Men's Track Ties for 13th at Nationals
FAYETTEVILLE -- With a total of 16 points, the BYU men’s track and field team tied for 13th place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Saturday.
“I am thrilled with how we did this week,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “We had three All-Americans, a national champion and finished 13th in the nation! Everyone performed better than they were ranked, except Meelis [Kosk], and that was just because of injury. What a great way to finish the season.”
The Cougar’s ranking is a huge improvement from last season’s 42nd placement with six points. Each athlete finished higher than they were ranked, minus Kosk who pulled out of the decathlon with 2,638 points due to injury
Finishing up day one of the competition, sophomore Blaine Baker ended 18th overall in the javelin throw with a final distance of 63.69 meters (208 feet 11 inches).
Going into day two, despite not advancing to the final round of the 4x400 meter relay, four Cougars earned their spot in the BYU record books, landing one of the fastest times in school history.
Juniors Kevin Ahlstrom, All-American Kevin Biesinger, Rob Skidmore and freshman Rhyan Atrice finished 14th overall with a time of 3:06.60.
Coming into the competition as No. 25, senior Stephan Shay stepped up his performance in the 10,000 meter run finishing higher-ranked than he entered. Shay completed the run in 29:43.25, 17th overall.
Senior All-American Kyle Perry and junior regional champion and All-American Richard Nelson each won their individual heats in the preliminary round of the 3000-meter steeplechase, advancing to the finals.
It was the final round of the steeplechase that gave both Cougars their All-America honor with Perry landing first-place with a lifetime best and Mountain West Conference All-time best time of 8:29.24, the second-best in BYU history. Nelson summed up the top-10 with a 10th-place time of 8:50.08.
Topping-off the championships for the Cougars, senior All-American Bob Low tied for a career-high and lifetime best mark in the pole vault competition. Clearing a height of 5.45 meters (17 feet 10.5 inches), Low secured third place overall with an All-America title in his pocket to end his collegiate career.
The Cougars complete their 2009 track and field season with both indoor and outdoor MWC championship titles, four All-Americans at indoor nationals, a ninth-place finish at regional’s and now tied for 13th with three All-Americans at outdoor nationals.
For complete results of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships click here.
Cougar Final Results From Nationals
Name Event Schedule/Results
Blaine Baker Javelin Finished 18th
Meelis Kosk Decathlon Pulled out due to injury
Bob Low Pole Vault Finished 3rd
Richard Nelson 3000m Steeplechase Finished 10th
Kyle Perry 3000m Steeplechase Finished 1st
Kevin Ahlstrom 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Rhyan Atrice 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Kevin Biesinger 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Rob Skidmore 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Stephan Shay 10000m Finished 17th (29:43.25)
* All Times Central
Ten Advance to Nationals
PROVO -- Looking to top off its season, 10 athletes from the BYU men’s track and field team will travel to Fayetteville, Ark. to compete at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships beginning Wednesday.
“Obviously we’re excited to have as many athletes going to nationals as we do,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “Our goal is to have as many be All-American as we possibly can and to score as many points as we can to be in the top 25. Our team is healthy and I feel positive about its ability to advance and score well for our team.”
The majority of the men’s competitors will be competing in day one of the competition, beginning Wednesday.
Events for BYU begin at 11:30 a.m. CT with the decathlon. Sophomore Meelis Kosk, No. 24, will go up against 24 athletes beginning with the 100 meter dash, followed by the long jump, shot put, high jump and 400 meter dash.
Following the decathlon, the qualifying round for the men’s pole vault will begin at 4:30 p.m. CT. Senior Bob Low goes into the competition ranked No.6 with a height of 5.45 meters (17 feet 10.5 inches). Low’s height earned him a spot tied for fourth in the BYU record books earlier this season.
After the pole vault, sophomore Blaine Baker, No. 16, will compete in the javelin throw beginning at 8:00 p.m. CT. Baker’s season-best mark of 68.76 meters (225 feet 7 inches) earned him a second-place spot in the BYU record books.
Senior All-American Kyle Perry, ranked No. 4 nationally and junior regional champion Richard Nelson, No. 15, will go to battle in the 3000 meter steeplechase. Perry goes in with a time of 8:40.20 with Nelson close behind in 8:47.98. The steeplechase is scheduled to begin at 8:15 p.m. CT.
The remaining events for the Cougars, the decathlon, the 4x400 meter relay and the 10,000 meter run will begin Thursday.
Kosk will begin day two of the decathlon at 2 p.m. CT beginning with the 110 meter hurdles, followed by the discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500 meter run.
Freshmen Rhyan Atrice will be joined by juniors Kevin Ahlstrom, All-American Kevin Biesinger and Rob Skidmore to compete in the qualifying round of the 4x400 relay at 8:40 p.m. CT. The team goes in with a No. 17 automatic qualifying time of 3:08.49.
Finishing off Thursday’s events will be the final round of the men’s 10,000 meter run, where senior Stephan Shay, No. 25, will represent the Cougars. Stephan enters the competition with a season time of 28.56.71. The race will begin at 9:45 p.m. CT.
The final rounds of the men’s javelin, pole vault and 4x400 meter relay will be Friday.
Cougars Competing at Nationals
Name Event First Competition
Meelis Kosk Decathlon Wed., 11:30 a.m.
Bob Low Pole Vault Wed., 8 p.m.
Blaine Baker Javelin Wed., 8 p.m.
Kyle Perry 3000m Steeplechase Wed., 8:15 p.m.
Richard Nelson 3000m Steeplechase Wed., 8:15 p.m.
Kevin Ahlstrom 4x400m relay Thurs., 8:40 p.m.
Rhyan Atrice 4x400m relay Thurs., 8:40 p.m.
Rob Skidmore 4x400m relay Thurs., 8:40 p.m.
Kevin Biesinger 4x400m relay Thurs., 8:40 p.m.
Stephan Shay 10000m Thurs., 9:45 p.m.
* All Times Central