The BYU women’s cross country team is going west this weekend for the Reno Twilight Classic, with a goal to obtain victory after failing to score in the Utah State Invitational last weekend.
The Reno Twilight Classic, hosted by the University of Nevada-Reno, will also include teams from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of Utah.
Head coach Patrick Shane does not feel worried about the final results, citing a different strategy the team will follow to have the best chance of claiming victory.
“For this meet, the strategy is to put as many top 13 runners in the top 20 as we can… We’re definitely gonna try to win this meet,” Shane said. “We think it’s winnable with the person that we’re counting on to get the job done.”
Cross country meets are decided by combining the times of the top five runners per team with the lowest overall score earning the win. The challenge is to have runners as close to the top 20 as possible.
“We want to place as many of our top runners in the top 20 as we possibly can, and by doing so our depth will carry the day,” Shane said.
On the men’s side, with two All-Americans and a strong freshmen class, the BYU men’s cross country team is destined to do well throughout the whole season as they enter different runners at every race.
This week, the men’s cross country team has a bye week and will have the opportunity to train for next weekend’s Cougar Autumn Classic, an invitational run in Orem, Utah.
Head coach Ed Eyestone will add Jason Ward, Tylor Thatcher, Rex Shields and Jason Witt, who previously have not competed this season, into the lineup for the race next week.
“I expect all four of them to be our top four in whatever order…in particular Jared (Ward) and Rex (Shields) will be our leaders,” Eyestone said. “They’re our team captains and we would expect to be led by our All-Americans.”
Eyestone wants the team to recover and train hard during the week and “let it all hang”-going for it at nationals- while the season continually progresses to harder courses and tougher opponents.
“The main thing for our team is to continue to be stronger as time progresses and peak at the regional conference and national meet. Everything else is preparation,” Eyestone said.