The No. 2 BYU men’s cross-country team swept the West Coast Conference championship in Oakland, California, on Oct. 27, with a perfect score while the No. 18 women’s team finished second behind San Francisco.
It was the first time a team has earned a perfect score in a WCC championship race.
The men’s team was led by Connor McMillan, who finished the 8K race first overall with a time of 23:22.8. BYU placed first through fifth, giving the team its perfect score of 15.
“I’m super pleased with the way the guys ran,” said men’s coach Ed Eyestone. “They maintained a relentless pace and it paid off.”
Daniel Carney, Casey Clinger, Rory Linkletter and Clayton Young all finished within a half second of each other. They held out their jerseys as they crossed the finish line, seemingly aware that they had just accomplished a clean sweep of their opponents.
BYU’s top finishers ran in a tight pack for most of the race, jockeying for position with two Portland runners in the mix as well. McMillan pulled out ahead with about a kilometer to go in the race, ultimately finishing a full six seconds ahead of the rest of the field.
This is the men’s team’s third-straight WCC championship and their fifth in the last seven years.
The women’s team was led by Courtney Wayment, who finished sixth overall with a time of 20:02.1 in the 6K race. She was edged out of the top five by San Francisco runner Marie Bouchard who finished one second ahead of her. Laura Young finished seventh overall.
The Cougars’ final score of 52 left them as runners-up to the No. 4 San Francisco team.
“Our pack ran really well today,” said women’s coach Diljeet Taylor. “USF is a great team this year and I think the women did a good job positioning themselves in a pack throughout the race.”
The men’s team’s goal, as has been stated by Eyestone, is to go win a national championship next month.
“To perfect score the conference meet over the third-ranked team in the country shows that we should be considered a national championship caliber team,” Eyestone said.
The Cougars next stop on that journey will be at the NCAA Mountain Regionals on Nov. 10 in Logan, Utah. Following that race, they will travel back to Louisville, Kentucky, where they won the Pre-Nationals Invitational on Oct. 14. They will race in the NCAA Championships there on Nov. 18.