Latter-day Saint Athletes Earn National Recognition
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“Latter-day Saint Athletes Earn National Recognition,” Ensign, Feb. 2002, 78

Latter-day Saint Athletes Earn National Recognition

Latter-day Saint athletes earned national recognition in the United States on a number of competitive fronts late in 2001.

The women’s cross-country team from Brigham Young University won the National Collegiate Athletic Association championship, taking the title for the third time in the past five years. Three BYU runners finished in the top 10: Michaela Manova, Jessie Kindschi, and Tara Northcutt. Lindsey Thomsen and Sarah Taylor finished 24th and 25th. The five women were within 30 seconds of each other at the finish, and each earned all-America honors.

Both the women’s and men’s cross-country teams from Ricks College won the National Junior College Athletic Association titles in their final competitions. (Ricks College became Brigham Young University—Idaho at the beginning of the 2001–02 school year and will drop intercollegiate athletic competition at the end of the year. For the purposes of athletic competition, the school maintained the name of Ricks for this final season.)

For the Ricks women, it was the seventh NJCAA championship in a row, and for the Ricks men, their third consecutive title. Angela Benson finished first among the women, won the individual title in the meet, and received first team all-America status. Lida Clapier, Kim Conover, Audrey Golightly, and Kathrine Anderson finished sixth, eighth, ninth, and tenth and won second team all-America status. Amy Conover finished 13th and won third team all-America. The Ricks men’s team won by a very close margin. Defending NJCAA champion Jeff Davidson finished sixth, Ryan Jenks seventh, and David Woodbury eighth, all three winning second team all-America honors.

J. B. Haglund, a senior at Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania, won the NCAA division 3 cross-country championship. He is a five-time all-American in track and cross-country events.

University of Utah track competitor Teren Jameson won all-America honors for the second year in a row at the NCAA division 1 cross-country championship meet. He was also the Mountain West Conference’s runner of the year.

Both the BYU and Ricks College football teams achieved recognition during their seasons.

BYU won the Mountain West Conference championship and played in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tennessee, on New Year’s Eve. Cougar Luke Staley, who received the Doak Walker award as the nation’s top running back, was also named to the Associated Press all-America first team.

The Ricks College Viking football team had a 10-1 record for their season. They beat Lackawanna College in the Real Dairy Bowl in Pocatello, Idaho, the Vikings’ last intercollegiate game, on 30 November. Viking tight end Jon Clark was named first team all-America by the NJCAA, and teammate Carl Tuitavuki was named second team all-America.

All-American Angela Benson led her Ricks cross-country women’s team to its seventh NJCAA title. (Photo by Michael Lewis.)