BYU cross country teams kick off season with home meet

Savannah Hopkinson
The BYU men’s cross country team runs as a tight pack during Saturday’s season opening invitational. (Savannah Hopkinson)

The No. 6 men’s and No. 10 women’s cross-country teams finished first and second in their respective races during the Autumn Classic on Saturday, Sept. 16.

It was the first meet of the season for both teams, whose depths of talent led to high expectations in the preseason.

Rory Linkletter led the men’s team, completing the 4-mile race in 19:25.8, which was good enough for first place overall.

He crossed the finish line exactly one second ahead of Utah State’s Dillon Maggard, who finished at 19:26.8.

The men’s team ran cohesively throughout the race, something head coach Ed Eyestone was pleased to see.

“The fact that we had seven to eight guys right there together through the whole thing shows the kind of depth that we have this year,” Eyestone said. “We’re excited. It’s going to be a good year.”

Nine of the top 10 finishers in the men’s race were BYU runners. Linkletter, Connor McMillan, Clayton Young and Casey Clinger all finished in the top five.

BYU finished second behind Utah State in the women’s 3-mile race. The top runner for the Cougars was Laura Young, who finished second overall with a time of 16:46.3.

BYU coach Diljeet Taylor was disappointed in her team’s overall performance.

“Times were okay; it was just the way we ran today,” Taylor said. “We were a little impatient at times and made some moves when we should have waited longer to be more tactical.”

Both Taylor and Young said they were confident the team would be able to work out the issues they saw in Saturday’s performance.

“We didn’t really have that mentality today of ‘all in it together,’ but that’s something that we can work on and we will work on,” Taylor said.

In total, five of BYU’s runners finished in the top 10 of the women’s race.

Both teams will head to Oregon on Sept. 29 to compete in the Dellinger Invitational.

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