BYU cross country to host WCC championship, NCAA Mountain Regional Championship

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BYU athlete Olivia Hoj races in the NCAA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, Nov. 18, 2017. This year, BYU cross country will host the NCAA Championship and WCC Championship. (Nate Edwards)

BYU cross country will host the WCC Championship at the East Bay Golf Course on Oct. 27 for the first time since entering the West Coast Conference in 2010.

The Cougars will also be hosting the NCAA Mountain Regional Championship at the East Bay Golf Course on Nov. 9.

The WCC rotates between all universities in the conference to host the championship meet, according to men’s coach Ed Eyestone. There are four states with 10 universities that compete in the WCC.

“It’s always an honor to host a conference meet,” Eyestone said. “Then to have it fall on a year when we’re going to host a regional meet makes it fun and kind of gets it all out of the way at the same time.”

Women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said the teams are excited to be hosting races this year on their home turf.

“I think (athletes) always tend to run better when they consider it a home meet,” Taylor said. “Hosting both conference and regionals is going to be really exciting for our (team). They’re really looking forward to it.”

Eyestone agreed that there are benefits for BYU’s athletes to have these major races at home instead of traveling.

“The main thing is that the athletes will be sleeping in their own bed the night before,” Eyestone said. “And they’re going to have their friends, family, roommates out in attendance, so we’ll definitely have the large cheering section.”

Taylor said there is a travel roster created explaining which athletes will travel with the team when they are on the road, but since these meets are in Provo, the entire team can participate, whether on the sidelines supporting or in the actual race.

“Most of our other (runners) who wouldn’t be making the travel roster … will have the opportunity to cheer on their teammates,” Taylor said. “I think that brings a different element of support to the meet.”

The East Bay Golf Course is the ideal place to hold the races, according to Taylor.

BYU cross country will host the WCC Championship at the East Bay Golf Course on Oct. 27 and Nov. 9. (Eastbaygc)

“It’s a nice, easy course and it’s very spectator friendly,” Taylor said. “As a coach, I like my athletes to be able to hear me all throughout their race and this is good because it just loops.”

The teams haven’t had the chance to practice on the course this year because of the fires in early September that caused BYU to change the location of the Autumn Classic to Logan.

According to Eyestone, there is a green fee any time the team shuts down the course and there is a lot of communication between the coaches and the crew at the course.

“You are out marking the course to paint the lines around the course the day before so it requires some cooperation between the golf course and the coaching staff,” Eyestone said.

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