BYU Wins 2014 WCC Women’s Cross Country Championshp


While it didn’t have quite the same dramatic finish as the men’s race, the same two teams battled for the spot as the the BYU Cougars defeated the second place Portland Pilots to claim the 2014 WCC Women’s Cross Country Championship. Like the men’s race, these two teams dominated the top ten standings and proved they are the best in the WCC.

While Tansey Lystad took first place for Portland, the Pilots had only two runners finish in the top ten. BYU had four including second place finisher Carrie Jube. Loyola Marymount had a strong day with two runners finishing in the top five, but they finished a distant third overall. Gonzaga had the other two top ten runners but finished fifth overall. While just 11 seconds separated the top ten runners on the men’s side, there was a 41 second gap between first and tenth in the women’s race.

Five-time defending champion San Francisco finished a disappointing fourth and had no runners in the top ten. This is the first WCC Women’s Cross Country Championship for BYU, and it’s the third year in a row Portland finishes in second place.

Tansey Lynstad of Portland was named the WCC Runner of the Year. Patrick Shane of BYU was named the WCC Coach of the Year. The Cougars also had the WCC Freshman of the Year which was awarded McKenzie Wier. She finished 15th, the fifth best time for the Cougars. The Cougars also led the way in All-WCC honors with five. Four Cougars made the All-WCC First Team and Wier was awarded. All-WCC Second Team. Portland had three All-WCC selections including two First Team selections. They finished tied with Loyola Marymount for the second most selections.

BYU avoided putting their postseason hopes in doubt by capturing an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals. They had recently dropped out the national rankings and would have had to hope for an at-large bid had they not won the WCC Championship. That fate now rests with Portland who picked up two top 30 votes in the most recent poll. The Pilots received an at-large bid last year and should be in good shape to receive one again this year.

Last year the Pilots fell short of the NCAA Championships finishing 9th in the West Regional. Lystad led the Pilots with an 18th place finish and earned All-Region honors. After winning the 2014 WCC individual title, she will be relied on for another strong showing in Regionals to get the Pilots over the hump and into the NCAA Championships.

BYU meanwhile advanced to the NCAA Championships last year after placing third in both the WCC Championships and their NCAA Regional. They finished 28th at the NCAA Championships, but they have lost a lot of talent from that team. Out of their top five runners at the NCAA Championships this year, Makenna Smith is their only returning runner. Smith finished 6th at the WCC Championships this year.

Stay tuned to West Coast Convo for coverage of the NCAA Regionals and Championships as the teams of the WCC await their postseason fates.