(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
The BYU cross country teams make their debut at the West Coast Conference Championships this weekend at the Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, Calif.
After the men’s second place finish at the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, the Cougars have acquired a third place ranking in the USTFCCCA national polls. This is the Cougars best national ranking since 2005, when they were ranked fourth.
"The way everyone is running individually and as a team shows that this is one of the best teams we've had in maybe a decade," men’s head coach Ed Eyestone
Heading into the conference championships, BYU’s main competition will be the Portland Pilots, a team that has won 32 consecutive WCC titles. Portland is currently eighth in the national polls.
Senior Miles Batty
goes into the race with his own credentials. Recently named the WCC Runner of the month, Batty was also the 2010 Mountain West Conference individual champion.
The women have been ranked in the national polls for most of the season and are led by senior Morgan Haws.
Haws, a transfer from Weber State, has finished in the top five in every race she has competed in so far this season. Taking second overall in both the Notre Dame and Griak Invitationals, and fifth overall in the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational, Haws looks to lead her team to a strong finish in their first WCC Championships appearance.
The women are pitted against strong talent within the conference. The University of San Fransisco Dons are the reigning champions and have three top-three finishes in their first four races of the season. Loyola is also led by the two-time WCC Champion, Tara Erdmann, who finished third at both the Stanford Invitational in September and the NCAA Pre-Nationals.
Both the men and the women will be running against 8 other teams.
The races will take place on Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Crystal Springs Course in Belmont, Calif. The men’s race will begin at 9 a.m. PDT and the women’s will follow at 9:45 a.m. PDT. Both races will be aired live at wccsports.com.