Fifteen BYU track and field athletes advance to nationals

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Shea Collinsworth will advance to the NCAA Championships. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

Fifteen BYU track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships following the NCAA West Preliminaries held in Austin, Texas, from May 26-27.

“I’m really proud of the way our student-athletes rose to the occasion,” said coach Ed Eyestone. “As a combined program, this is the most men and women we’ve had qualify for nationals in the four years I’ve been head coach.”

The men’s team will send 13 members to nationals, the fourth-most of any school in the country.

BYU will also send six men’s distance runners (800-meter through 10,000-meter) to the meet, which is the most of any program.

Ten Cougars punched their tickets to nationals on the first day of the preliminaries. In the 3,000-meter steeplechase, Kristi Rush-Briggs finished in ninth place with a time of 10 minutes, 18.39 seconds.

Daniel Carney, Jacob Heslington and Mitchell Briggs qualified for nationals after finishing the men’s 3,000-meter steeplechase in fifth, eighth and 11th place respectively.

Tatenda Tsumba ran the 100-meter with a time of 10.16 seconds and the 200-meter with a time of 20:42.

Clayton Young advanced in the 5000-meter event with a time of 14:14.47, but not before qualifying with a time of 29:56.58 in the 10,000-meter on Thursday. Rory Linkletter also advanced in the 10,000-meter with a time of 29:51.63.

Tatenda Tsumba competes in the NCAA West Preliminaries. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

On Saturday, May 27, freshmen Chase Horrocks and Whittini Orton both qualified in the 1500-meter with respective times of 4:00.24 and 4:21.68.

“Whittini ran fearless in the faster of the two heats,” Eyestone said. “She was in ninth place but didn’t give up. She continued to fight, fight, fight all the way around.”

Coach Eyestone commented on Horrock’s performance saying he was smart and tactical.

Still, more Cougars advanced. In the 400-meter hurdles, Korey Smith ran a time of 50.69 and Max Scheible ran a personal best of 50.77.

Max Scheible and Korey Smith advance to the championship in the 400-meter event. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

“We are really happy with our 400-meter crew,” Eyestone said. “They knew they had to scrap for every tenth of a second they could.”

Shea Collinsworth qualified for nationals in the 800-meter with a time of 2:05.09 and Jackson Walker automatically qualified when he earned 7,483 points in the decathlon at BYU’s Last Chance Meet on May 13.

On the field, Andrea Stapleton earned fifth overall in the high jump with a mark of 1.79 meters and Zachary Stetler qualified and placed 10th overall with a throw of 18.20 meters in the shot put.

Qualifying athletes are scheduled to begin competition on Wednesday, June 7 in Eugene, Oregon, with championship heats scheduled for Saturday.

To stay updated on meet events, follow the BYU track and field Twitter account @BYUTFXC.