COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – High jumper Zachary Blackham and sprinter Tatenda Tsumba both cracked the top-10 in BYU indoor history in the high jump and 200m, respectively, at the Air Force Invitational this weekend.
BYU associate head coach Mark Robison was encouraged by what he saw from both athletes. Blackham jumped 7’ 2.25”, good for sixth all-time in BYU indoor history. Tsumba ran 21.16 in the 200m for fifth all-time.
“On the men’s side, (Zach) Blackham moved up on the all-time board. That was his lifetime best indoors. It might be good enough to get him into nationals,” Robison said. “Last year somebody got in with that mark.”
“Tsumba did well. He had his seasonal best in the 200m," Robison said.
The Cougars finished second as a team with 101 points, but Robison says the focus at this point in the season is getting better at each meet. Air Force finished first overall with 160 points.
“We had some improvements. People are getting better and that’s really what we’re looking for from week to week,” he said. “The indoor season is short so you need to have a pretty quick learning curve. Each week you have to improve and get more reps to be a little better.”
The BYU 4x400m team won this weekend and John Glazier won the long jump with a mark of 7.48m.
“I was pleased with the overall effort,” Robison said. “If we can just keep building over the course of the next five weeks then we can have several people get to nationals. We need to stay healthy, and we didn’t have anyone get hurt this weekend. We just have to get a little better each week and I think we will be good.”
Click here for complete meet results.
Next up for BYU track and field is a trip to Seattle for the Washington Invitational on Jan. 29-30.
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field travels to Colorado Springs, Colorado, for the Air Force Invitational this Thursday through Saturday.
The schools slated to compete include BYU, Air Force, Adams State, Colorado, Northern Colorado, Oral Roberts, Wyoming, Western State and Fort Lewis. BYU coach Ed Eyestone says the meet is great for his short distance and field athletes.
“The Air Force Invitational is always a big one especially for our multi-events athletes,” Eyestone said.
This weekend’s meet will feature BYU athletes in the long jump, triple jump, high jump, sprints, throws and multi-events. The Cougars’ distance runners will not make the trip to Air Force in preparation for next weekend’s Washington Invitational in Seattle.
“It’s a good place for our sprinters and jumpers and multi-events athletes to go, but it’s not a great venue for distance runners because the elevation is over 8,000 feet and it hurts to run up that high,” Eyestone said. “For everyone else it’s a good meet and it should be a good opportunity.”
“Kevin (Nielsen) came very close to getting a score that would get him into the national meet (at the BYU Cougar Collegiate Indoor Invitational), so he’ll be looking to improve on that. Provided everything goes well I think he’ll get a mark that will get him to the national meet,” Eyestone said.
For the women, Eyestone identified Erin Merkley (pentathlon) and Haley Folsom (pentathlon and 60m hurdles) as athletes to watch.
Click here for live results, or visit the BYU men’s track and field schedule page.