Fletcher's win highlights big weekend for track and field
AUSTIN, Texas – Aaron Fletcher led the BYU track and field team this weekend, taking first place in the steeplechase at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.
“Whenever you have an event champion it’s a huge deal,” BYU track and field director of operations Ryan Waite said. “This meet is historic – it’s been around for a really long time and some of the best people in the world come and compete here. When you can walk away with one of the shirts that say ‘Texas Relay Champion’ – you kind of become a celebrity here in Austin.”
Fletcher had a time of 8:47.20 in the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase. It was a new personal record for Fletcher and he is projected to qualify for the NCAA West Prelims with that time.
Other top performances in Texas on the men’s side this weekend included Mark Carlson (400m hurdles) and Max Scheible (400m hurdles). Carlson ran the event in 51.60 while Scheible ran 52.00. Both times should get them to regionals.
Shaquille Walker (46.67 in the 400m) and Dennis Christensen (17.10m in the shot put) both placed first in their individual events at the Stanford Invitational. Walker, along with Marcus Dickson (3:44.73 in the 1,500m), Chase Horrocks (3:45.28 in the 1,500m), Connor McMillan (29:15 in the 10,000m), Spencer Hanson (29:22 in the 10K), Jonathon Harper (29:26 in the 10K) and Clayton Young (29:34 in the 10K) are all projected to make it in to the NCAA West Prelims with their performances this weekend.
On the women’s side, Elizabeth Adams had a big performance in Stanford. She took fourth overall in the javelin throw with a mark of 44.08m, which should qualify her for regionals. Madison Pachner finished third overall in the discus with a mark of 52.64m. It is good for No. 5 all-time in BYU outdoor history and should get her to the regional meet. Lauren Ellsworth had a season-best time of 2:07.65 in the 800m.
Two more regional-qualifying times came out of the Texas Relays for the women’s squad. Kaylee Packham ran the 400m hurdles in 59.29 and Alyssa Monteverde-Dalton covered the 100m hurdles in 13.56.
Lauren Shubin finished off the regional-qualifying performances from the weekend when she completed the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 10:32.77 at the San Francisco State Distance Carnival.
A few BYU athletes also competed at the UVU Invitational. Diamond Thomas (100m), Andrea Stapleton (high jump) and Kylee Trageser (pole vault) each took first place in their respective events.
After just three weeks of the outdoor season, the Cougars now have a total of 28 potential regional-qualifying athletes.
“I think all in all it was a really nice weekend for us,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I was impressed by our team’s attitude. They treated it like a business trip, and, for the most part, everyone took care of business.”
Visit the BYU women's track and field schedule page for complete meet results from this weekend.
Up next for BYU track and field is the Utah Spring Classic/Weber State Invitational in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona, next Friday and Saturday.
Four different meets on the schedule this weekend
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field will be dividing and conquering at four different meets in three different states this weekend in pursuit of even more regional and national qualifying marks.
Athletes will be competing in the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in Austin, Texas, at the Stanford Invitational in California, the San Francisco State Distance Carnival and at the UVU Invitational in Orem, Utah.
“I think things are rolling along really well. We continue to qualify more and more people with each passing week. I think this should be a big week for us,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “The continued push is to get more and more people to qualify for regionals. We have some people that got the marks this last week that we believe are going to be sufficient for regionals. Between the three competitions we are looking for big things from our athletes.”
A number of distance runners will be making their outdoor season debuts at the Stanford Invitational. It is the first of three large meets that BYU distance runners look forward to each year. Eyestone hopes most of them will return with qualifying marks for regionals.
“Stanford is a big deal because it marks the first opportunity that our true distance athletes have to compete. Many of them haven’t competed since cross country season last year. They’ve been working on getting in good shape and ready to roll. We hope they can get some good marks out of the way.”
Male athletes to watch include Jonathon Harper and Connor McMillan in the 10,000 meters at Stanford. Shaquille Walker (400 meters) and Chase Horrocks (1500 meters) will be standout male athletes also competing.
Tatenda Tsumba (100-meter dash), Mark Carlson (400 meter hurdles), Tyler Crofts (3000-meter steeplechase), Aaron Fletcher (3000-meter steeplechase), Jake Jarvis (pole vault), Jameson Shirley (pole vault), Kevin Nielsen (decathlon) and Jackson Walker (decathlon) are some of the athletes to watch at the Texas Relays.
On the women’s side, athletes to watch include Lauren Ellsworth (800 meters) and Ashleigh Warner (3000-meter steeplechase) who will be competing at the Stanford Invitational. Nicole Naajtes, Sierra Hansen and Anginae Monteverde will all be competing in the pole vault at the Texas Relays.
A few athletes will also be headed to San Francisco State University to compete in some of the long distance events at the SF State Distance Carnival. Yesenia Silva (10,000 meters) and Natalie Shields-Connolly (5,000 meters) will be top women athletes to watch.
Follow live results on the BYU women's track and field schedule page.