May 112008
 
Authors: Stephen Meyers

Displaying the ultimate team attitude, the women’s cross country team had the best season in CSU cross country history this fall, dethroning BYU to win the Mountain West Conference championship for the first time ever on its way to also winning the NCAA Regional title. Leading the way was senior April Thomas, who won the first ever individual conference title in CSU’s women’s cross country history.

BYU had won the conference title for 19 consecutive years heading into the MWC

championship race on October 27th. CSU meanwhile, had finished runner up in seven of the last eight years.

The team found themselves running behind the Cougars once again with only 500 meters to go and their chances of winning slimming down. This is when Coach Bryan Berryhill told his team to dig down and pass any BYU girl in front of them if they wanted to win.

“With 500 meters left we were still behind and that’s when our coach yelled and encouraged us to pass any BYU girl in front of us and that we could win the race,” said freshman Alison Gohl. “That’s where it was won; it was so close and created so much excitement.”

And the rest is history.

“Beating BYU at the Mountain West championship was definitely the highlight to our season,” said head coach Bryan Berryhill.

Thomas echoed Berryhill’s statement.

“Knowing we had beaten BYU was probably one of the best feelings in my life,” Thomas said. “You could just feel it in the air. There was so much support for us. We went into the race feeling like we could do it, but the fact that we had never beaten BYU before was kind of hanging over our heads and for us to break through and beat them was such a relief.”

Thomas, whose running days for CSU are over, said she will miss all the great memories she had with her teammates.

“I am going to miss the girls and that team feeling,” Thomas said. “Being on a team, you’re with your friends all the time, so you better like each other. Everyone was different and brought something different to the table, but there was a sense of unity.”

That sense of team unity is why the women’s cross-country team gets the Moby for best women’s team in 2007-2008.

Sports writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

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