14 Cougars to compete in NCAA Championships

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By ROGER BROUGH

Fourteen BYU track and field athletes are at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, this week to compete against the best collegiate athletes in the nation.

“You always wish you could bring some more, but we have a great group going,” men’s head coach Mark Robison said in a news release. “The terrific thing is with this group, every one of them is capable of scoring points.”

Headlining the men’s group who qualified are junior Miles Batty and senior Leif Arrhenius. Batty will compete in the 1,500 meters, a race he set the school record in earlier this year with a time of 3:36.25. The time has held up as the fastest collegiate time all year and ranks as the fifth-best collegiate time in history.

“Going into the race I know winning is possible, but it’s never a sure thing,” Batty said. “It will definitely be a challenge for me. The 1,500 meter race is very strategic, so it can open it up for anyone to win. For me and several others, it’s going to be good to go quickly out of the gate to push others out of reach for the win.”

Batty has had an outstanding season and credits his success this season to his mental toughness.

“One thing I do in concentration is being better than I already have been,” Batty said. “I just try and daydream and thinking of the ideal situation to do better, keeping me motivated.”

Arrhenius will be the Cougars’ only athlete competing in two events, the discus and shot put. He has top 10-ranked marks in both events, including a shot put mark of 18.96m (62-02.50) and a discus throw of 61.16m (200-08.00).

The women’s team will be represented by Porshe Giddings, Morgan Haws, Lacey Bleazard, Katie Palmer, Ada Robinson and Diana Blauer.

Women’s head coach Patrick Shane said he is excited for his qualifiers to perform well at nationals and hopes they can perform their best.

“We’re resting now after training hard and want to go out and have our best performance at the national championship,” Shane said. “We’ll be happy with that. Whatever we score, it’s our goal to do our very best.”

The NCAA Championships are set to begin on the campus of Drake University today at 11 a.m. and continue through Saturday evening. Portions of the meet will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network on Friday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Coverage will continue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

 

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