Cross Country Hopes to Regain and Defend MWC Title

BYU men's cross counry runner, Dan Hinckley, at preseason camp in Midway, Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- With the women hoping to take the title and the men hoping to defend it, the BYU cross country team will travel to San Diego to compete in the Mountain West Conference Championship meet on Saturday.

“This is going to be one of the best conference races we’ve ever had in terms of top teams,” said BYU women’s cross country head coach Patrick Shane. “I’m optimistic about this year.”

Losing to Colorado State last year ended the women’s 19-year streak as the MWC Championship title-holders. Eager to regain that title, the women have designed a race plan in hopes of defeating their top two competitors: Colorado State (No. 5) and New Mexico (No. 2). BYU is ranked No. 3 in the conference.

“Last year we lost the title; that was not very much fun,” said Shane. “I’ve been using that as motivation for our team this season. This will be a battle and a great race.”

Coming off of four consecutive years as the MWC Champions, the Cougars’ men’s team, ranked No. 2, is gearing up for another strong year.

“One of our foremost goals this season is to win the conference race,” said BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone. “If the team runs to the best of its ability, we can accomplish that goal.”

The women’s 6K begins at 10 a.m. PT when BYU will be competing against New Mexico (No. 2), CSU (No. 5), Utah (No. 6), Wyoming (No. 10), Air Force (No. 14), San Diego State, TCU and UNLV.

Running the 8K, the men’s race begins at 11 a.m. PT when BYU will compete against Colorado State (No. 3), Air Force (No.5), New Mexico (No.7), Wyoming (No. 9) and TCU.