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Members of BYU women's cross-country team run during a race. The Cougars head to Oakland, California, to compete in the WCC Championships on Friday.

The BYU men’s and women’s cross-country teams head to Oakland, California, to compete in the West Coast Conference Championship on Friday.

The women will run a 6k race, and the men will follow with an 8k.

“The men’s cross-country team is excited for the opportunity to defend our conference title,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We have a very strong team right now, but Portland is ranked No. 3 in the country so we have our work cut out for us.”

Following a strong win at the Pre-Nationals Invitational in Kentucky, the No. 2 men’s team aims to claim the conference title for the third-straight year and fifth time in seven years. This is the first time in conference history that three of the WCC teams enter the championship with a top-five ranking, two from the men’s side and one from the women's.

“If our top-four runners—Rory Linkletter, Connor McMillan, Clayton Young and Casey Clinger—run like they have all year, we should be fine,” Eyestone said.

In addition to No. 3 Portland, the Cougars will face No. 29 San Francisco and regionally ranked No. 10 Gonzaga, No. 12 Santa Clara and No. 13 Loyola Marymount to make this field perhaps the most stacked in conference history.

“The ladies are excited about competing at the WCC Championships,” associate head women’s coach Diljeet Taylor said. “They have worked hard all year long and are anxious to enter the championship portion of our season.”

The No. 18 women’s team finished second in the championships the past two years and first in 2014. The team is coming off a seventh-place finish at the Pre-Nationals Invitational, with Laura Young being BYU's top finisher. The Cougars will compete against No. 4 San Francisco and regionally ranked No. 8 Portland.

The West Coast Conference will take place at the Metropolitan Golf Course in Oakland, California. The women’s race begins at 10 a.m. PT, and the men will follow at 11 a.m.

The races will be live streamed, while the WCC will provide live race results.

Jenessa Mann works as a Sports Information Director for BYU Athletics. Contact her at: wtrack_sid@byu.edu