BYU: A Force to be Reckoned

BYU men’s and women’s track and field teams set many records at both the Washington and Air Force meets this weekend. The distance runners in Washington proved to be especially strong for the team.

“We didn’t do quite as well as I thought at Air Force,” men’s coach Mark Robison said. “But the guys did extremely well in Washington.”

For both men and women, results from the 800-meter runners seemed to be the most successful for the two meets.

“The 800 was an amazingly exciting race,” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said.

Three men and two women finished in the top 10 of the 800-meter race. Ryan Waite placed second overall with a time of 1:48.56, with Shaquille Walker and Justin Hedin close behind running 1:49.99 and 1:50.95, respectively.

As for the women, Nachelle Mackie finished first of the collegiate runners with a time of 2:04.97, the fastest time in the NCAA this season. Lacey Bleazard, NCAA champion in the 800 meter race last year, finished close behind Mackie with a time of 2:05.88 seconds.

Many Cougars performed well on an individual level, setting personal records and breaking national marks for this season. Katie Palmer, a senior mid-distance runner, was one of them. She ran the mile in 4:39.38 seconds, which ranks as the third-fastest time in NCAA history and second-fastest time in BYU’s history.

“I felt really great about my race today,” Palmer said in a press release. “I just barely missed the school record but that might be a good thing because now I’ll be motivated to break it as the season goes on.”

Finishing the fourth week of the season, the competitions are becoming progressively more competitive leading up to the NCAAs in a month. The Cougars will compete next weekend in the New Balance Invitational in New York.

“We keep getting better every week,” Shane said. “Excited to be heading to New York (next weekend) … we are very ready.”

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