The BYU men’s track team hopes to qualify several athletes for the National Championships this weekend at the 2013 Outdoor West Regional track meet in Austin, Texas.
The event will run May 23-25 from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day. The top 12 participants in each event qualify for the National Championships held in June.
The men’s team enters the regionals as the #19 ranked team in the nation qualifying 25 athletes for the meet. Only three schools will field more athletes than BYU’s team.
The distance events will be the strength of the men’s team. Jared Ward and Tyler Thatcher will be running in the 10,000 meters and both appear to have a good chance of placing in the top 12. Steve Flint looks strong as well in the 3000 meter steeplechase.
“We have five guys in the steeplechase,” men’s head coach Mark Robison said. “Steve Flint has run extremely well this year.”
Robison talked about a need for his athletes to be careful in the distance meets. Some athletes will try to push the pace and go all out from the start. Other athletes will lay back and save energy for a strong finish. Each athlete has to run their own race and stick to their strengths.
Victor Weirich has been a bright spot all year in the pole vault and enters the meet tied for the fifth best mark in the West.
The margin of error will be thin for Ryan Waite and David Graham in the 800 meters. Out of 48 participants, the difference between the fastest time and the slowest time is just over three seconds. Waite should qualify if everything goes as planned as he enters with a top 12 time.
Several other athletes will be competing in the preliminary rounds starting Thursday with hopes to place in the top 12 and advancing.
“The two things we want to do is improve our marks and compete well,” Robison said. “The only thing we care about the outcome is the mark.”