No. 2 men’s, No. 11 women's cross country set to compete at Notre Dame
PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams will compete at Notre Dame’s Joe Piane Invitational in Notre Dame, Indiana, on Friday, Sept. 28.
The No. 2 BYU men’s cross country team will race against 17 schools, including No. 28 Furman. The No. 11 BYU women’s team will compete against 20 schools that are headlined by No. 12 Furman, No. 21 California and No. 22 Notre Dame.
“I think this meet will give us an idea of where we rank up against some of the better teams in the country,” associate head women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “This is a big meet for us to earn points toward qualifying for nationals and see what we need to do moving forward.”
The women’s team dominated the smaller field of competition in its first meet of the season at the Autumn Classic, scoring a perfect 15 points. Though facing tougher competition, Taylor expects All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton to be battling at the front of the pack throughout the upcoming race.
Taylor will use this meet as another opportunity to determine her top seven runners as well as solidify who the traveling team will be for the Pre-National Invitational on Oct. 13.
“Every single girl is going out to compete for something,” Taylor said. “Some girls are competing for points to qualify for NCAAs while other girls are competing to continue to travel. Everyone has their own fight that they’re working for and I’m excited to see what that competition brings out.”
Women’s Team Notables
- BYU last competed at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2014 and took fourth place
- Morgan Haws took second place at Notre Dame in 2011, the team's best individual finish since 1999
- The Cougars have finished in the top five as a team twice with fourth-place finishes in 2013 & 2014
- This will be the fifth time since 1999 that the Cougars have competed at the Notre Dame Invitational (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
“It will be a nice opportunity to get out and run hard,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “There will be some very talented athletes we’ll be competing against. It will be an opportunity to get used to running fast early on because the national meet is all about starting with a good pace, establishing a position and advancing from there.”
After sweeping the Autumn Classic to start the season, Eyestone expects another competitive performance from the men’s team. He expects Danny Carney, All-American Rory Linkletter, Conner Mantz and All-American Connor McMillan to lead the way for the Cougars.
Eyestone plans on resting senior Clayton Young another meet and is counting on other runners to step up. FloTrack published an article last week analyzing the BYU men’s cross country team's depth and how runners eight-through-12 could potentially be a top-15 NCAA squad on their own.
“A deep team is a strong team,” Eyestone said. “You know you have a teammate that can step in if a guy can't compete. It also creates a sense of urgency on the part of the athletes to perform well to make sure they’re in a good place and keeping up.”
Clayson Shumway is one runner Eyestone believes can step up in Young’s absence. Shumway won his first collegiate cross country meet at the Autumn Classic, tenths of a second ahead of Carney, Linkletter, Mantz and McMillan.
Men’s Team Notables
- The Cougars last competed at Notre Dame in 2014 and took second place
- BYU took first at the Notre Dame Invitational in 2011
- Miles Batty won the Notre Dame Invitational in 2011
- This will be the fourth time since 1999 that the Cougars have competed at the Notre Dame Invitational (2007, 2011, 2014)
The Joe Piane Invitational will be hosted at the Burke Golf Course with the women’s 5K starting at 1 p.m. EDT followed by the men’s 5-mile at 1:45 p.m. Follow the BYU cross country Twitter account for live updates on the race.