BYU track and field athletes place top-five at nationals

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BYU track runners race to the finish line at practice earlier this season. Two 800-meter runners finished top-five at Nationals on Saturday. (Natalie Bothwell)

All three BYU track and field competitors placed top-five in their events at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama on Saturday.

BYU head track and field coach Ed Eyestone was impressed with runners Shea Martinez-Collinsworth and Shaquille Walker and jumper Zachary Blackham.

“The bottom line is the athletes went out and performed and weren’t intimidated,” Eyestone said. “We got great efforts out of them.”

Martinez-Collinsworth placed fifth in the women’s 800-meter finals with a time of 2:06.57.

Walker finished the men’s 800-meter finals in third place with a time of 1:47.50.

BYU is the only school is the country to have both a male and a female All-American in the 800-meter race.

Blackham took third in the men’s high jump with a mark of 2.18 meters.

The men’s team took 19th overall with only two competitors.

Martinez-Collinsworth was thankful to see all her hard work pay off.

“Just getting to nationals is a hard thing,” Martinez-Collinsworth said. “I just tried to close strong and stay positive throughout the race and enjoy the moment. I was happy with the outcome and being able to represent BYU. I’m grateful for my coaches and everyone who helped me get to this point. I’m really grateful for BYU and everything it does to help us succeed.”

The Cougars travel to Los Angeles to kick off the outdoor season at the Trojan Invitational March 18-19.

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