"Survive and advance" is a mantra fit for March Madness and early-November cross country. During Friday’s NCAA Regional meets, some of the nation’s top teams will race each other for the first time this season with the BYU and NAU men meeting in Provo, and the Boise State and Oregon women racing in Sacramento. But the focus will solely be on finishing in the top two to earn an automatic qualification to the NCAA Championships on November 17.
For the powerful teams, regionals are a dress rehearsal for the big show. The goal is more about conserving energy than running all-out. The best performances are the ones that don’t make any news--a smooth, comfortable and drama-free stepping stone to Madison.
With that said, here are five things to be confident about on Friday.
Confidence Picks, presented by Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans
The BYU and NAU men go 1-2 in some order in the Mountain region and five other teams earn at-large qualifications.
Just like at the Big Ten Championships, Morgan McDonald and Oliver Hoare sweep the top two positions in the Great Lakes region and lead Wisconsin to victory.
Colorado and New Mexico women as expected take the automatic qualifying spots in the Mountain region.
Out west, seven teams move on from Sacramento led by Stanford, Portland, Washington and Boise State.
Oregon and Boise State finish at the top of the women’s race—a great preview for when those teams go all out at the NCAA Championships.
Watch the 2018 Great Lakes, West and Mountain region meets live on FloTrack.