BYU Cross Country Season To Begin Saturday

Cougar runners Miles Batty and Cecily Lemmon-Lew are ready to lead the BYU Cross Country teams in 2010 (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The No. 17 BYU men’s cross country team and No. 20 women’s cross country team will open the 2010 season Saturday. The men will race at the BYU Autumn Classic and the women will head up to Logan for the Utah State Invitational.

“We are excited to get out and run, BYU men’s coach Ed Eyestone said. “We have had enough with the training and it’s time to get out and race.”

With the start of a new season, coaches plan on using this first race as a way to evaluate the depth that they have on their teams and how well athletes might perform during the season. They will hopefully be able to identify team leaders and individuals who stand out.

“We won’t really know where we are at until we race,” Eyestone said. “When we lace up the shoes and go we’ll know where we stand.”

BYU is starting the year with high expectations. With national rankings to enter the season, the Cougar harriers also come in ranked in the top five for both men and women within the region.

The women’s team is set to compete in a 5K race in Logan, starting at 9 a.m. Senior Cecily Lemmon-Lew, the 2009 MWC Cross Country champion, will not compete for the first month of the season. Despite Lemmon-Lew's absence, women's head coach Patrick Shane still expects top performances.

"I would not look at this meet as a warm-up," Shane said. "Once the gun fires, the competitive nature of the athletes takes over. I will be coaching them through most of the race, and they may stay in groups as a team, but I think we will see some outstanding performances."

Junior Miles Batty is expected to lead the field for the men’s team, along with senior Jon Kotter and newcomer, freshman Ben Johnston.

The men will compete in a 4-mile run across BYU’s Cross Country Course. Fans and supporters in the crowd can see over 70 percent of the race from the grandstands of the Clarence F. Robison Track. Students can attend free with their All-Sports pass while general admission is $5. Race time is at 11:40 a.m.

In Logan, the women's race will begin at 9:00 a.m. MST. The Cougars will compete on a 5K course consisting of established trails with a mix of rolling hills. Results will be available at www.utahstateaggies.com.