First Outdoor Meet is a Success
TEMPE -- Kicking off the outdoor season, the BYU men and women’s track and field teams return home with many NCAA regional qualifying marks after a strong season-opener at the Baldy Castillo Invitational in Tempe, Ariz.
“This was a really good start for our outdoor season,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “We had a really good meet and I was very proud of the marks we made today.”
The men came out strong in the distance races taking first and second in the 3000-meter steeplechase due to top performances from juniors Ryan Merriman and Richard Nelson. Merriman set the pace finishing with a time of 9:09.81 followed closely behind by Nelson with 9:09.93.
Keeping the energy going, the 1500-meter proved to be another power race for the Cougars with senior Miles Batty placing first and earning an NCAA regional qualifying bid with a final time of 3:46.28
Representing the Cougars in the 4x100-meter relay, BYU’s ‘A’ team, combining talent from freshman Rhyan Attrice, junior Bryan Payne and sophomores Tanner Emrich and Aaron Powell, placed second with a time of 42:08. Also placing second with a time of 3:12.59, was BYU’s ‘A’ team in the 4x400-meter, made up of Attrice, Payne, Drew Foster and Nathan Page.
Placing second in the 800-meter, freshman Justin Hedin closed in with a final time of 1:52.05, trailing only to first-place Alex Hudak, a freshman from Manhattan who finished in 1:51.57.
To balance things in the field events, senior All-American Whitney Neves took charge in the pole vault with a first-place finish and NCAA regional qualifying mark clearing a height of 17 feet 2.75 inches (5.25 meters). Also earning an NCAA regional qualifying mark was Chris Little, clearing a height of 16 feet 6.75 inches (5.05 meters).
Sophomore Blaine Baker pulled through in the javelin tallying a second-place finish and NCAA regional qualifying mark with a final distance of 216 feet 4 inches (65.94 meters).
Also bringing home NCAA regional qualifying bids were juniors Bryan Payne in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 52.19 and Daniel Lawson in the discus with a distance of 176 feet 7 inches (53.82 meters).
Building off a successful indoor season the No. 3 nationally ranked BYU women’s team continued to roll in their first outdoor meet.
“We performed well,” said BYU women’s coach Dick Legas. “This was a low-key meet that gave our athletes an opportunity to get their feet wet and ready for the outdoor season.”
The Cougars began the meet in dominant fashion in the 800-meter race. Sandra Mazan took first in the event with a time of 2:09.83. Following close behind was Emily Dunn who finished in third with a time of 2:10.78. Rounding out the top five was Jenna Lowder who ran in a time of 2:12.79.
Freshman standout Sarah Edwards had a strong outdoor debut with a third place finish in the 1500-meter event (4:32.89).
Another freshman that was equally impressive was Diana Blauer. Blauer the 2009 Mountain West Conference high jump champion placed second on Saturday with a jump of 5-07.00.
Like Blauer, Madara Dzalbe also jumped well. Dzalbe took second in the triple jump event (39-08.00).
The Cougar throwing squad looked fresh. Deezbaa Whaley nearly had an NCAA provisional qualifying mark on Friday. Whaley threw 170-09, earning her third in the hammer throw.
Collecting BYU’s first outdoor provisional qualifying mark of the season was Piret Kuresson, who finished second in the javelin throw (150-11).
Next up for the Cougars will be the Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif., with competition beginning on Friday, March 27.
Outdoor Season Begins in Arizona
PROVO -- Returning from the NCAA Indoor National Championships, the BYU track and field teams gear up for the outdoor season starting off in Tempe, Ariz. for the Baldy Castillo Invitational.
“This will be a good meet to start off the outdoor season,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “It will be warm and we’ll get started with great competition and it will give the athletes a chance to get back and get moving.”
The men will be competing against 13 teams, some of which include ASU, Kentucky, New Mexico, Northern Arizona and South Dakota.
The No. 3 nationally-ranked women’s team will compete against 12 teams, including ASU, Nebraska, New Mexico and Louisville.
“This will be a great meet for our athletes that haven’t been able to compete yet,” said BYU women’s throwing coach Dick Legas. “This is a low pressure event that will give us good experience. We look forward to starting our outdoor season after our indoor success.”
The BYU women’s team is coming off of their highest indoor national ranking in school history. The team also boasts two national champions, [Amy Menlove and Lacey Cramer] who won their respected events at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Friday events begin at 1 p.m. PT with the women’s hammer followed by the men’s. Saturday’s events will begin at noon with the women’s discus.