Men's Track Ties for 13th at Nationals
FAYETTEVILLE -- With a total of 16 points, the BYU men’s track and field team tied for 13th place at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships Saturday.
“I am thrilled with how we did this week,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “We had three All-Americans, a national champion and finished 13th in the nation! Everyone performed better than they were ranked, except Meelis [Kosk], and that was just because of injury. What a great way to finish the season.”
The Cougar’s ranking is a huge improvement from last season’s 42nd placement with six points. Each athlete finished higher than they were ranked, minus Kosk who pulled out of the decathlon with 2,638 points due to injury
Finishing up day one of the competition, sophomore Blaine Baker ended 18th overall in the javelin throw with a final distance of 63.69 meters (208 feet 11 inches).
Going into day two, despite not advancing to the final round of the 4x400 meter relay, four Cougars earned their spot in the BYU record books, landing one of the fastest times in school history.
Juniors Kevin Ahlstrom, All-American Kevin Biesinger, Rob Skidmore and freshman Rhyan Atrice finished 14th overall with a time of 3:06.60.
Coming into the competition as No. 25, senior Stephan Shay stepped up his performance in the 10,000 meter run finishing higher-ranked than he entered. Shay completed the run in 29:43.25, 17th overall.
Senior All-American Kyle Perry and junior regional champion and All-American Richard Nelson each won their individual heats in the preliminary round of the 3000-meter steeplechase, advancing to the finals.
It was the final round of the steeplechase that gave both Cougars their All-America honor with Perry landing first-place with a lifetime best and Mountain West Conference All-time best time of 8:29.24, the second-best in BYU history. Nelson summed up the top-10 with a 10th-place time of 8:50.08.
Topping-off the championships for the Cougars, senior All-American Bob Low tied for a career-high and lifetime best mark in the pole vault competition. Clearing a height of 5.45 meters (17 feet 10.5 inches), Low secured third place overall with an All-America title in his pocket to end his collegiate career.
The Cougars complete their 2009 track and field season with both indoor and outdoor MWC championship titles, four All-Americans at indoor nationals, a ninth-place finish at regional’s and now tied for 13th with three All-Americans at outdoor nationals.
For complete results of the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships click here.
Cougar Final Results From Nationals
Name Event Schedule/Results
Blaine Baker Javelin Finished 18th
Meelis Kosk Decathlon Pulled out due to injury
Bob Low Pole Vault Finished 3rd
Richard Nelson 3000m Steeplechase Finished 10th
Kyle Perry 3000m Steeplechase Finished 1st
Kevin Ahlstrom 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Rhyan Atrice 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Kevin Biesinger 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Rob Skidmore 4x400m relay Did not advance (3:06.60)
Stephan Shay 10000m Finished 17th (29:43.25)
* All Times Central
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.