Last Chance Meet proves to be a day of personal bests heading into NCAA Prelims
PROVO, Utah – BYU’s track and field team had several athletes set personal records in their events at the BYU Last Chance Meet on Friday, May 13.
With the NCAA West Preliminary only a week away, BYU participated in its third and final home meet of the season. This meet was a chance for the athletes to sharpen their performances before the team heads to Lawrence, Kansas, where the top 48 from each event in the West Region will compete for a spot at the NCAA Championships.
“The fun thing is just how many kids improved,” associate head coach Mark Robison said. “How many people PR’ed is just unbelievable. We had a ton that qualified (for Regionals) or that were already in that improved. Awesome weather, no one got hurt, it was just an awesome meet for us to bring things to a close for the regular season and now make the transition into the championship portion, which is the fun part of the year.”
With the majority of NCAA teams around the country competing in conference championship events this weekend, the Cougars used this meet not only as an opportunity for those that had not yet qualified for Regionals to run qualifying times, but a chance for several athletes to set personal bests as well.
Sprinter Tatenda Tsumba set a new personal record in the 100 meters, running a 10.27 and beating his previous mark of 10.34. He also set a PR of 20.77 in the 200-meters. The two marks will give him a comfortable spot in the top 48 in the West in both events.
True freshman Connor Ross ran a new personal best in the 800 meters with a time of 1:49.40, which will likely move him into the top 48 in the event, sending him on to the Prelims. Likewise in the 800 meters, Chase Horrocks set a new PR with a mark of 1:50.49, and Trevor Fuhriamn ran a 1:51.06, beating his previous mark by almost half a second.
The men’s 4x100 relay team ran a season best of 40.07, beating their previous mark of 40.12.
For the women’s team, sprinter Kensey Berry set a new PR in the 800 meters, taking nearly three seconds off her previous time by running a 2:08.17, a time good enough to place her in the top 48.
High jumper Erin Merkley cleared a personal best of 1.82 meters in her event, putting her in the national top 10 going into the Preliminaries.
The women’s 4x100 relay team also improved, topping their previous time of 46.10 with a new best of 46.07.
Robison says that the athletes are beginning to see that it is possible to improve even this late in the season, realizing that it is anyone’s race and that every athlete has a shot to get into the Prelims and onto the Championships. The teams feels a lot of excitement moving into the coming weeks.
“At this point in the season is when we want those kinds of things," Robison said. "We have trained hard, we have worked hard, and now we have some time to recover before we head to Kansas. This is just awesome.”
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.