Armory Track and Field Center
216 Fort Washington Avenue New York NY 10032
NEW YORK CITY – Nachelle Mackie and Christen Guenther had record-breaking performances to lead the BYU women’s track and field team to a second place team finish at the prestigious New Balance Invitational.
"We had a great meet this weekend, both on Friday and Saturday," BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. "We are so proud of our girls for bringing it to New York this weekend. We are happy to come out and get second because there was some great competition here. We edged out national powers from LSU, Texas A&M and Baylor, which is great for our program."
Mackie won the 800 meters in an NCAA-leading time of 2:03.56. Her time broke the school record set by teammate Lacey Bleazard in her national championship win in 2009. Mackie’s time also broke the New Balance Invitational record for the 800m.
Guenther soared over 4.30m (14-1.25) in the pole vault and finished second in the event. Her mark broke the BYU record that was set last season by Rachel Fisher. The mark currently ranks sixth in the NCAA.
The performances by Mackie and Guenther paced the overall team effort at the meet. The Cougars scored 64 points as a team, a score that trailed only Clemson and earned the BYU women their third consecutive top two finish at the meet.
Senior Katie Palmer competed well alongside Mackie in the 800m and finished second in the event. Palmer crossed the line in 2:03.79, a mark that would rank atop the BYU and meet record boards if Mackie had not also broken both records in the same race. Palmer’s time also ranks second in the nation and trails only Mackie’s time.
Palmer also excelled in the 1000m race, an event in which she placed second in a school record time of 2:44.78. Senior Lacey Bleazard finished third in the race in 2:47.66 while Sarah Edwards, the defending champion in the event, finished fifth in 2:49.35.
Palmer, Bleazard, Edwards and Mackie combined their talents to break a 25-year old school record in the 4x800m. The four combined to finish in 8:37.97, over 18 seconds faster than the second place team.
BYU will split its squad between the Air Force Invitational and the Husky Classic on Feb. 10-11. The distance runners will head to the Husky Classic while sprinters and jumpers will compete at Air Force.
CLICK HERE for final results from the New Balance Invitational.
BYU Heads to New York
PROVO, Utah – With the indoor season coming to its midway point, the BYU track and field teams are heading to New York to compete in the annual New Balance Invitational.
Largely regarded as the premier indoor track meet each season, the New Balance Invite features top teams from around the country and offers a preview of the national championships. This season, seven of the top 11 women’s teams and five of the top 15 men’s teams will be in attendance.
The women’s team will look to build upon the recent success they have found in New York. Last season, the Cougars became the first women’s team from a non-BCS conference to win the meet. In 2010, BYU finished second as a team, and in 2009 finished fourth.
BYU will battle against No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Clemson, No. 6 Texas, No. 8 Texas Tech and several other top teams. The Cougars will be led by seniors Lacey Bleazard and Katie Palmer in the running events and Christen Botteron and Ada Robinson in the field.
On the men’s side, the Cougars will have to compete against No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Texas, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 12 Oklahoma. BYU finished fifth in the meet last season.
Victor Weirich will look to defend the pole vault title he claimed in 2011. BYU has won the men’s pole vault each of the last two seasons in New York.
The meet is scheduled to begin with the women’s 3000k eastern division on Friday at 10:25 a.m. EST. The final event of the meet will be the men’s 4x400m championship, which is scheduled to begin at 5:55 p.m.