Men’s cross country wins WCC Championship, women finish second


By Ashley Anderson

The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams had strong showings at their first West Coast Conference Championship meet on Saturday in California. The men finished first, while the women finished second.

The men beat No. 8 University of Portland –a team that has been the conference champions for the past 32 years. BYU finished with a score of 25, and Portland finished second with a score of 32.

Men’s head coach Ed Eyestone said he was happy with his team’s performance and believes it is in a good position heading into the NCAA regional race.

[media-credit name=”Kyle Terada” align=”alignleft” width=”300″][/media-credit]
BYU men's cross country team members hold up the West Coast Conference championship trophy on Saturday. The Cougars knocked Portland off their 32-year reign over the conference.

“It was a good day for us,” Eyestone said. “We knew that Portland was going to be tough. I had confidence in my team and I’m very happy with our depth. I think that sets us up well going into our regional.”

The Cougars were led by senior Miles Batty, who finished the race first overall with a time of 23:47, a course record. This is the second consecutive conference championship for Batty.

Batty said the team started off competing in the WCC on a good note.

“It feels great to come out of here with a win,” Batty said. “It’s our first year and we started off on the right foot. It’s great to walk out of here with a team championship and an individual title.”

Five BYU runners placed in the top 10. Closest behind Batty were sophomore Jared Ward, who finished fourth with a time of 24:03, and junior Rex Shields, who finished fifth with a time of 24:08. Senior Alden Bahr came in seventh and sophomore Tylor Thatcher ninth.

After the race, six Cougars were named to the Men’s Cross Country All-West Coast Conference Team: Batty, Ward, Shields, Bahr, Thatcher and sophomore Jason Witt. Freshman Steven Flint gained honorable mention and was named WCC Freshman of the Year.

Eyestone was named the WCC Coach of the Year.

The women also had an impressive performance, finishing second with a score of 52. The team fell to No. 29 San Francisco, which finished with a score of 32.

The women were once again led by senior Morgan Haws, who finished third overall with a time of 20:38. Teammate junior Katy Andrews was right behind Haws and finished fourth with a time of 20:51.

Both Haws and Andrews were named to the Women’s Cross Country All-West Coast Conference Team. Junior Stephanie Jensen-Bills and sophomore Candace Eddy earned honorable mention honors, and freshman Sarah Darby was named WCC Freshman of the Year.

The teams next compete on Nov. 12 at the NCAA Mountain Region Championship in Provo.

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