BYU track and field travels to Austin, Texas, this weekend where 46 qualifying athletes will compete in the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminaries.
“When you go into the preliminaries, it’s a celebration of those athletes who made it, but first and foremost, the goal is to advance to the national meet in Eugene, Oregon, by finishing in the top 12,” said coach Ed Eyestone. “The secondary goal is to improve on your position coming in and move up.”
The women’s team is currently No. 23 in the USTFCCA NCAA Division I rankings. On the women’s side, there are 22 entries in 10 events, and on the men’s side, there are 31 entries in 16 events.
To advance to the NCAA Championships, athletes must finish in the top 12 in their individual events in the preliminaries. Heading into regionals, BYU has one relay team and 13 athletes that fall inside the top 12 rankings.
Thursday marks the start of various events. Brenna Porter, ranked No. 9, will compete in the first round of the 400-meter hurdles.
Chase Horrocks, ranked No. 9, will run in the 1500-meter and Tatenda Tsumba, who holds the No. 10 spot, will compete in the 100-meter.
Shea Collinsworth sits at No. 3 in the country and will compete in the 800-meter.
Clayton Young, ranked No. 3, will run in the 10,000-meter with No. 15 Jonathan Harper and No. 12 Rory Linkletter.
The quarterfinals of these various events will take place on Friday and Saturday.
Friday evening, the 3000-meter steeplechase will occur. Representing on the women’s side is No. 6 Courtney Wayment, No. 4 Erica Birk and No. 3 Kristi Rush. On the men’s side, BYU has No. 8 Daniel Carney and No. 7 Clayson Shumway.
Additional athletes to look for on Friday include Jameson Shirley, ranked No. 15 in the pole vault and Andrea Stapleton, ranked No. 10 in the high jump.
The BYU 4 X 100-meter relay team, ranked at No. 12, is set to run on Saturday.
“We’re not ruling anyone out and there is hope for everyone to, at the very least, improve on their ranking coming into this meet, and at the very best, finish top 12 and advance,” Eyestone said. “This meet is not so much about winning your event because it’s a preliminary heat. Really, you just want to finish in the top 12.”
Preliminaries begin Thursday, May 25, and will run through Saturday, May 27. The event will be held at the Mike A. Myers Stadium at the University of Texas at Austin.