Deseret News

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The No. 8-ranked BYU men's cross country team finished sixth on Saturday in the 2012 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. Jared Ward and Tylor Thatcher each had top-40 individual finishes for the Cougars, which earned them All-American honors.

Oklahoma State won the national championship with 72 points while Wisconsin, Colorado and Northern Arizona filled out the rest of the men's podium. No. 2-ranked Oregon won its first women's title since 1987.

Ward and Thatcher led the way for BYU, finishing 14th and 34th overall, respectively, and earning All-America honors. It was the first time either runner has received All-American honors in cross country. Ward ran the 10K race in 29:33.4 and Thatcher finished with a time of 29:57.9.

Utah's Amanda Mergaert earned All-American honors with a 14th-place performance. She wrapped up her cross-country career with a six-kilometer, personal-record time of 19:57.7, which earned her All-American honors. Mergaert's performance is the highest finish ever recorded by a Utah runner at the NCAA Championships. She also becomes the first cross-country All-American from Utah in 25 years (Celsa Bowman, 1987).

Weber State's women's team had its highest finish ever at the NCAA Championships, claiming 17th place overall. Junior Amber Henry earned All-America honors, finishing 32nd overall.

Other notable performances from the national meet include Dixie State runner Rachel Young, who finished 28th. She was the first Dixie State runner to compete in the championships and first to be named to the All-America team.

Southern Utah's Nate Jewkes finished 54th and Utah Valley University's Joshua McCabe placed 94th.

In the NAIA national meet, Westminster's Oliver Lange finished 71st.