After an impressive sweep at the WCC Championships last weekend, BYU’s cross country teams are gearing up for next week’s Mountain Regional Championships. The men’s team is currently ranked #2 in the nation, and the women’s team is at #9. Last week, both teams brought home first place, marking BYU’s fourth consecutive title win.
“It sets us up really well to qualify for nationals, which is kind of our only goal this weekend. Next weekend, I guess in the mountain region championships because all it is is kind of a prelim to move us forward to the NCAA championships,” said senior runner, Rory Linkletter.
One factor that most people forget about with running is the altitude. Athletes around the world come to Utah to train in the high altitude so they run faster when competing at sea level. Since BYU is located at such a high altitude, our cross country teams have an advantage.
“For us, it’s nice because we train at the pace we want to be running at sea level, so sea level we can run faster than what our desired pace is,” said junior member, Courtney Wayment.
At #2 in the country, BYU is eyeing Northern Arizona University, the current #1 team who will also be competing next week. And since Northern Arizona is also a high altitude school, the Regional Championship will definitely be a close match. Coach Eyestone, however, has the teams focused and already looking to nationals.
“So we want to run a controlled race. We want to advance safely. We want to give a vote of confidence to our athletes that run have them feel like they ran a good race, but we don’t want to run a race that leaves us flat for the national championship,” said Coach Eyestone.
“You know we’re all right on track we’re all feeling really healthy were really excited to move on and get back to nationals. I think we’re all feeling really good for next week,” said Wayment.