MADISON, Wisc. — Led by an eighth-place finish by senior Jason Witt, No. 5 BYU men’s cross-country took second place in a very competitive field at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Saturday.

“It’s important that we have guys to step up, and I feel like today was one of those days for me,” Witt said. “It was great to be there for the team. We came into the meet as the second highest ranked team in the meet and we finished second. We did what we were supposed to do.”

The Cougars scored 174 points, second to No. 3 Northern Arizona with 121 points. West Coast Conference rival and eighth-ranked Portland finished in third place with 217 points.

“I thought that the guys really delivered,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “To get second was an awesome effort. Jason Witt led the group and ran a really smart race. The cool thing is that we were second on a day when we were solid, but we still have room for improvement.”

Tylor Thatcher was the second Cougar to cross the finish line, placing 22nd overall. Jonathan Nelson took 27th place. Steve Flint and Spencer Gardner were the last scoring runners for BYU, finishing in 52nd and 65th place, respectively.

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Thatcher felt like he could have run better,” Eyestone said. “Flint is back on track. The cool thing was that between our fourth man and our eighth man, there wasn’t much separation. It’s great to see them run so close and compact.”

Aaron Fletcher finished in 71st place and Thomas Gruenewald in 77th.

With five top-10 teams participating in the race, this was the Cougars’ most competitive meet of the season until the NCAA Championships. The field included 19 ranked teams total, with BYU beating 17 of those teams.

The Cougars return to action Saturday, Nov. 2, at the WCC Championships in Malibu, Calif.

Justin Green is the sports information director over men's track and cross country for BYU Athletic Communications. He is a BYU student majoring in public relations and minoring in business and will graduate in April 2013. Email: justinjgreen8@gmail.