Stephan Shay, left, and Jacob Gustafsson, right, are among BYU's leaders for 2008. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- Both prep and college cross country teams will join host BYU at the annual Autumn Classic Saturday (Sept. 6) for he Cougars' only home meet of the season.
The Cougars' season debuts at the BYU Cross Country Campus Course, adjacent to the Helaman Halls dormitories. The Cougar men start at 10 a.m., while BYU's women run at 10:50 a.m.
BYU will be matching up against Nebraska, Idaho State, Utah Valley University, Utah, Utah State and San Bernardino Valley College.
With nine new freshmen to the BYU women’s team, the young team is excited to see how they can run collectively. The Cougar men also have a relatively young team with eight freshmen. Both teams have just returned from pre-season camps at Park City.
“We’re excited to open at home and set the stage for what we want to accomplish this year as a team,” said BYU women’s head coach Patrick Shane. “We have nine new freshmen and they are making a very solid transition; I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Saturday’s meet will determine which 12 will be selected for BYU's men's traveling team.
“I’m pleased so far with how the men have been running,” said men’s head coach Ed Eyestone. “In this meet we will be establishing the top 12 who will be traveling with us. I’m looking for big things from our returning upper classman, and the new incoming freshman, to put themselves on that traveling team.”
Although this meet will be the first grand entrance of the season for the Cougars, one unique aspect of this event is that several of the top cross country teams from local high schools will be competing as well. This is a chance for BYU to bring together several of the best cross country runners in the state. The schedule for all of Saturday's events is: 9:00 a.m. Frosh/Soph Boys 5K; 9:05 a.m. Frosh/Soph Girls 5K; 9:30 a.m. JV Boys 5K; 9:35 a.m. JV Girls 5K; 10:00 a.m. Univ. Men's 4 Mile; 10:25 a.m. Varsity Boy's 5K; 10:50 am Univ. Women's 5K; 11:15 am Varsity Girl's 5K; and 11:45 a.m. Awards.
“We’re excited to have another large high school-combined-with-college event,” said Shane. “Some of the top college teams are going to be there and we look forward to hosting them. This is also a wonderful opportunity to present the young runners as future recruiting opportunities to some of these top schools.”
Entrance to the Autumn Classic is $3 for adults, $2 for students with ID; children 5 and under are free. Youth athletes, age 14 and under wearing their favorite track or cross country uniform, are admitted free.