Cougars Picked 1st and 2nd

Amy Fowler-Layne (429) and Angela Wagner (91) return from BYU's last competition at Nationals. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

Now that results are back from the 2008 Mountain West Conference (MWC) cross country championship coaches’ poll, BYU will work to both defend and regain its titles.

Coming in at first place with 25 points, the BYU men’s team has the responsibility of defending its championship. New Mexico came in second with 20 votes while Air Force took third with 15. Closely behind in fourth place was Colorado State with 14 points, while fifth and sixth place were given to Wyoming (9 points) and TCU (7 points).

BYU men’s head coach Ed Eyestone was in Beijing finishing up his NBC-TV work with the Olympics when the poll was released last week.

The women’s results came as a bit of a shock for BYU as Colorado State took the first place seat with 62 points, leaving BYU trailing closely behind with 59.

“It’s the first time in 27 years that we haven’t been picked to win the conference championships,” said women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “But to be picked second can be a good thing in terms of inspiring our team to come back and show people that we are able to get back into the winners circle. It will help get the team fired up and get them excited. Colorado State is a formidable opponent; they were good last year and will be great this year. But this is a positive thing to have happen and we are going to make it work for us.”

The women’s results were a little more spread out with New Mexico claiming third with 49 points, Utah (40 points) in fourth, Wyoming (35 points) fifth and Air Force (28 points) sixth while TCU (22 points), San Diego State (15 points) and UNLV (14 points) finished off the final three positions in seventh, eighth and ninth.

The BYU men’s team finished 22nd last year at the NCAA Cross Country Championship in Terre Haute, Ind. Colorado State’s women’s team won its first MWC title last year while finishing 15th at the NCAA Championship.