By Heidi Carmack
The BYU track and field team starts its outdoor season south of the border this weekend in Monterrey, Mexico.
?This first meet, we?re just going to find out where we?re at and where we?re going,? BYU women?s coach Craig Poole said. ?It?s just going to be a whole new experience.?
The men are taking 15 athletes, and the women are taking 35 to compete in the Monterrey Invitational.
?We?ll be a better team outdoors than we were indoors,? BYU men?s coach Mark Robison said. ?It?s going to be good.?
Although the track team started the indoor season in January, outdoor track is a different environment. The athletes have to deal with changing weather when competing outside.
?It?s going to be hot down there, probably in the 90s,? BYU women?s cross-country coach Patrick Shane said.
The team is not looking to break records or qualify at this meet, but rather to see where their training is at this point.
?It?s a long season when you look at the continuation of indoor and outdoor. This meet is nothing more than an opportunity for people to see where they are,? Shane said. ?Our training is fairly intense right now, and it?s an opportunity for development.?
Men?s cross-country coach Ed Eyestone is sending a few middle distance runners to Monterrey where many of them will work on their speed by running shorter distances than they?re used to.
?I look at this as a nice opportunity to travel and get in their first outdoor meet,? Eyestone said.
The Cougars are also looking forward to traveling to Mexico, excited for the opportunity to experience a different culture.
?We feel it?s going to be beneficial in a lot of ways,? Shane said. ?Culturally, it will help [the athletes] see another part of the world that?s different. Not better, not worse, just different.?