Seven track and field athletes qualify for regionals
LOS ANGELES – Seven BYU track and field athletes had regional qualifying times at the first outdoor meets of the season at the Trojan Invitational and UNLV Spring Invitational/Shelia Tarr-Smith Multis.
“I think it was a good weekend for us. The first outdoor meet is just a great target baseline for the outdoor season,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I think this was a grand opening for us to have seven regional qualifying marks out of our first meet. I think that’s a nice strong opening.”
Madison Pachner and Lauren Ellsworth were two of the women to have qualifying regional marks in Los Angeles. Pachner had a mark of 51.85 meters in the discus and placed fifth overall. It was her new personal best and was three meters better than her previous personal record. Ellsworth placed first in the 800 meters with a time of 2:08.88.
Nicole Naatjes competed at the UNLV Spring Invitational/Shelia Tarr-Smith Multis in Las Vegas and placed first in the pole vault. Her mark of 4.10 meters tied her personal best to qualify her for regionals.
Additional female athletes who participated at the Trojan Invitational included Kristi Rush who won the women’s 1500 meters and Chloe Richardson who placed first in the triple jump.
On the men’s side, Aaron Fletcher, Mitchell Briggs and Rory Linkletter took first, second and third, respectively, in the steeplechase with times good enough to get them to regionals in the event.
Babatomiwa Adegoke took third in the long jump with a mark of 7.31 meters. Eyestone believes his mark is about half an inch outside of regional qualifying. Criag Merkley had a nice showing in the discus with a mark of 52.87 meters and Tatenda Tsumba had a third-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 21.13.
Marcus Dickson and Connor Ross went one and two in the 1500 meters with times of 3:47.60 and 3:48.61, respectively. Wyatt Warnick improved on his season best in the javelin throw with a mark of 66.15 meters.
“A lot of times we don’t expect athletes to get a qualifying mark at the first meet of the year, but we still want them to get close to it,” Eyestone said. “So the fact that we had seven people get those marks is nice because it allows them to relax a little bit. Now they can train for the national meet.”
Click here for complete meet results from the Trojan Invitational.
Next up for BYU track and field is the Aztec Invitational next Friday and Saturday in San Diego.
Outdoor season begins in Los Angeles
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field opens up its outdoor season this Friday and Saturday at the Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.
“This weekend really marks the first outdoor meet of the season. It sets the tone and we hope to get some more regional qualifiers,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “It will be a good opportunity for some of the athletes to post marks that will hopefully get them through to the regional meet. This will also be a great chance for those who were de-emphasized during the indoor season to come out swinging.”
Eyestone says most of the athletes competing this weekend were either regional qualifiers or those close to qualifying last year.
Male athletes who will compete, among others, this weekend include distance runners Mitchell Briggs and Aaron Fletcher. Sophomore Tyler Crofts will make his season debut in the steeplechase. Middle distance runners Connor Ross and Marcus Dickson, who both normally run the 800 meters, will be running the 1500 meters.
Female athletes who will make the trip include middle distance runners Kaylee Packham, Madelyn Brooks and Lauren Ellsworth. Packham and Brooks are expected to participate in longer distance events. Ellsworth, a freshman, will be running the 800 meters.
Multi-event athletes, high jumpers and pole vaulters will also be in action Thursday through Saturday. They will be heading to Las Vegas to compete in the UNLV Spring Invitational/Shelia Tarr-Smith Multis.
“Our main goal is to increase the number of people we get to the NCAA and regional meets this outdoor season,” Eyestone said. “We had a good group go last year, but we’d like to improve and continue to get more and more people not just to the regional meet, but to the national meet. Our focus is on making it to nationals.”
For complete meet results, visit the BYU women's track and field schedule page.