RACING against freezing temperatures and a wind chill factor of nearly 20 degrees below zero, the BYU women’s cross country team came up just short of its third NCAA title, finishing second to the University of Colorado at the 2000 NCAA Championships in Ames, Iowa, last November. The Buffaloes finished with 117 team points to BYU‘s 167; Stanford was third with 198 points.
With teammate Tara A. Northcutt right on her heels, senior Melanie L. Steere crossed the finish line in 17th place to earn her first cross country All-America citation. Northcutt, also a senior, earned her second All-America honors with an 18th-place finish.
Women’s coach Patrick E. Shane, ’71, admitted that the race-day conditions affected the outcome. “Wind chill affects people in different ways,” he said. “It shut down our number one runner, and it also affected others. But I’m proud of this team. They gave it all they had, and you can’t ask for anything more.”
The second-place finish for BYU is another indication of what the women’s cross country team has become. In the past four years, the Cougars have claimed two national titles and two runner-up finishes.
The BYU men’s team finished 23rd, led by junior John D. Hedengren, who placed 37th and earned his first athletic All-America citation.
Steere, Northcutt, and Hedengren were later named to the 2000 Division I Cross Country All-America team.