PROVO -- Provo's East Bay golf course will be the site for the inaugural Mountain West Conference cross country championships, where BYU's teams are heavy favorites to take team titles. Admission is free to the public for the meet Friday, October 29.
"The conference championship is always an important meet," said women's head coach Patrick Shane. "We have a great opportunity to run at home, and there's not a single girl in our top nine that wants to step down. Our best girls will be on the starting line."
Although only eight women's teams will compete in the championships this year, Coach Shane isn't taking anything for granted. "Colorado State is a team to watch for. Although they're not in the polls, they are a legitimate top 25 team," said Shane. Sixteen women's teams competed in last year's WAC championship meet.
The men's side looks to be a little tougher, as the Cougars square off against No. 20 Utah and solid teams from Air Force, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado State. Thirteen men's teams competed in last year's WAC title race. Utah has been impressive in recent weeks, led by Chris Merkley, who has the fastest time in the conference this year with a 24:33 8K.
"We're not assuming anything going into this race," said men's coach Sherald James. "Utah is looking really good right now and Air Force is always a tough team. It will be a huge meet, especially since we are counting on it to prepare us for a tough district championship."
The meet will be an excellent opportunity for Cougar fans to support the No. 3 women and No. 7 men here in Provo. The course, which is five kilometers for the women and eight kilometers for the men, is designed to be spectator friendly, with runners passing a central point several times throughout the race.