East Coast Competition Awaits the Cougars

Nathan Robison will compete for the first time this weekend at the Notre Dame Invitational as the No. 9 ranked men and No. 3 ranked women travel back east for competition. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- This weekend marks the first road trip for both the men and women's cross country teams as the No. 9 ranked men's team travels to South Bend, Indiana for the Notre Dame Invitational, while the No. 3 ranked women head to Cary, North Carolina for the Great America.

Three weeks have passed since the two squads last competed in a meet, when the Cougars ran away with a sweep at the BYU Autumn Classic.

For the second week in a row, Josh Rohatinsky won the men's four-mile race with an impressive time of 19:31.9. The sophomore, who was the MWC Freshman of the Year in 2001, has run strong early in the year and is one of the reasons why the men are ranked in the top ten nationally.

Senior, Rena Williams-Chesser won the women's 5K three weeks ago, with a time of 17:55.1. The women are currently ranked No. 3 in the nation in several polls, due to the fact that the women are filled with the potential to return to the top.

"Our guys are chomping at the bit," said men's coach Ed Eyestone. "They want to get out and do some racing."

"We can run strong as a team, if we can keep our time differential down," said Eyestone. "If we can do that, we'll be a pretty tough team."

Some of the nations top teams like Stanford, Michigan, Duke, North Carolina, NC State, Air Force, Alabama and UCLA will be competing against the Cougars as they look to keep the momentum flowing throughout the weekend.

Women's coach Patrick Shane said it's been a real plus for them not having to compete for these past couple of weeks. The women have had some tough practices and look to compete well this weekend in North Carolina.

"This will be a great week of competition," said Shane. "We've been able to train hard and continue to improve as a group. I'm excited to see some our top runners compete for the first time this season."

Both squads will compete Friday, October 1 as the men race in the Notre Dame Invitational, while the women compete in the 5K event at the Great America.