Fifth Place Finish For BYU Men's Track
NEW YORK -- The No. 18 BYU men’s track team competed in one of the largest indoor meets in the country and came away with 43 points and a fifth place finish at the New Balance Invitational.
“We had some pretty good performances against some phenomenal competition,” head coach Mark Robison said. “I was pleased with how it went considering the competition, its tough to score points at this meet.”
The Cougars fifth place finish is their best finish at the New Balance Invite ever. Several top 25 teams were in attendance including four of the top five teams.
BYU moved up in the standings with help from a one-two finish from sophomore Victor Weirich and senior Chris Little in the championship division of the pole vault. Weirich and Little both managed to clear a mark of 5.40m.
“Having the pole-vaulters go one-two was really important,” Robison said. “This is the best we have ever done at this meet and I was really pleased.”
Senior Nathan Ogden also helped out by picking up a first place finish in the college mile run with a time of 4:08.59. Several distance runners ran in relays at the meet with the 4x800-meter team finishing fourth in the championship division with a time of 7:31.79.
Freshman Ben Johnston scored points for the Cougars by finshing third in the 800-meter college run with a time of 1:54.35.
In two separate 3000-meter divisions, senior Brandon Hebbert finished in 8:22.53 to take fourth place in the championship division with sophomore Rex Sheilds finishing seventh in the college division with a time of 8:20.28.
BYU’s 4x200 relay team of sophomore Sean Adams, freshman Mark Carlson, sophomore Cade Lindahl and junior Steven Hart finished sixth in the championship race with a time of 1:28.42.
The sprints helped BYU out as well, with Adams turning in a 48.18 time for sixth place in the championships while sophomore James Derek McAllister finished in fifth place in the college 200-meter in 22.65 seconds.
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With one of its biggest meets completed, BYU will compete in the Air Force Invitational and Washington Invitational next week.
Track Teams Leave for New York
PROVO -- With conference championships and the NCAA Nationals quickly approaching, BYU track teams are heading to the New Balance Invitational in New York to take on some of the best collegiate programs in the country.
Several ranked teams from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association poll will be among the 200-plus teams in attendance. No. 1 Florida will make its case to remain at the top of the leader board while, No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Texas Tech will all be competing.
“It’s always been an incredible meet because of the level of competition,” men’s head coach Mark Robison said. “It is an opportunity to compete against teams we don’t usually see and it’s great preparation for Nationals.”
The meet will be the first point-scoring meet of the season and the Cougars will be looking to make good decisions in races and events to earn points where they can.
“Like every week we are hoping to improve,” Robison said. “This time however, its more about making good decisions in races and getting better marks to get higher placement.”
BYU’s runners will spotlight the team look to be as strong as ever with several athletes making the trip. Junior Miles Batty will compete in the 800-meter, an event where he holds the seventh fastest time in the nation at 1:48.88. Junior Justin Hedin will also compete and he currently holds the 11th ranked 800-meter time at 1:49.59.
In the field events several pole vaulters will be trying to improve on their top season marks. Sophomore Victor Weirich has already cleared an automatic qualifying mark of 5.50m (18-00.50) and Junior Chris Little has a personal season-high of 5.30m (17-04.50), good enough for second and fifth in the NCAA.
The BYU women’s track and field team, currently ranked No. 7 according to the USTFCCCA poll, will be one of six NCAA top-10 teams competing at the New Balance Invitational. Other top teams include No. 2 and reigning national champion Texas A&M, No. 3 LSU, No. 5 Tennessee, No.6 Arkansas and No. 8 Texas.
“This is an opportunity for us to compete against some of the best teams in the NCAA,” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “This is the biggest collegiate indoor meet in the country and we are excited to go out and compete.”
Junior Lacey Bleazard will compete in the 800-meter run and enters the meet ranked second in the nation with a time of 2:05.55. Junior Katie Palmer will also compete in the 800m and currently holds the fifth-fastest time in the NCAA.
Also highlights the BYU team will be the distance medley relay team of Bleazard, Palmer, Natalie Stewart and Nicole Clark. The team put together the second-fastest DMR relay time in the country last week at the Washington Invitational and will look to run an automatic qualifying time in New York.
Sophomore Rachel Fisher highlights the field events for the Cougars and will compete in the pole vault. Fisher currently holds a top-10 pole vault mark and will also look to automatically qualify for Nationals on Saturday.