(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah—This weekend the BYU cross country teams will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to compete in the eighth-annual Nuttycombe Wisconsin Invitational. The meet will take place on Friday, Oct. 14, at the Thomas Zimmer Championship Course.
Both teams will be facing 30 other teams in the race. The BYU men’s cross country team, currently ranked No. 3 in the country, will be facing seven of the top 10 ranked teams, including the teams they faced in their victory at the Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational—Syracuse (No. 2) and Stanford (No. 11).
BYU men’s head coach Ed Eyestone said this will meet will be a good indicator of what the championships will look like in the next couple of weeks.
“It will be a very good meet and we will be able to see how we’ve grown and developed over the last three weeks,” Eyestone said. “This is the meet where people want to do well because this is the final week before the championships start so I think there will be plenty of strong competition showing up to compete. This weekend will also help solidify the nine guys we take to the conference meet in two weeks.”
On the men’s team, various runners stand out each week and lead the team. Eyestone said Nicolas Montanez, Clayton Young, and Rory Linkletter should be up there in the top three. Montanez came in first for BYU (fourth overall) at the Virginia Panorama Farms Invitational and fourth for BYU (fourth overall) at the Steve Reeder Memorial Invitational. Young helped lead the team to its first place victory at the Virginia Invitational by coming in second for BYU (fifth overall) and Linkletter set the tone for the team to take first at the Steve Reeder Invitational by placing first overall.
After their performance at the Virginia Invitational, the BYU women’s cross country team feels confident they are ready to compete in this weekend’s meet. The team will be facing a few more teams ranked above them, but BYU women’s head coach Diljeet Taylor said the competition will be great practice going into the national championship meet.
Taylor said the top seven girls have been running really well in practice together and she is expecting that gap to be really small during the race. Erica Birk-Jarvis and Yesenia Silva have been helping set the tone in the previous meet and Taylor hopes they continue to do so.
Silva finished first for BYU (fourth overall) with a time of 17:17.2 and Birk finished right behind her, fifth overall, with the same time of 17:17.2 at the Virginia Invitational. Coach Taylor said once they set the tone this weekend in the first mile, the rest of the pack will work with them to finish at a good place. Another top runner is Alice Jensen, who took first place at the Steve Reeder Invitational last weekend with a time of 18:25.7. True freshman Olivia Hoj has also stepped up and helped the team to success.
“The great thing about this team is that there is no pecking order—they are all running really well," Taylor said. "So, on any given day, the order can be completely different and I love that; as a coach that’s what you want. The team chemistry has been so great. The girls are adjusting really well to the program and really bought into it; the faith is there.”
The women's 6K will kick off the meet starting with the 'B' race at 11:00 a.m. and men's 8K 'B' race at 11:40 a.m. The championship races start with the women at 12:30 p.m. and finish with the men at 1:20 p.m. All times are Central Daylight Time. The meet will be live streamed on Flo Track Pro.