Expectations for the men and women who run cross country for BYU are once again high this season. The Cougar men were favored to win the West Coast Conference championshhip, while the women were picked to place second.
"We are grateful for the respect and we look forward to a great year," BYU women's coach Patrick Shane said. "There are several other good programs in the conference that are on the move. We will get a better idea midseason of how accurate that poll is."
San Francisco was picked to win the women's conference title. The Cougars received one first place vote. Portland was picked third and also received one first place vote.
Natalie Shields was the lone Cougar placed on the preseason All-WCC team. Shields finished fourth at last year's WCC Championships, which BYU placed third.
The BYU men received five of the nine first-place votes, edging Portland.
"I think the results of the poll just indicate what everyone in the conference knows, and that is Portland has a strong team and we have a strong team," BYU coach Ed Eyestone said. "Being ranked No. 1 is a compliment, but polls are just guesswork a lot of times. We still have to deliver. Whether we were first or second, we know it will be a dogfight up front."
BYU placed four runners on the preseason All-WCC team, led by All-American Tylor Thatcher who finished fourth in last year's WCC Championships.
The Cougars will begin their season on Sept. 6 at the Utah Open hosted by the Utah in Salt Lake City at Murray City Park.