BYU Athletics Blog | June 2012 | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Athletics Blog | June 2012

Walker and Sork's winning race at the USA Junior Championships

Jun 19, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:59 am | Permalink

It has been chronicled here on that Shaquille Walker won the 800 meters at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships last weekend and has qualified for the IAAF World Championships in Barcelona. What has not been mentioned is that the second-place finisher who also qualified for the World Junior Championships is BYU signee Tanner Sork from Camas, Wash.

As you can see in the video below, Sork was in the top two or three throughout the race, fell back to fourth before sprinting ahead to take second right at the end. Sork came into the race ranked No. 1 in the nation among high school runners in the 800 meters. We'll have more on both Walker and Sork as the World Junior Championships approach.

Video of Shaquille Walker after winning 800 meters at USA Junior Championships

Jun 18, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:09 pm | Updated: June 18, 2012 4:10 pm | Permalink

Shaquille Walker discusses his victory in the 800 meter final at the 2012 USA Junior Track and Field Championships on June 16. Walker will represent the U.S. at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona from July 10 to 15.

Successful first day at USA Junior Championships

Jun 15, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 10:37 pm | Updated: June 16, 2012 12:08 am | Permalink

Freshmen Shaquille Walker and Kevin Nielsen had a successful first day at the USA Junior Championships on Friday in Bloomington, Ind.

In the 800 meter prelims, Walker won his heat and had the second-best time of the day of 1:50.97. By winning his heat, Walker automatically advances to the 800 meter final on Saturday.

Nielsen is in third in the decathlon with five events behind him. His point total of 3,811 puts him 251 points behind the leader, Gunnar Nixon from Arkansas. Nielsen's highest-scoring events of the day were the long jump (7.03m for 821 points) and the 400 meters (49.82 for 823 points). The remaining events include the 110 meter hurdles, the discus, pole vault, javelin and the 1,500 meters.

Walker and Nielsen are competing for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona from July 10 to 15.

Hartsock invited to Utah Jazz pre-draft workout

Jun 15, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 7:08 pm | Updated: June 16, 2012 3:15 pm | Permalink

Former BYU Cougar Noah Hartsock has been invited to a pre-draft workout with the Utah Jazz on Saturday at the Zions Bank Basketball Center. Hartsock was BYU's leading scorer this past season at 16.8 points per game and led the Cougars to a 26-9 record and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. He earned All-WCC and All-District honors. Here is the press release from the Jazz.

SALT LAKE CITY (June 15, 2012) – In preparation for the 2012 NBA Draft, the Utah Jazz will hold pre-draft workouts on Saturday, June 16 at the team’s practice facility, Zions Bank Basketball Center (1414 South 500 West).  Six players will work out for the Jazz basketball staff.  Media availability will begin on the court immediately following the workout; media members are encouraged to arrive by 10:45 a.m. (MT).

Draft profiles for each player are attached and are also available via the Jazz’s online press room (  High resolution headshots of each player are also provided through the site.  Please use the user name media and the password utahjazz to access the site.

Audio from the workouts will be available on the online press room shortly following each session.

The Jazz currently holds the 47th overall selection in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft, which will take place on June 28 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

Name Pos. Ht. Wt. School
Kim English G 6-6 220 Missouri
Jorge Gutierrez G 6-3 195 California
Noah Hartsock F 6-8 230 BYU
Robbie Hummel F 6-8 215 Purdue
Toure' Murry G 6-5 195 Wichita State
Malik Wayns G 6-2 200 Villanova

Chris Miles doing good on and off the court

Jun 15, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:52 pm | Updated: June 18, 2012 10:51 am | Permalink

The Deseret News posted an article online today about former Cougar big man Chris Miles. The 6-foot-11 center is coming off a successful season with the Hanau White Wings in Germany where he averaged 12.6 points and 7.7 rebounds. He helped Hanau to a 13-9 record and a spot in the postseason. 

According to Dick Harmon's Deseret News article, Miles attended a major workout in Chicago in front of NBA scouts and was told that he stood out. With the Jazz, Knicks, Hornets and Lakers in attendance, here's hoping Miles gets a shot with an NBA team.

The main focus of Harmon's article was the charity work Miles is involved with. Miles is working with TSXL to benefit the Eaton Alliance, which assists people with autism. Miles and TSXL will host a gourmet dinner and auction at The Manor at the Shops at Riverwoods on June 25 at 5:30 p.m. BYU coach Dave Rose will be the guest speaker and vacations, sports equipment, hunting and fishing trips and more will be auctioned off. Visit for more information.

Check out this article written by Harmon when Miles was playing for BYU. Miles has two younger brothers who are autistic and he was very involved in caring for his brothers while growing up.

Walker and Nielsen to compete at USA Junior Championships

Jun 13, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 4:26 pm | Updated: June 13, 2012 4:35 pm | Permalink

Two BYU freshman will compete at the USA Junior Outdoor Championships in Bloomington, Ind., this weekend, June 15 to 17. Shaquille Walker will compete in the 800 meters and Kevin Nielsen will compete in the decathlon.

The meet will include the nation’s best high school standouts and college freshmen and will be held at the Robert C. Haugh Track and Field Complex on the campus of Indiana University.

This weekend’s meet will serve as a qualifier for the IAAF World Junior Championships. Top performers will be part of the American team that will compete in Barcelona, Spain, from July 10 to July 15.

During the indoor season Walker was a member of the distance medley relay team that won the MPSF Championship and set the all-time BYU record with a time of 9:29.00. He also posted his best indoor 800 meter time of 1:49.41 at the UW Qualifier in March.

Outdoors, Walker earned second-team All-America honors as a member of BYU’s 4x400 meter relay team. He also advanced to the NCAA Division I West Preliminary in the 800 meters. Walker’s best outdoor 800 meter time of 1:49.84 came at the Rafer/JJK UCLA Invitational.

Nielsen posted decathlon scores of 6,588 at the Robison Invitational and 7,030 at the SDSU Aztec Track & Field Invitational. He is ranked No. 61 in the nation and No. 7 among all freshmen.

BYU athletes have acheived great success at the Junior Championships. In 2006, Chris Carter won the USA Junior Championships in the 400 meter hurdles and went on to win the World Junior Championships. That same year Amy Fowler took second at the USA meet and eighth at the World meet.

More recently, Chase Dalton and Curtis Carr competed in the USA and World junior meets in 2008 in the decathlon and 3,000 meter steeplechase, respectively. Dalton won the U.S. title with a score of 7,202 while Carr won the steeplechase in 8:55.64. At Worlds, Carr finished 10th (8:53.79) and Dalton took 11th (7,174).

Batty looking to qualify for Olympics

Jun 13, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 11:14 am | Updated: June 13, 2012 1:46 pm | Permalink

UPDATE (June 13, 1:45 p.m. MT): Batty's situation got a little more interesting as he recently announced via Twitter that he broke his wrist diving for the finish line at nationals. Don't worry, he convinced his doctor to not put him in a hard cast so he can run at the trials.

With a successful collegiate career in the rearview mirror that included two national championships and six all-America honors, Miles Batty is now focused on making the U.S. Olympic Team in the 1,500 meters.

To qualify for the team, Batty must accomplish two things: finish in the top three at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials and achieve the Olympic A Standard. Batty will attempt to check the latter off of his to do list this weekend in Indianapolis.

The Olympic A Standard for the 1,500 meters is 3:35.50. Batty’s career mark is 3:37.50, a time he clocked at the Occidental High Performance Meet earlier this season. By taking care of the Olympic A Standard this weekend, Batty will be able to focus on a top three finish at the Olympic Trials and not worry about his time.

The Olympic Trials will be held June 21 to July 1 at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon. The qualifying round for the 1,500 meters is on June 28 with the semifinals scheduled for the 29th. The finals will be held July 1.

While Batty is moving on to a bigger stage with brighter lights, let’s take a moment to reflect on his incredible BYU career that included the aforementioned All-America honors and national championships as well as numerous academic awards.

Cross Country

  • USTFCCCA All-American (2010, 2011)
  • WCC Individual Champion (2011)
  • MWC Individual Champion and Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year (2010)
  • Mountain Region Athlete of the Year and Mountain Region Champion (2011)
  • Second-place at the Mountain Regional (2009, 2010)
  • First-team all-conference (2009, 2010, 2011)
  • All-Region (2009, 2010, 2011)

Indoor Track

  • NCAA record holder in the mile with a time of 3:54.54 at the 2012 Millrose Games
  • NCAA National Champion in the mile and the distance medley relay (2011)
  • USTFCCCA All-American in the mile and distance medley relay (2011, 2012)
  • USTFCCCA National Men's Track Athlete of the Year (2011)
  • USTFCCCA Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year (2012)
  • MPSF champion in the 800 meters and distance medley relay (2012)
  • MWC mile champion (2011)
  • MWC All-Conference (mile 2009, 2011, distance medley relay 2009, 2011)

Outdoor Track

  • USTFCCCA All-American in the 1,500 meters (2011, 2012)
  • USTFCCCA Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year (2011)
  • MWC All-Conference (1500m 2009, 1500m 2011, 800m 2011)

Academic Honors

  • Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship recipient (2012)
  • Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year for Men's Track & Field and Cross Country (2011)
  • Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-American (2011)
  • Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-District (2011, 2012)
  • USTFCCCA Division I Indoor Scholar Athlete of the Year (2011)
  • MPSF Scholar-Athlete (2012)
  • MWC Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-MWC (2011)
  • WCC All-Academic (2011)

Softball Team Earns Votes in Final Polls

Jun 12, 2012 - Posted by Jordan Christiansen at 12:02 pm | Permalink

The Cougar softball team received votes in the final polls released today after reaching the championship game of the NCAA Eugene Regional and finishing with a 45-15 record this past season.

In the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 poll BYU garnered 12 votes to finish ranked No. 30 while getting four votes to finish tied for No. 37 in the Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll.

BYU's 45 wins on the season tied for second-most in program history were the 13th-most victories of any team in the NCAA this year. The Cougars also finished in the top-15 nationally in double plays per game (10th), batting average (11th), scoring (12th) and win percentage (14th).

BYU's highest final ranking in program history is No. 15 at the end of the 2010 season.

Cosic Hall of Fame induction

Jun 08, 2012 - Posted by Kyle Chilton at 3:46 pm | Updated: June 8, 2012 4:04 pm | Permalink

The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame today uploaded several induction speaches to its YouTube page today. One that was uploaded was the induction of the late Kresimir Cosic, one of BYU's all-time greats and one of the most influential figures in the history of basketball in Europe. Cosic was enshirned to the Hall of Fame as part of the class of 1996.

His wife Ljerka accepted the nomination and induction and gives a touching account of his life. The video is worth the eight minutes it takes to watch.

For those that prefer to read instead of watching, here are some highlights. Ljerka discussed Kresimir's great basketball career and his greatness as a man. She mentioned how he was a a caring husband and father and talked about his courage to live as a man of God and a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the communist era in eastern Europe.

"Kreso wasn't just a great basketball player and coach. He was also a man of God, a believer and a patriot. A wonderful husband and a kind father."

"In the communist era he had the courage to be a believer. A Mormon, a time when worship of God was dangerous for an ordinary person, let alone for a public figure of his stature."

"Kreso's imagination set him apart. It was as if he was of another day and age, a true visionary."

Cosic was a visionary player and has been called the "first great international player to play college basketabll in the United States (Billy Packer)." He was an All-American (the first non-American to earn the distinction), All-WAC and led BYU to two WAC titles and two NCAA Regional Tournament appearances. He turned down multiple offers to play in the NBA to serve as an ambassador for the game in Europe. As a player he won three Olympic medals as a member of the Yugoslavian National Team — two silver and one gold. He then served as the coach of the Yugoslavian National Team for many years and guided the team to a silver medal in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.

Following coaching he served as a Croatian diplomant at the embassy in Washington, D.C. He died in 1995 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Ljerka shared a great quote from Kresimir during the inducation that sums up the way Cosic played and the way he felt about the game of basketball:

"The thrill of the game is in pure competition, not in the competition that money buys." 

Cosic is also a member of the Cougar Club Hall of Fame.

Cosic's jersey was retired by BYU on March 4, 2006.

LDS Church News article on Cosic.

New Zealand's Maori TV features Bronco Mendenhall

Jun 07, 2012 - Posted by Brett Pyne at 8:13 pm | Updated: June 8, 2012 2:33 pm | Permalink

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall appeared on the most popular sports show in New Zealand this week when he spent an hour on the famous Code couch at Maori Television in Auckland.

Coach Mendenhall was warmly greeted by the show hosts, including Jenny-May Coffin, a New Zealand netball legend, and celebrity rugby players Glen “Oz” Osborne and Awen Guttenbeil along with current rugby standout Liam Messam.

During the show Coach Mendenhall discussed BYU, college football, rugby, recruiting, the honor code, NCAA rule changes, quarterbacks, the NFL bounty issue, his family connections to New Zealand and the Maori culture, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and more.  

Other guests on the show included Jerome Kaino, a player for the famous All Blacks rugby team, Lesley Vainikolo, a former Kiwi and England rugby player currently playing in France, and Allan Tonkin, the barber to the stars at New Flava Barbers.  The band, Tomorrow People, also was featured.

After the show, Coach Mendenhall received the star barbershop treatment. Keep posted for possible photos of the new do.

Check out the entire show online at Maori Television.