Men's DMR prepares to compete at the JDL Fast Track
PROVO, Utah – Members of the BYU men’s track and field team will gear up to compete at the JDL DMR Invitational in North Carolina this weekend as their last meet before conference championships. Events will begin Friday, Feb. 21, and continue through Saturday, Feb. 22.
“This weekend we’re taking a good group of men to the JDL Fast Track, which has provided a lot of the distance medley relay qualifiers in the past couple years,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “One of the reasons for that is because they get good teams together. Another reason is that it’s a 200m flat track so the NCAA gives them a 7.8-second allowance. That conversion can help us in getting a national-qualifying time.”
Competition for the Cougars will be headlined by the men’s distance medley relay (DMR) squad, featuring Talem Franco, Matt Owens, Michael Bluth and Colten Yardley. All four athletes have exhibited strong performances this season.
“I think we have the horses to get it done,” Eyestone said. “Talem Franco has shown he’s capable of running a 3:58 open mile, which will convert well. Matt Owens has come on strong this season and will be a good 1200m leg for us. Michael Bluth is stretching himself as he’s had fun experimenting with the 800m this season. Colten Yardley running the 400m for us will be very fast.”
Franco’s historic sub-four-minute mile (3:58.09) at the UW Invite placed him at No. 3 all-time on the BYU record board, behind Miles Batty and Doug Padilla. It was the first BYU sub-four-minute-mile since 2012.
Bluth ran a personal-best time of 1:50.63 in the 800m at the Dr. Sander Invitational. In addition to his showing in the 800m this season, Bluth won the 400m with a season-best 46.79 at the Nike Boise Invite. Bluth currently leads the Cougars this season in the 200m, 400m and 800m.
Eyestone is looking forward to Owens’ upcoming performance after running a competitive 4:01.32 mile at the Husky Classic last weekend.
Yardley has earned career bests in the 60m (11.13), 200m (21.77) and 400m (47.70) this season.
“When you put these four men together, each running a solid leg, I think we have a nice chance of getting one of those top-12 marks,” Eyestone said. “The relays are different than the open events, so only 12 will go to Nationals. That’s our goal.”
Follow BYU track and field on Twitter and Instagram @BYUTFXC for team updates. Live results can be found on the BYU track and field schedule page on the day of the meet. The schedule of events and meet information can be found on jdlfasttrack.com
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.