BYU’s track and field teams had several athletes record personal best marks over the weekend and have many athletes that will now compete at the NCAA West Regionals later this month in Austin, Texas.
Both men’s and women’s teams sent athletes to separate meets on the East Coast. Most athletes participated at the IC4A Championships in Princeton, N.J. while others participated at the Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Ga.
Victor Weirich had one of the top performances for the men’s team by placing first in the pole vault clearing a height of 17-10.59.
“Victor Weirich has been banged up the last month,” men’s head coach Mark Robison said. “We are finally getting him healthy and he looked very, very good.”
Other highlight performances included Joshua Weirich and Chase Dalton in the decathlon. Weirich placed second overall and Dalton placed fourth.
“The two decathletes did extremely well,” Robison said. “Chase Dalton had some really great performances.”
Dennis Christensen set his own personal record in the shot put with a throw of 57-03.50.
“Christensen threw 20 inches further than he’s ever thrown,” Robison said. “He has had a very good freshman year.”
Jared Ward finished first overall in the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:59.56 and teammate Steve Flint finished second overall in the 3,000 meter steeplechase with a time of 8:51.81.
The men’s team will have at least 23 athletes participate at the west regionals with the possibility of 26. Out of the athletes competing at regionals, 4-8 of them have a good chance at advancing to nationals.
“We need to go perform well and see how things shake out,” Robison said.
The women’s team had many of their own notable performances including a couple first place finishers.
Nicole Nielsen became the first conference champion for the women’s team finishing the 10,000 meters in 35:28.49.
Kelsey Brown took first overall in the 800 meters with a time of 2:03.95, three seconds ahead of her nearest opponent. Her time is good for fifth in the West this year.
“We are confident she can run even faster.” women’s head coach Patrick Shane said. “She is peaking right now.”
Candace Eddy Carlisle ran her best time of the year in the 1500 meters finishing in 3:22.35 while freshmen teammates Rachel Stewart and Ashleigh Warner placed fifth and ninth, respectively.
Shane was very pleased with Stewart, a walk-on from Montana, who now moves on to regionals by improving on her previous best time in the event by two seconds.
Andrea Nelson Harrison, Jennica Redd, and Maren Hanson Fassmann all recorded personal best times in the 3000 meter steeplechase with Harrison placing third overall.
Specifically, Nielsen’s and Nelson Harrison’s personal best times impressed Shane.
“I would say they were the co-athletes of the meet,” Shane said.
The women’s 4×400 team consisting of Nicole Rudd, Kelsey Brown, Allysa Hansen and Natalie Stewart ran the fastest relay time for the team this year placing third overall in 3:40.03.
Natalie Stewart also finished third in the 400 meter dash in 53.69 seconds.
“It was a good effort on our count,” Shane said. “I really felt encouraged by the way we performed.”
The men’s and women’s teams’ top athletes will now compete May 23-25 at the NCAA West Regionals in Austin, Texas.