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BYU cross-country: Women's team shares first with San Francisco in WCC Preseason Poll

Olivia Hoj competing for BYU at the 2017 Mountain Region Championships.
Olivia Hoj competing for BYU at the 2017 Mountain Region Championships.

BYU and defending West Coast Conference champion San Francisco have been picked by the 10 head coaches to share this year’s WCC Cross Country title after each earned 77 total votes and five first-place votes.

It was a banner year in 2017 for the WCC, with a pair of top-15 finishes at NCAA Nationals on the women’s side. San Francisco secured its first West Regional, while BYU took third in the Mountain Regional. Both squads then followed that up with stellar performances in Louisville, as BYU finished 11th and the Dons raced to the podium for a second-place finish. It was the first NCAA Nationals podium finish in conference history, as well as the first podium finish in program history for San Francisco.

Portland was tabbed third with 62 votes, while Loyola Marymount was slated to finish fourth with 58. Gonzaga just beat out San Diego for fifth place, as the Zags picked up 47 with the Toreros getting 42.

Saint Mary’s and Pacific made up the second tie in this year’s poll, sharing seventh place with 27 votes apiece. Santa Clara (24) and Pepperdine (nine) finished out the poll.

Three Cougars, including junior Olivia Hoj, sophomore Sara Musselman and junior Courtney Wayment-Smith, were named to the All-WCC Women’s Cross Country Preseason Team. Wayment-Smith earned All-WCC First Team honors in 2017, while Hoj was named to the second team.

San Francisco landed four student-athletes on the Preseason All-WCC squad to lead the way led by All-Americans Weronika Pyzik and Isabelle Brauer, both of whom broke the tape at last year’s NCAA Nationals in the top 15. Portland landed three, including Pilot standout Taryn Rawlings, who appeared in her second-straight NCAA Nationals last year and finished 51st overall.

The 2018 WCC Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Championships will take place Oct. 27, at East Bay Golf Course in Provo, Utah.