The BYU men’s and women’s track and field teams, led by Shaquille Walker’s 800 meter performance, broke records and set personal bests at the Washington Invitational on Saturday.
Shaquille Walker set a new BYU indoor all-time 800 meters record with a time of 1:46.97.
“We had some outstanding marks on the men’s side led by Shaquille who set a school record in the 800 meters,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “He set the meet record last year, so he improved on that and also set the school record in the process. It was phenomenal and it’s going to be one of the top times in the country.”
Walker’s personal best in Washington is just one step on the road to the Olympics in Brazil this summer.
“Everything I’m doing right now is to prepare me for the Olympic trials in July. We’re training and racing with a long-term approach, but on the day of the race we have a plan of what we want to do that is aimed at the big, overall goal,” Walker said. “We break it down so I can focus from race to race while still having our sights set on the Olympic trials.”
Jonathon Harper ran a personal record with eight minutes flat in the 3,000 meters. Chase Horrocks ran the mile in 4.04 and Zachary Stetler threw 17.16 meters in the shot put.
Kristi Rush made it to BYU’s all-time top 10 list with a personal record in the mile with a time of 4.44.78. Shae Martinez-Collinsworth finished the 800 meters in 2:06.70 and placed third out of 62 competitors. Three other BYU runners were top 20 in the same race.
Laura Young won her heat in the 5000 meter race and finished in 17.03.13. Sadie Neilsen threw a personal best of 14.79 meters in the weight throw.
The Washington Invitational was not a scored meet but offered the athletes a chance to earn qualifying times to prepare for the NCAA and conference meets.
“I think it was an exceptional meet,” Eyestone said. “It was a real step up for the season thus far. Everyone that came did a great job.”
The BYU track and field teams head to Pocatello, Idaho for the Mountain State Games and Albuquerque, New Mexico for the New Mexico Collegiate Track and Field Classic next weekend.