STILLWATER, Okla. — No. 1 BYU and No. 2 Northern Arizona will square off again this season at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Stillwater, Okla., on Monday and both teams are entering the meeting full of confidence.
The nation’s top two ranked men’s cross country programs met twice already this season, with each program coming away with one victory apiece.
Northern Arizona got the better of the defending national champion in the first head-to-head battle at the Oklahoma State Invite in October, but the Cougars managed to get the better of the Lumberjack at the Silver State Collegiate Cross Country Challenge in Las Vegas, Nev. on Feb. 1.
The two teams which are finally expected to be at full strength for nationals, head to Stillwater for round three this season and they are bracing for a thrilling challenge in the showdown for college cross country ultimate prize.
Northern Arizona won three straight national titles from 2016 to 2018 before BYU finally snapped that winning streak at the 2019 championships. The Lumberjack were runner-up in Terre Haute, IN at the last championships.
“It’s been a wonderful rivalry over the last few years, it’s a program that has definitely pushed us to our limits. They’re challenging us regularly, they’re taking care of business in practice and were always thinking the same way here when we’re training in Flagstaff,” NAU Director of Cross Country and Track & Field Michael Smith said. “We’re thankful for the competition we have with them.”
The pre-national U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) NCAA Division I Men’s Cross Country National Coaches’ Poll sees No. 3 at Arkansas, and the Razorbacks are followed by No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Tulsa, No. 6 Oklahoma State and No. 7 Iowa State.
The women’s 6K race will open the action at the NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships and will go off on the Oklahoma State Cross Country Course at 12:50 am ET, with the men’s 10K race following at 1:40 PM ET.
Live championship coverage will be available on ESPNU and streaking live at WatchESPN.com. The ESPN App will also provide live stream beginning at 12:30 AM ET. The broadcast will be available for streaming online here, while fans can follow live results, including splits at every 1000-meter mark, by following this link.