Looking out for brothers and sisters of athletes is no new game when it comes to recruiting. Talent seems to be contagious within families. The Weirich family from Fredericksburg, Texas, definitely caught the bug.
Chris, Matt, Brian, Victor and Josh Weirich span a 12-year legacy of Weirich blood running on BYU’s track and field team. Chris, Matt and Victor are all pole vaulters, Brian ran distance and Josh is a decathlete. The closest family to having that many athletes on one team consecutively is the Arrhenius family, with three brothers on the track and field team.
“The best thing I was able to enjoy at BYU was competing with my brothers,” Brian Weirich said. “By far the best experience I have ever had. When I was running around the track, they (Victor and Matt) would be at the pole vault pits yelling for me. Hearing them yell for me every time, even at nationals, that always stuck out to me that I was able to hear them.”
That’s right, nationals. Not only did these five brothers grab a spot at one of the top track and field teams in the country — currently No. 17 — Matt, Brian and Victor are All-Americans. Matt and Victor are All-Americans in the pole vault, and Brian snagged a national championship in the distance medley relay.
The competition is more intense for Chris, Matt and Victor because the guys they are trying to beat are their brothers.
“My only motivation is to go higher than my brothers,” Victor said. “That was my only motivation to keep going high.”
Victor is now the highest pole vaulter in the family and the highest in the school having cleared 5.50 meters, which is about 18 feet.
“Growing up I always saw the legacy as going to BYU and being on the track team,” Victor said. “Now that we (Victor and Josh) are here, we have had two older brothers go to nationals and that was my next drive, ‘Okay, I want to go to nationals.’ So now Brian is a national champion, and I want to be a national champion.”
This family is not kidding when it comes to competition. At a family holiday last year, all nine Weirich siblings, six spouses and the Weirich parents participated in a homemade obstacle course around the family farm, which included shooting pellets at targets, drawing something with your nose, climbing a playground without cracking an egg balanced on a spoon, and trying to do it as fast as you can — and faster than anyone else.
“They have always been very competitive,” Brenda Weirich, their mom, said. “I know Victor has always been out to beat Matthew’s record, and I know Josh is out to beat Chris’ record.”
Chris, Matt, Victor and Josh are all envious of Brian’s national championship. Although Matt and Victor have achieved All-American status, Victor and Josh still have some chances to be the best Weirich brother.
“It’s all in good fun, but they are competitive as heck,” BYU track and field head coach Mark Robison said. “I can imagine in their family playing a board game was probably all-out war.”
Throughout their competitions and drive to beat each other, these brothers never lost sight of what was really important.
“Being able to be there with Victor, Matt, Chris and Josh — it’s an awesome experience being there with all your brothers and doing what we love best, which is track and field,” Brian said. “If you can put track and field together with your family, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
On two separate occasions, there were three Weirich brothers on the team together at one time. First Matt, Brian and Victor had their year, and then Brian, Victor and Josh trained together.
“Seeing three of my boys compete at one time was the most awesome feeling in the whole wide world,” Brenda said. “I was extremely proud of them all.”