The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams started off their season at Murray City Park in Salt Lake City at the Utah Open Invitational.
The Cougars competed against teams from both Utah and Idaho, and the season started on a positive note for both teams. The men’s team took first place, and the women’s team ended up in fourth place overall Friday afternoon.
“Always looking forward to a great season,” BYU men’s coach Ed Eyestone said. “We graduated four guys out of our top seven, and many think this leaves us looking to rebuild the team.”
Coach Eyestone believes “rather than rebuilding we are looking to reload — starting with the Utah Open Invitational.”
The first to come through the finish line for the men’s team in the 6K race was Jonathan Nelson, with a time of 19:19.0. His time placed him third overall, and not far behind was his teammate, Conner Peloquin, finishing second for the team and fifth overall, with a time of 19:24.5.
The Cougars women’s team took the season’s first race to accomplish small goals. Coach Patrick Shane took the opportunity to race many of the incoming freshmen. BYU ran five freshmen and one sophomore in the meet’s 4K race.
The plan Shane designed was to “run a group of freshmen to give them a chance to gain overall experience.”
Shane said, “As far as the season goes, I believe we have the best team we have had in over seven years. Now we are just looking to stay healthy.”
The freshmen led the women’s team to a strong start of the season. Freshman Mckenzie Weir made her debut placing first among the Cougars and ninth overall with a time of 15:11.2. Placing second for BYU and 13th within the race was Hannah Albrechtsen, with a time of 15:15.6, and coming in close behind was fellow teammate Alyssa Steed, finishing 16th overall with a time of 15:19.5.
Both Cougars men’s and women’s teams will make their next appearance at the BYU Autumn Classic Saturday, Sept. 13. The men will begin to race at 9:45 a.m., and the women’s race will start at 10:15 a.m. The meet will take place on BYU’s campus near the outdoor track.