(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah — No. 3 BYU men’s cross country and No. 18 BYU women’s cross country teams will compete in the 2016 NCAA Mountain Regional Championships Friday, at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.
"During this race there is a fine line between qualifying, which is what you want to do, but not running so hard that you're tired for the National meet in eight days,” BYU men’s cross country head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We know that because we’ve done so well early in the season, we can probably place as low as fourth or fifth place. The team will run a hard but controlled effort because we want them to get a good solid workout in, but not be too exhausted for next week's national meet.”
On the men’s side of the region, this is the strongest region in the country because it holds the top-three ranked teams in the nation—No. 1 Northern Arizona, No. 2 Colorado, and No. 3 BYU. BYU is also ranked at No. 3 in the region.
The male athletes competing in the race this weekend include Jonathan Harper, Brayden McClleland, Clayton Young, Spencer Hanson, Nico Montanez, Mitchell Briggs and Daniel Carney. Coach Eyestone said they are resting Rory Linkletter this week but plans on his return for the national meet next week.
The BYU women’s team comes in ranked fourth in the Mountain Region and No. 18 in the nation. The team plans on a strong race and hopes to place in the top four or five to move onto the national meet.
“The race plan is to work together as a pack to secure a spot to get into the NCAA meet next week," BYU women’s cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor said. "We are sitting in a good position going into this meet, so using our pack to outscore some of the other teams in the region is key. The ladies are feeling good and are excited and ready to take care of business."
The BYU women's runners include Yesenia Silva, Erica Birk-Jarvis, Laura Young, Olivia Hoj, Ashleigh Warner, Emma Gee and Courtney Wayment.
Last year the women came in fourth place at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship. The team's biggest competition last year came from Colorado. This year, Colorado is ranked No. 1 in the nation and will be another top contender with BYU. The women's team has yet to face Colorado since last year's season.
The race for the men’s and women’s teams will include runners from Air Force, Colorado, Colorado State, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.
The races will kick off with the women’s six-kilometer race at 11:00 a.m. MST and the men’s race will finish off the championships at noon MST.
For live results please visit the BYU men's cross country page.