawaii, 33; 2. Hawaii-Hilo, 44; 3. Hawaii
Pacific, 86; 4. Western New Mexico, 100; 5.
Chaminade, 113; 6. MSU Billings, 118.
Men’s All-Conference Team
1. Jeremy Van Tress, BYUH, 26:05
2. Jacob Rushton, BYU:H, 26:08
3. Bedora Lim, CU, 26:09
4. Germain Ortiz, UHH, 26:12
5. Matt Stevens, HPU, 26:19
6. Jacob Puzey, BYUH, 26:37
7. Paul Moth, UHH, 26:44
8. Joseph Sybrowsky, BYUH, 26:56
9. Daniel Waldo, WNMU, 27:20
10. Alastair In, UHH, 27:25
Women’s Team Results
1. BYU-Hawaii, 34; 2. MSU Billings, 42; 3. Western
New Mexico, 89; 4. Hawaii-Hilo, 110; 5. Chaminade,
111; Hawaii Pacific, 133.
Women’s All-Conference Team
1. Chelsea Smith, BYUH, 16:57
2. Heidi Robertson, MSUB, 19:00
3. Sarah Lord, MSUB, 19:04
4. Diana Choi, BYUH, 19:13
5. Chelsea Lynnes, MSUB, 19:19
6. Becky Robles, WNMU, 19:23
7. Laura Van Buskirk, WNMU, 19:27
8. Jennifer Puzey, BYUH, 19:28
9. Melissa Flake, BYUH, 19:38
10. Lara Bachmeier, UHH, 19:39
HERE to see photos of the Yellowjackets.
HERE to see photos of the Pacific West Championship