BYU cross country rises in national polls

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The BYU men’s cross country team is ranked No. 2 in the nation, which is the highest ranking in program history. (Savannah Hopkinson)

The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams are nationally ranked following their performance at the Bill Dellinger Invitational in Springfield, Oregon, on Sept. 29, and a solid performance from the women’s team at the .

The men’s team is currently ranked No. 2, the highest ranking in program’s history. The Cougars nearly swept the meet, which included three teams ranked in the top 10.

The Cougars finished with a total of 17 points which is just two points shy of a perfect score. Clayton Young led the team for BYU and its runners finished an astonishing 1-2-3-4 and took seventh place.

“It’s always a compliment to be noticed and voted on by your peers,” said BYU coach Ed Eyestone. “The coaches’ poll is a mark that the other coaches have recognized that you have a very good team. The most important aspect of having a good team is making sure you can handle the rigors of the season and then delivering at the conference and national championships. That is what we are working towards and with some luck, intend to do.”

The meet was the second first-place finish of the season for the men’s team. BYU finished with 19 points in the BYU Autumn Classic, the first meet of the season, with Rory Linkletter leading the team to victory.

The women’s team moved up in the rankings this week after placing third at the Bill Dellinger Invitational. The Cougars’ five scorers placed between 11th and 19th at the meet which helped them jump from No. 19 to No. 16.

Five Cougars also ran in the Utah State-hosted Steve T. Reeder Memorial on Oct. 6. Amanda Erickson, Maddie Cannon, Josey Hedquist, Rachel Stewart and Ally Geisler represented BYU in the 5K race. The team finished first with 34 points.

“We had some of our women race today to give them the opportunity to compete for the last few spots for Pre-Nationals in Louisville next weekend,” BYU women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “They ran great and came away with the win.”

The Cougars secured the win against teams from all over Utah including: Utah State, University of Utah, Weber State, Southern Idaho and Westminster.

Both teams will head to the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Louisville, Kentucky, on Oct. 14.

The NCAA Championships will be held there on Nov. 18 following the NCAA Mountain Regional, which will be held in Logan on Nov. 10.