BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – All three BYU athletes placed in the top five in their respective events at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend.
“The bottom line is the athletes went out and performed and weren’t intimidated,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We got great efforts out of them.”
Junior Shaquille Walker took third in the men’s 800-meter finals with a time of 1:47.50. He trailed only Akron’s Clayton Murphy and Middle Tennessee State’s Eliud Rutto. He also ran a 1:47.36 in the men’s preliminaries on Friday, which also ranked third among all competitors.
Junior Zachary Blackham took third overall in the men’s high jump with a mark of 2.18 meters. He trailed only Air Force’s Taylor Smith and Texas Tech’s Trey Culver. With Blackham’s and Walker’s combined scores, BYU took 19th overall among men’s teams.
“All three of our athletes outperformed their ranking coming in to the meet,” Eyestone said. “The men took 19th overall as a team, and considering we only had two people that’s a very good result.”
Junior Shea Martinez-Collinsworth ran a 2:04.38 in the preliminaries on Friday afternoon, ranking second among all competitors. In the finals, she placed fifth with a time of 2:06.57.
“Just getting to nationals is a hard thing,” Martinez-Collinsworth said. “I just tried to close strong and stay positive throughout the race and enjoy the moment. I was happy with the outcome and being able to represent BYU. I’m grateful for my coaches and everyone who helped me get to this point. I’m really grateful for BYU and everything it does to help us succeed.”
Click here for complete results from the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The outdoor track and field season begins Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 at the Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field will take three athletes – Shaquille Walker, Zachary Blackham and Shea Martinez-Collinsworth – to compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on Friday and Saturday.
“We’re just looking forward heading off to Alabama for the national meet," BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We have three people going, two men and one woman. I think they all have excellent chances of scoring some points for us, so that’s exciting.”
Walker, a junior, qualified for nationals in the 800 meters after he set the BYU indoor school record at the Washington Invitational with a time of 1:46.97. His time is seventh best in the nation this season heading into the NCAA Championships. The men’s prelims are set for 7:25 p.m. (CST) on Friday with the finals on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
Blackham, a junior, qualified for the national meet in the high jump with a mark of 2.20 meters at the MPSF Championships. His mark is good for fourth best in BYU indoor history and sixth best in the country this season. The men’s high jump is scheduled for 7:55 p.m. on Friday.
Martinez-Collinsworth, a junior, qualified for the NCAA championships in the 800 meters at the Texas A&M Team Invitational with a time of 2:04.52. The prelims for the women’s 800m are scheduled for 7:35 p.m. on Friday, and the finals will take place at 5:40 p.m. on Saturday.
The championships will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and live results will be available at NCAA.com.