This weekend proved lucky for both the men and women’s track teams at the University of Washington and the Air Force Academy. The outcomes of BYU’s powerhouse athletes were phenomenal and once-in-a-lifetime.
On the men’s side, Jared Ward broke BYU’s record for the indoor 5,000 meter run. He was trailed by Tylor Thatcher, whose time was also good enough to beat the original indoor record. Ward and Thatcher are both ranked in the top 16 nationally and are looking to compete in the NCAA indoor nationals meet.
“Well it’s exciting; a record at a university that had had prominent distance runners for a long time means something,” Ward said. “There’s not a better way to do it than with a teammate that goes under the record with you.”
The women’s 5,000 meter was just as eventful, bringing out four personal records for Carrie Jube, Natalie Shields, Nicole Nielsen and Kathryn Vidmar.
The women’s 3,000 meter race had all six BYU competitors set personal records as well for Candace Eddy Carlisle, Erica Birk, Laura Young, Maren Hanson Fassmann, Jennica Redd and Andrea Harrison. Young ran in the first heat and broke the freshman indoor school record. Twelve minutes later, Birk beat that same record and is now the holder.
“We had an amazing meet,” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “That was the best group of 3,000 meter runners I have ever had coaching.”
Another exciting race for both the men and the women was the 800 meter. Ryan Waite broke the school indoor record for the 800 meter with a time of 1:48.49, and took sixth overall. Nicole Rudd Bringhurst debuted her first 800 meter race with a time of 2:14.34.
Victor Weirich won the pole vault with a season best height of 18’2″, competing healthy for the first time this season, and tying for third place, nationally.
The Cougars have two weeks off as they prepare for the MPSF indoor championship meet which will take place at the University of Washington. Only 27 athletes will be selected to compete for each team.