BYU track athletes ready to run at Nationals

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After hours of diligent training, mental preparation and several record-breaking performances, BYU’s men’s and women’s track teams are well-equipped for nationals this weekend in Nampa, Idaho.

Miles Batty and Nachelle Mackie, two of the 11 Cougars competing this weekend, were recognized Monday as the Mountain Region Track Athletes of the Year for their outstanding performances in the mile and 800 meters, respectively.

“She’s [Mackie] been undefeated all year and has led the nation from the first week until this last weekend, at the last chance meet where she didn’t run,” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “She broke our school record; that is the kind of talent she is.”

Shane said the 800-meter run is a strong event for both the men’s and women’s track teams.

Both Mackie and Katie Palmer, seeded second and third, respectively, will compete for the national title in this event.

This speed will transfer over to the distance medley relay, where  Mackie and Palmer will be accompanied by Lacey Bleazard, last year’s indoor national champion in the 800 meters, and Sarah Edwards, to compete in the competitive relay.

BYU’s men’s distance medley relay is seeded first going into nationals. Rex Shields, Ryan Waite, who will also compete openly in the 800, Shaquille Walker and Miles Batty hope to take away the national title in this event.

After a successful season of racing, Batty also has the national No. 1 and No. 6 ranking in the mile and 3,000 meters, respectively.

Cade Lindahl, one of the four male athletes competing in an open event at nationals, is seeded in the top 10 in the 400 meters with a time of 46.25 seconds.

Only two competitors qualified for field events. Victor Weirich and Christen Guenther will compete in pole vault, and are seeded fifth and eighth, respectively, for the competition.

“Our program is awesome,” BYU pole-vaulter Rachel Fisher said. “We have at least one pole vaulter go to nationals every single time.”

With a season of strong performances, BYU goes into nationals with confidence and excitement.

“Our goal is to have a great meet and find out how good we are this weekend,” Shane said.

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