COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU is favored to repeat as this year's Mountain West Conference champions in both men's and women's cross country in a vote by the league's coaches.
The BYU women's team received seven first place votes and gathered a perfect score of 49 points to capture first place in the poll. Colorado State's women's team was predicted to finish second with 37 points. Air Force claimed the third spot with 31 points followed by San Diego State (25), UNLV (24), Utah (22), Wyoming (20) and New Mexico (16). Wyoming, picked to finish seventh, was the only other team to receive a first place vote.
BYU received three first place votes and collected a total score of 22 points to capture the
top spot in the men's poll. Colorado State finished second in the poll with a score of 18
points and one first place vote. Utah and Air Force followed closely behind Colorado State, claiming the third and fourth place spots with 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Wyoming finished fifth with 11 points, followed by New Mexico with 6. Utah and
Wyoming also each received one first place vote.
BYU's men's and women's teams won last year's inaugural MWC Cross Country
Championship. The Cougar women then went on to be crowned 1999 NCAA Cross
Country Champions. The BYU men were the only other MWC team to make it the NCAA Championship as well.
The Cougars will be led by top returning senior Sharolyn Shields, who finished second at last year's NCAA regionals. The men's team will look to junior John Hedengren, last year's MWC Individual Champion.
Preseason Men's Cross Country Coaches' Poll
Pl. Team Points
1. BYU (3) 22
2. Colorado State (1) 18
3. Utah (1) 17
4. Air Force 16
5. Wyoming (1) 11
6. New Mexico 6
Preseason Women's Cross Country Coaches Poll
Pl. Team Points
1. BYU (7) 49
2. Colorado State 37
3. Air Force 31
4. San Diego State 25
5. UNLV 24
6. Utah 22
7. Wyoming (1) 20
8. New Mexico 16