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BYU cross-country: women's team competes at Mountain Region Championships on Friday

By Steven Tew

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 7 2012 4:29 p.m. MST

PROVO, Utah — The women’s cross-country team competes at the Mountain Region Championships on Friday in Fort Collins, Colo., for one last chance at qualifying for nationals.

“If we want any chance of making it to Nationals, we need to beat Colorado this weekend,” head coach Patrick Shane said. “We can do it, but it will be tough. They haven’t been out of the top two in our region in years. Of the runners on our team, only two of them have any experience running at Nationals. We have a young team, but they know what they have to do to come out on top.”

The two Cougars with experience running at Nationals are senior Michaelanne Laurent and sophomore Sarah Darby.

In the most recent Mountain Region rankings, Weber State is ranked No. 1 followed by New Mexico and Colorado as No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. BYU is currently ranked No. 6 behind Colorado State and Southern Utah.

During the West Coast Conference Championships, BYU finished third with 85 points behind San Francisco and Portland. The Cougars were led by Freshman Natalie Shields’ fourth-place overall finish. All of the Cougars’ five scoring runners finished in the top-22 individually.

Rachel Stewart finished second for BYU and 18th overall. Lindsey Sowards Nielson, Darby and Laurent finished third, fourth and fifth for the Cougars and 21st, 22nd and 23rd overall, respectively. All five runners are also set for this weekend’s race at regionals.

Other runners set to compete at regionals are Andrea Nelson Harrison, Kathryn Vidmar, Ashleigh Warner and Laura Young.

The women’s race begins at 12 p.m. MT at Collindale Golf Course.

Collindale Golf Course is familiar territory for BYU and does not have any difficult or unique features about it. In the past, the two obstacles the team has faced in Colorado are a slight change in altitude and cold weather.

More information for the Mountain Regional Championships can be found on Colorado State's Athletics website.

Steven Tew is an SID at BYU Athletic Communications. He can be contacted at wtrack_sid@byu.edu

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