Cougars Look For Final MWC Championship
PROVO, Utah -- In its final year in the Mountain West Conference, the No. 15 BYU men’s outdoor track and field team will compete at the MWC Conference Championships in Fort Collins, Colo. The team will try to make its exit as champs again, winning the title every year of competition since 1999.
“Our expectation is to win, we have never lost and we don’t want that to happen,” head coach Mark Robison said. “It is something no one has been able to do and I expect some very good performances and some amazing things.”
BYU has experienced tremendous success in the Mountain West, winning 10 of 11 MWC indoor meets and claiming 11-consecutive outdoor championships. The Cougars will move to competition in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) during the indoor track season and then compete independently during the outdoor season while earning both team and individual qualification for the NCAA Regional and National Championships.
“We are excited, we feel like we are in pretty good shape,” Robison said. “It has been tough to figure out who we are going to take and who we have to leave behind.”
The meet will only allow 28 athletes from BYU to compete, leaving several competitors watching from home. Coaches had to make tough decisions to bring the athletes that they felt could place the highest, even though many at home are capable of placing for the Cougars.
This year’s competition will feature several athletes across the MWC in the midst of some of the most successful campaigns in school history and BYU is no different.
“It is going be a great meet with great weather and there are some phenomenal athletes on the men’s side,” Robison said. “It is going to be a real battle.”
Junior Miles Batty won an individual indoor national championship in the mile after he broke the 31-year old school record in the mile earlier in the season at 3:55.79. During the outdoor season Batty broke the school’s 1500 meters record along with setting the nation’s fastest collegiate mark by more than three seconds at 3:36.25. Batty is also ranked 20th in the NCAA in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48.68.
Senior Leif Arrhenius also took home a national title during indoor season in the shot put and during outdoor has marks in the top six in the NCAA for both the shot put and the discus throw.
Competing in the throws is senior Oliver Whaley who enters competition with the 15th-best collegiate throw in the hammer with a 65.16m (213-9.00). Fellow senior, Sean Richardson will throw the javelin and currently ranks 25th in the NCAA with a mark of 70.38m (230-11.00).
Always a strong event for BYU, the pole vault will showcase two Cougars looking to make an impact. Senior Chris Little and sophomore Victor Weirich currently are tied for the 10th-best mark in the country, clearing 5.35m (17-6.50).
The meet will begin Wednesday and Thursday with the decathlon and heptathlon getting underway at noon MT each day. The rest of the field and running events will begin Friday at 10 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m with the meet concluding at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
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