(Photo by Todd Wakefield/BYU Photo)
PROVO – A national championship bid is on the line for No. 15 BYU men’s cross country, as the Cougars head to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the NCAA Mountain Region Championships this Friday.
“We gained a lot of confidence from our conference meet,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Having said that, our region is perhaps the strongest in the country. We need to run well to secure a spot at nationals and try to stay within ourselves so that we’re ready for a quick turnaround.”
The Mountain Region features some of the nation’s top teams, including No. 1 Colorado, No. 10 Northern Arizona and No. 13 New Mexico. Of the top three teams in the region, BYU has faced the Lobos and the Lumberjacks in meets this season. At the Notre Dame Invitational on Oct. 3, BYU finished second—one spot ahead of New Mexico. At the Wisconsin Adidas Invitational on Oct. 17, Northern Arizona finished sixth, while the Cougars placed 13th.
BYU won at regionals in 2009 and 2011. Last year, the Cougars placed fourth overall, with no one on BYU’s current roster scoring points in the meet.
Junior Jonathan Nelson is coming off his third consecutive meet as BYU’s top runner. Senior Conner Peloquin placed second for the Cougars at the WCC Championships, his third second-place finish this season. Junior Aaron Fletcher enters regionals following his best race of the year—a sixth-overall performance at conference.
The 10k course at University of New Mexico Golf Course is the longest race of the season for the Cougars. The men’s race starts at 1 p.m. MST and results can be found following the meet at GoLobos.com.