Jenessa Mann | Posted: 14 Sep 2017 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

BYU cross country kicks off 2017 season with home meet

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PROVO, Utah — The BYU men’s and women’s cross country teams kick off the 2017 season by hosting the Autumn Classic Saturday morning at East Bay Golf Course in Provo.

BYU will host Weber State, Utah State, Westminster College and Dixie State. The meet will feature a college men’s four mile and a college women’s three-mile race.

“Our men’s team, on paper, is probably one of the best teams I’ve had and this is my 18th season this year,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We’re very optimistic and we know we have some amazing talent coming back and we’re enthused about the prospect of a very good season.”

The No. 6 men’s team enters the season with many strong returners and as the preseason favorite to win the West Coast Conference championship. Seniors Spencer Hanson and Jonathan Harper, juniors Daniel Carney, Rory Linkletter and Clayton Young, and sophomore Brayden McLelland were all placed on the All-WCC Preseason Team. In addition, Casey Clinger joins the team as an incoming freshman. He was the number one cross country recruit in the country and Eyestone believes he will contribute greatly to the success of the team. Eyestone said he especially looks forward to the performance of his 'core four guys,' Linkletter, Connor McMillan, Young and Clinger.

The men’s team took first place at the WCC Championships last year. Linkletter was named an All-American for his top-40 finish at Nationals. Harper, Linkletter, McLelland and Young earned first-team All-WCC honors and Hanson earned a spot on the All-WCC First Team during the 2016 season.

The No. 10 women’s team has three athletes on the All-WCC Preseason Team, including seniors Laura Young and Ashleigh Warner, and sophomore Courtney Wayment. The women’s team enters the season as the predicted WCC champions.

"I feel like we have a really strong pack and all of the women coming back this year are in really good shape so I'm excited," BYU women's coach Diljeet Taylor said.

The women’s team finished second place at the WCC Championships during the 2016 season. Young received first-team All-WCC honors and Warner and Wayment earned second-team All-WCC honors last year.

The Cougars are excited to host their only home meet this weekend.

“Obviously, we like to defend our house anytime we run at our home course and the athletes are ready,” Eyestone said.

The women’s three-mile race is set to begin at 9:40 a.m. MDT on Saturday, September 16, at the East Bay Golf Course in Provo. The men’s four-mile race is set to begin at 10:45 a.m. MDT. Team awards will be presented at 12:30 p.m. MDT.

Entrance to the Autumn Classic is $6. Additional information regarding the race can be found here.

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