BYU men's cross country runners taking off at the start of their race.
Both BYU cross country teams will be on the road this weekend as the men head to Falcon Heights, Minn., for the Roy Griak Invitational and the women to Riverside, Calif., for the UC Riverside Invitational Saturday.
“This is the first meet that counts toward our final races,” said Ed Eyestone, head coach of the BYU men’s cross country team. “This is our chance to pick up some at-large points and come in ready to race hard. There are some quality teams competing and we have our work cut out for us.”
The men will compete against 24 teams, both in and out of the Mountain West Conference. Some of the top competition includes Arizona State, Auburn, Minnesota, New Mexico and Ohio State.
“We need to beat teams from other conferences to get the points we need,” said Eyestone. “But we also need to beat the competition from our own conference.”
The Men’s Gold (Division I) 8K will begin at 12:10 p.m. CST at the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course. Meanwhile the women will be in Riverside, Calif.
“This will be the first time we’ve ran here,” said BYU women’s cross country head coach Patrick Shane. “It’s a much larger meet than the others we’ve run this year. We’re hoping to come up with a good race strategy to win.”
Only seven members of the women’s team will be running in the meet, but that is not keeping Shane from having high expectations for these athletes.
“We have seven good runners,” said Shane. “This will give them the chance to step up to the plate and get the job done. We’ve been training through the week. If we perform like we are able to, we can pull out a win.”
The Cougars will be competing against Division I teams UC Riverside, Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, San Diego State, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Cal State Bakersfield.
The race will begin at 7:30 a.m. PST and will be run on the Ag/Ops Cross Country Course.