(Photo by BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah – The BYU men's and women's cross country teams will compete on the road for the first this season at the Virginia/Panorama Farms Invitational in Charlottesville, Virginia, this Friday.
After moving up in the national rankings from No. 21 to 19, the women’s team heads into the competition excited to face highly ranked teams, including No. 14 Virginia and No. 16 Syracuse.
"We're looking forward to seeing a couple of teams that are nationally ranked ahead of us,” women’s cross country head coach Diljeet Taylor said. “The women's team has been working hard these last three weeks to prepare for tomorrow's invitational. This meet will give us a great idea where we stand with these teams and I'm looking forward to seeing how our team steps up the competition.”
On the men’s side, the team moved up two spots to No. 12 in the national polls. The Cougars will be competing some of the top programs in the country, including No. 1 Syracuse, No. 4 Stanford and No. 13 Virginia. Head coach Ed Eyestone is looking forward to picking up more points against the higher nationally ranked teams. If the team beats Virginia, ranked one spot ahead of BYU, the Cougars will have an opportunity to gain a point towards an at-large bid to the NCAA Championships.
“I think that if we run our best race then there’s a chance we can maybe take down Stanford as well,” said Eyestone. “We’re not really concerned so much with beating them as we are with going out there and running our best races individually. If we run our best races individually, which I think we can, then I think the place will take care of itself.”
Taylor and Eyestone said this course will be a test of toughness. This course is one of the most difficult courses they will race on this year but they feel prepared with the training they have put in the past few months.
Other teams competing in this race include American, Appalachian State, Bucknell, Charlotte, Clemson, Coastal Carolina, Hofstra, Loyola Maryland and William & Mary. Campbell University and Stanford will have only men’s teams competing and Southern Methodist University will only have a women’s team competing.
The women will kick off the invitational at 10 a.m. EST and the men will start at 10:30 a.m. on Friday morning.
Live scoring will be available on the BYU women’s cross country page.