This race will be the toughest competition for both teams so far this season.
“This meet will be our first big test of the year,” men’s coach Ed Eyestone said. “We will be competing against some very strong teams.”
Although competition will be strong, Eyestone believes his team can perform well against the tough teams and runners.
“Where there is great competition, there is great opportunity,” Eyestone said. “This is one of the better teams I have had in the last 10 years and our guys are in great shape right now.”
The men’s team will race in an 8K — the longest race BYU has competed in this season.
Eyestone said he thinks his team is confident and thinks they have a chance to beat many ranked teams.
“The guys believe in themselves,” Eyestone said. “Hopefully we can beat all of the top 25 teams at the race.”
Eyestone said the toughest competition for this meet will be No. 3 Stanford and No. 10 Florida State. Besides these two teams, No. 14 BYU will compete against No. 12 Princeton, No. 21 New Mexico, No. 23 Notre Dame and No. 25 Ohio State.
Eyestone said a key to winning this race will be for the runners to keep their mind focused on the race.
“If our guys don’t get caught up in thinking about the other high-ranking teams and just run the race to the best of their ability, we can end up beating some very good teams,” Eyestone said.
Sophomore Jared Ward said he is anxious to compete and see how the team performs against other top teams.
“It will be our first big meet,” Ward said. “I am excited to see how well we can run together as a team and see where we stack up against other teams.”
Ward also said he thinks the biggest challenge is for the team to compete at the level it’s capable of.
This invitational figures to also be a challenge for the women’s team.
No. 29 BYU will compete against ranked teams No. 2 New Mexico, No. 7 Florida State, No. 18 Arkansas, No. 22 Princeton and No. 28 Penn State.
The women’s biggest challenge for this race is resting and recovering from the Griak Invitational last Saturday and being prepared to run another tough race in less than a week.
Women’s coach Patrick Shane said because the team has to recover, the runners haven’t been participating in many intense workouts this past week. However, Shane said the team has been reviewing its last race to help them better prepare.
“The main thing is we are trying to look at the last race and learn something that will help us in the next race and throughout the year,” Shane said. “We evaluate how well they were able to execute their race plan.”
A team goal for this race is for everyone to execute their race plan.
“Those who executed their race plans last week had a really good race,” Shane said. “Those who didn’t execute it felt they could have had a better race.”
Shane also said he expects senior Morgan Haws to carry the team again this week.