Jan 29 | 02:00 PM
Brigham Young University


Blake Dorton | Posted: 31 Jan 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

Walker sets school record at Washington Invitational


SEATTLE – In his first meet of the season, Shaquille Walker set the BYU indoor school record in the 800 meters with a time of 1:46.97 at the Washington Invitational on Saturday.

It was the kind of start to his All-American’s season that BYU coach Ed Eyestone was hoping for.

“We had some outstanding marks on the men’s side led by Shaquille who set a school record in the 800 meters,” Eyestone said. “He set the meet record last year, so he improved on that and also set the school record in the process. It was phenomenal and it’s going to be one of the top times in the country. It’s the best time anyone has ever run in a BYU uniform during indoor season.”

Saturday’s 800 meters result was precisely what Walker and the BYU coaches had hoped to accomplish going into the meet.

“It was what we wanted. We wanted to run anything under 1:47,” Walker said. “I had some thoughts of maybe going even faster, but anything in the 1:46 range was what I had been preparing for during the past month. It ended up being right where we wanted.”

The fast start is just the beginning to a season that Walker hopes will eventually come to a close in Brazil at the 2016 Summer Olympics.

“Everything I’m doing right now is to prepare me for the Olympic trials in July. We’re training and racing with a long-term approach, but on the day of the race we have a plan of what we want to do that is aimed at the big, overall goal. If I always focus on that huge goal then I wouldn’t do as well. We break it down so I can focus from race to race while still having our sights set on the Olympic trials.”

Eyestone identified other athletes who stepped up in Seattle.

Jonathan Harper ran eight minutes flat in the 3,000 meters. It was an excellent time,” Eyestone said. “He ran a very smart race and it was a big PR for him.”

Chase Horrocks ran 4:04 in the mile, which is really good,” he said.

Shot put specialist Zachary Stetler also had a solid performance with a throw of 17.16 meters.

Participating teams at the Washington Invitational did not receive a team score. Rather, the purpose of the meet was to offer athletes an opportunity to get the qualifying marks needed for the conference and NCAA meets.

“I think it was an exceptional meet,” Eyestone said. “It was a real step up for the season thus far. Everyone that came did a great job.”

Click here for complete meet results.

Up next for BYU men’s track and field are the Mountain States Games in Pocatello, Idaho and the New Mexico Collegiate Track and Field Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both events will be on Feb. 5-6.


Blake Dorton | Posted: 28 Jan 2016 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Blake Dorton

BYU travels to Washington Invitational


PROVO, Utah – The Cougars hit the road again this weekend as they compete in Seattle at the Washington Invitational on Jan. 29-30.

For the first time this season, the entire array of BYU distance runners will be on display over the weekend. BYU coach Ed Eyestone says he’s eager to see what they can accomplish.

“This is going to be a debut for our long distance runners,” Eyestone said. “We saw some good things out of our middle distance runners a couple of weeks ago at Texas A&M. Now we’ll have a chance to take both our middle and long distance runners, along with a few sprinters and throwers to see what we can do.”

Eyestone says 2015 All-American Shaquille Walker will be among those making their season debut for the Cougars.

“On the men’s side, Shaquille is going to be running in his first real race of the indoor season. He’s ready to roll,” Eyestone said. “He got married over Christmas break, so he’s coming off his honeymoon. We’ve waited a little bit for him to get sharp. We’re hoping that he will run what will be an NCAA qualifying time. I think if he runs under 1:48 we will be happy with that. I know his sights are set a little higher than that, but we’re looking for a good season-opening performance from him. He’s been looking very good in training, so I’m optimistic he will open with a good 800m race.”

Other distance runners Eyestone has high hopes for this weekend include freshmen Connor Ross and Rory Linkletter, as well as junior Jonathan Harper.

“Connor is also going to be running the 800m race,” Eyestone said. “He’s a true freshman, so it’s kind of fun to see what he will do. His training has been going extremely well lately. I think he can run under 1:50 for the first time and maybe even lower than that. He can be a dark horse.”

“We’re hoping that Rory will be able to continue his winning ways and bring down his PR in the 3000m,” Eyestone said.

“Jonathan is another solid runner for us who should be right there with Rory,” he said.

Click here to access live results from the Washington Invitational, or visit the BYU men’s track and field schedule page.