Women's Track & Field Blog

Getting to Know Janel Passey

Feb 27, 2015 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 1:15 pm | Updated: February 27, 2015 1:16 pm | Permalink

Janel Passey is a freshman from Hailey, Idaho. She redshirted during indoor track season but will compete during outdoor track season beginning in March. 

What is your favorite class?

Statistics

When did you start running?

My parents said ever since I could walk I would want to run in front of them when we went on walks. I did track in elementary school, but I was a sprinter. I didn’t get into distance running until the summer before high school. My parents started training for a marathon, and I thought it sounded cool. I started running with them and I couldn’t breathe. My form was awful, but I decided to stick with it so I joined the cross country team. I was really bad, but by the end of my freshman year I was able to travel to state as an alternate.

When did you know you were good at running?

My junior year I could tell I was getting better, but it was my senior year when I really noticed I was improving as a runner.

Did you always want to run for BYU?

I did, I definitely didn’t think I’d make BYU’s team, so I was kind of bummed out about that. The plan was to come to BYU, and if I didn’t make the team, I would join running clubs or run on my own. I went back and forth about trying out, then I was told I should. If I didn’t make it, then I would just go on with my other plans.

What were tryouts like?

It was scary. We did a track workout then had to run two college races unattached. If we did well at the two college races, then we would be on the team. I felt like I did what I could and Coach Shane told me I did well. It was a big relief when he told our group we finally made it.

Cross country or track?

I like cross country because it’s a different terrain, and it’s more adventurous than running in a circle. I like it because it’s not so structured and always something new.

Why BYU?

I really like BYU because of the religious aspect. It’s nice to be here where people have similar standards.

What are your favorite sports to watch?

I like to watch volleyball, basketball and gymnastics.

If you could be good at another sport, which sport would you choose?

Pole vaulting looks super cool, or rock climbing.

What is your hobby?

I do event organizing. I work with the Red Cross and do blood drives. I own my own 5K race so that’s been fun. I started doing it my junior year and did the race for charity. This will be my third year organizing the “Paint the Town” 5K race.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

I’d really like to meet Captain Moroni. I’ve always really looked up to him.

Who had the most influence on your running career?

My parents were always really big supporters. My high school coach was always the one who told me I had potential and told me I could do hard things. He helped me through a lot and helped me realize I could be a good runner.

What is your favorite part of your running?

I love distance running because it’s all about endurance and not giving up. It’s good for you mentally and physically but it’s also super fun. I’ve met some of the best people through running and had the greatest memories through running.

What was the most rewarding moment running?

Districts my senior year. I had never won a race before. I was seeded fifth, so I was like “Ok fifth is pretty good.’ Once the race started I moved into fourth and then third. I just thought, ‘Third is great so I’ll just stick here.’ My coach said, ‘Janel! You can do this! Don’t settle.’ So I moved into second and decided to go all out and went for first, and I actually ended up winning it.

What other talents do you have?

Some people say I’m good at drawing.

What are your pre-race rituals?

I always like to say a prayer in my mind or sing primary songs.

What is something few people know about you?

I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I am half-Argentine.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Bon Iver

Lumineers

What is your favorite movie?

I really like the Lord of the Rings series.

Tangled

Nacho Libre

Favorite quote

Part of Douglas Malloch’s poem, “Good Timber”

“Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. The further the sky, the greater the length. The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, in trees and men good timbers grow.”

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

It would be really cool to travel to Greece.

What do you want to do with your major?

I would like to possibly be an ultrasound technician.

Best track memory

My high school coach used to send the girls and boys teams out on long runs. We’d end up going in to the forest and playing a massive game of tag or hide-and-seek. We’d be chasing each other around but still get in our mileage.

Embarrassing moment

One time at girl’s camp, we were pranking the other camps in our stake. On the way back to our cabin we thought we were getting chased by a bear. It was pitch black so we all turned and ran really fast. I ran right in to a thick wood sign and knocked myself out. 

Advice for other runners

Run because you love to run. If you stick with it and you work hard you’ll definitely see results and improvements. Don’t give up on it.

New Track and Field Commit: Lauren Ellsworth

Dec 15, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 3:10 pm | Updated: December 15, 2014 3:23 pm | Permalink

At what point did you realize you could run in college?

“The first time I knew I could run in college was the end of my freshmen year. I had an unexpected finish to the year and I knew when it was over that I could only get better.”

What was the recruiting process like?

“It was a long process. I had certain criteria that I wanted the schools to fit. As each school didn’t fit it, I would cross them off. I basically narrowed it down to two schools. I went on a couple official visits and afterwards knew where I wanted to go.”

What were some of the criteria?

“I wanted to do both running and nursing. The coach was definitely important. I really liked Coach Shane and Coach Eyestone. They were definitely factors in my decision.”

What stood out at BYU?

“The team stood out to me. There wasn’t any drama, they were all pretty close. They were nice and they are good. You could tell that most of them liked each other.”

What is your best event?

“The 800-meters.” – Her time of 2:07.61 in the 800-meters last season ranked among the top-10 times in the nation.

Ellsworth is a senior at Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona. She will join the team in the fall of 2015. 

UP CLOSE with Lindsey Sowards Nielson

Apr 09, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 4:16 pm | Updated: April 9, 2013 4:46 pm | Permalink

If anything else, distance runner Lindsey Sowards Nielson is a lover of all things Spanish. She's a Spanish major, her favorite movie is Nacho Libre, she would love to visit Peru and loves the Twilight series...but in Spanish.

The most unique aspect of her UP CLOSE story is she raised chickens like most people raise dogs...as pets. The chickens would even come to her and sit in her lap when she called to them. 

Height- 5-3

Major- I'm a Spanish teaching major with a TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) minor.

Hometown- Alamosa, Colorado

Track and field events- 5K

Reason for attending BYU...

"The reason I came to BYU is, of course, to study Spanish and to run track collegiately."

Favorite movie...

"My favorite movie is Nacho Libre."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"My favorite places to eat in Provo are India Palace and Pizza Pie Café."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Hunger Games, but that's really unfair. I love the Twilight books in Spanish, and Harry Potter is my childhood!"

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"I would like to have at least four kids with my hubby."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Sarah Darby is by far the funniest girl on our team. I love her so much and she always can make me laugh!"

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"I am unfortunately The Hero of Ages." -The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Hidden Talent...

"I raised chickens as my pets when I lived at home during high school. They would seriously come to me and sit on my lap when I called for them."

Favorite pro sports team...

"The Broncos with Tim Tebow."

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to Peru and live with the Incas."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"Jimmer, hands down."

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be...

"Mountain Dew."

Favorite musical artist/band...

Moydie Nielson, a guitarist."

Most embarrassing moment...

"I really can't think of an embarrassing moment..."

Favorite inspirational quote...

"Champions are made when no one is watching." -Author Unknown

UP CLOSE with Deezbaa Whaley

Apr 04, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 4:16 pm | Updated: April 5, 2013 3:13 pm | Permalink

For Deezbaa Whaley, family is quite important. There is not anything she would rather do than be with family. Even coming to BYU is part of a long standing family tradition.

One thing you most likely do not know about her is her hidden talent as a Navajo Frybread maker. She also grew up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. If your curiosity is peaked, keep on reading...

Height- 5-7

Major- Physical Education      

Hometown- Kayenta, Arizona

Track and field events- Hammer, discusand weight throw

Reason for attending BYU...

"Going to BYU is a family tradition, and it has always been my dream."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"My sister's houses."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"Having a family reunion with everyone in my family, going to my dad's weightroom, and playing volleyball."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Sharisa Thayer. She is a jokster. She always brings a laugh and a smile to my face."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"It’s not over till it’s over." -Rocky

Hidden Talent...

"I am a navajo frybread maker."

Favorite pro sports team...

Steelers

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to Australia to site see because it has always been on my list of places to visit."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

Haley Steed

Most embarrassing moment...

"Crashing my bike while on my mission."

Something most people do not know about you...

"I grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona."

Favorite inspirational quote...

“Find joy in the journey.” -Thomas S. Monson

UP CLOSE with Allyson Anderson Wardell

Mar 12, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:24 pm | Updated: March 14, 2013 2:38 pm | Permalink

Allyson Anderson Wardell, the All-American javelin thrower from Billings, Mont., came to BYU three years ago due to the outstanding environment at BYU and her close family ties. Her tentative life plan consists of finishing school, becoming a surgical assistant, starting a family and coaching.

When she isn't on the field throwing, Allyson uses her hands for more delicate activities like sewing or crocheting. 

Height- 5-6

Major- Exercise Science

Hometown- Billings, Mont.

Track and field events- Javelin

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came to BYU because I have family here. I love the environment on campus, in my classes and in my apartments."

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team...

"The fantastic friends I have made. Not only are my fellow teammates great athletes but they are amazing friends who stick with me through thick and thin."

Favorite movie...

"It would have to be Mega Mind or the Avengers."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"Hopefully, I will have had a job as an surgical assistant. After working for a while, I want to start a family and be a stay at home mom. Maybe I will coach on the side."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

"Women’s gymnastics. Those girls are so incredible at what they do. I like my feet to be planted firmly on the ground, not tumbling through the air."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Brittany Critchfield. There is never a dull moment without laughter when I am around her. A play on words surrounds every comeback I try."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

“Minion, I’m sorry. You were right, I was… less right.” -Mega Mind

Hidden Talent-

"I actually love sewing and crocheting."

Best sport youplay/played other than track and field...

Volleyball

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"Alexa Gray on the women's volleyball team."

Favorite musical artist/band...

Owl City

Most embarrassing moment...

"My sophomore year we were practicing inside throwing at the large blue wall in the annex. When I was starting my crossovers, my spikes caught on my other shoe and I belly flopped on the track. I’m pretty sure every track athlete there saw what happened."

Favorite inspirational quote...

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” -Arnold Palmer

UP CLOSE with Kelsey Brown

Feb 28, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:18 pm | Updated: March 5, 2013 3:59 pm | Permalink

If you are a sucker for cookies, double fudge chocolate cake or apple pie, you should make Kelsey Brown one of your baking buddies. Baking is actually her hidden talent, and she even tries to bake something new every Sunday. 

Brown, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma, grew up in Orem and came back to Utah County not only for the great track program at BYU, but also with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer for the Utah Jazz or a Jazz dancer.

Make sure you read to the end. The most embarrasing moment is definitely a keeper.

Height- 5-8

Major- Exercise Science

Hometown- Orem, Utah

Track and field events-  400, 800, 1500 and Mile

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came here for the wonderful track & field program and to get a top-of-the-line education."

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team..

"Having such a great and large team, or possibly being able to go to the snack shack everyday."

Favorite movie...

"Definitely Bubble Boy. It's a classic!"

Best place to eat in Provo...

"I love Molly's restaurant and catering."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

Men's Volleyball

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why..."

"Laura Young. She has great one liners such as 'I'm NOT dramatic,' or 'I'm DYING coach!'"  

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get." -Forrest Gump

Favorite pro sports team...

Utah Jazz

Best sport you play/played other than track and field...

Basketball

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would like to go to the time period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. How cool would it be ride them?"

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be:

"An escalator for the RB stairs. Those kill me everyday."

Favorite musical artist/band...

"Its got to be my soul sister Beyonce."

Most embarrassing moment...

"My most embarrassing moment was while I was still attending the University of Oklahoma. The men's and women's teams were on a bus going to a meet, the men were in the back and the women sat in the front. It was only a four hour drive, so I told myself I wasn't going to use the bathroom. Well, a short while into the drive, I already had to go. I was dating a guy named George at the time who was on the team and just happened to be sitting right next to the bathroom. Luckily, when I went back there he was asleep, so I wasn't that embarrassed going back. A little while later, I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN! I must have been really well hydrated. I was debating on trying to hold it for the last hour of the drive, but there was no way that was going to happen. I walked to the back of the bus again. This time, George was awake. As I was walking back, I made eye contact with him. When I looked at him, I just held up two fingers, and mouthed the words 'number two' as I am walking toward the bathroom. After seeing the terrified/disgusted look on his face as he is trying not to laugh, I made the connection on what he thought I said. I instantly fell to the ground in laughter trying to explain to every guy on the bus, and my boyfriend, that what I meant  was it was my second trip back to the bathroom, not that I was literally going to go 'number two'. I don't think I have ever gone to the bathroom so quick in my life, or been so embarrassed."

Favorite inspirational quote: 

"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin to Pooh

UP CLOSE with Candace Eddy Carlisle

Feb 27, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 3:46 pm | Updated: February 27, 2013 4:17 pm | Permalink

When it comes to one thing Candace Eddy Carlisle would change or add to the BYU campus, she is all about practicality.

"I would definitely ask for cheaper and more reliable printing," she said. "Free would be nice."

The distance runner from Kaysville, Utah, also feels there are too many wonderful things in life to have just one favorite when it comes to movies, musicians, bands, etc.

Remember, this is not the end. Read more...

Height- 5-4 

Major- Communication disorders

Track and field events- Mile, 1500 meters, 3K

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came here because of the excellent academics, athletics and atmosphere."

Favorite movie...

"There are several: Lion King, Dan in Real Life, What about Bob, Hitch."

Best place to eat in Provo-

"I like lots of different foods, so any place that is not fast food and as long as I have good company."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Call me crazy, but I have not read any of them."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"A wife, mother and maybe have a part-time job volunteering with the Special Olympics."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"There is no way I can just pick one, but here are the first that come to mind: Andrea Nelson Harrison, Lindsey Sowards Nielson and Jennica Redd."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"I want that."  -Napoleon Dynamite

"I feel good about that." -Jennica Redd

"Can't be replaced." -Sarah Darby

Hidden Talent...

"I am working on that, but for now, let's just say I am good at trying new things."

Favorite pro sports team...

"Sometimes, whoever my husband is cheering for, and other times whoever he is cheering against."

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to the afterlife, but without the physical death part."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"I do not know many of them personally, and I could name quite a few. However, I am going to stick with Shaylynn Baugh Fuller and Kathryn Vidmar. They may not be star athletes, but they sure love what they do, share a contagious sport spirit, and believe in their teammates!"

Favorite musical artist/band...

"Again, I have several: Keith Urban, Jason Mraz, Rascal Flatts, Journey, Shania Twain, One Direction."

Most embarrassing moment...

To keep it short, I wet my pants during a race in high school and had to run passed the whole guys team."

Something most people do not know about you...

"Well, if I were to tell and make it public, that would make it untrue."

Favorite inspirational quote...

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability." 
–Elder Neal A. Maxwell

UP CLOSE with Kelli Ehardt

Feb 20, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:59 pm | Updated: February 20, 2013 4:37 pm | Permalink

Despite the facts Kelli Ehardt is a student and an athlete at the present time, she has different asperations of what she wants to be in the future. In addition to becoming a wife and a mother, Kelli wants to become a fire fighter.

Another fun fact about Kelli is before signing with BYU, she did not really want to come here.

"I actually didn't want to come here, but after my recruiting trip, I really fell in love with the atmosphere and the standards that other schools didn't have to offer."

She also wishes she was a pirate due to her love for Pirates of the Caribbean, and she hates bears. To find out more about the life of this pole vaulter, read on...

Height- 5-4

Hometown- Colorado Springs, Colo.

Major- Exercise science

Track and field events- Pole vault

Favorite movie...

"I love all the Pirates of the Caribbean movies."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"China Garden on State Street, and Sammy's is great too."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Harry Potter. No contest."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"I would love to be married with a family and working as a firefighter and a coach."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Do coaches count? If so, then the throws coach, Nik Arrhenius, wins that contest!"

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"May the odds be ever in your favor." -Hunger Games

Hidden Talent...

"I know how to do glass etching and how to play the mouth kazoo."

Favorite pro sports team...

Denver Broncos

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go back to when there were pirates and be the fiercest pirate in the Caribbean!"

Best athlete in any sport at BYU... 

"I would say Kyle Van Noy."

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be...

"Make the RB stairs escalators for going up and have slides in the middle for going down."

Favorite musical artist/band...

"I like a lot of different music, but I really love Hans Zimmer and Carrie Underwood."

Most embarrassing moment...

"When I was eight-years old, I put my gymnastics leotard on backwards and missed the march out. I thought my dad had shrunk my leotard until one of my teammates pointed out the logo that was meant to be on the front was on the back. That was the most red I've ever been."

Something most people do not know about you...

"I have an irrational fear of bears, and it drives my family crazy when we go camping. The funny thing is I really love camping."

Favorite inspirational quote...

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists. It's real. It's possible. It's yours.” -Ayn Rand

UP CLOSE with Sarah Yingling

Feb 08, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 5:22 pm | Updated: February 12, 2013 1:04 pm | Permalink

When asked where she would like to go if she had a time machine, junior distance runner Sarah Yingling said she would make her way back to the 50's. 

"Seriously," she said. "I just think I would love it. It's my style in everything: music, clothes and just life. I would even go to the Regency Period, like the time frame of Pride and Prejudice. I think it would be fun to try out that life style and those dresses."

She also said her favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter 7: Part 2, and the Grinch. It seems there are too many good movies out there to narrow it down to one.

To find out more fun facts most people do not know about Sarah, keep on reading...

Height- 5-11

Hometown- Alpine, Utah

Major- Exercise and Wellness

Track and field events- 800m, 1500m and the mile

Mission- Argentina, Buenos Aires West

Reason for attending BYU...

"I wanted to be surrounded by top-notch people who could push me and because it is close to home."

Hardest part about returning from the mission...

"Running fast for a long time!"

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team...

"I like having a huge support group to help me excel in something I love to do. It's also given me an instant group of 20+ friends."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"Mama Chu's or La Jolla Grove."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Not even a question: Harry Potter."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"I want to be a mother and help someone change their life."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

"Volleyball, women's soccer or basketball."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show... 

"Is that your sub-zero chillerator running? Well then, you'd better go catch it!" -Jim Carrey in the Grinch

Hidden Talent...

"I play violin."

Favorite pro sports team...

"The Jazz, mostly because I don't pay enough attention to really know anything about any other team."

Best sport you play/played other than track and field...

"Probably volleyball, but I'm not all that great at that either."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"I seriously couldn't pick one."

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be...

"A hotub or a sauna, but in all seriousness I have no clue, because BYU seems to have everything important. Seriously."

Favorite musical artist/band...

"I don't really have one, but I do like Julieta Venegas."

Gatorade, PowerAde or Vitamin Water...

"Powerade fo' sho'."

Most embarrassing moment...

"It's too embarrassing to mention. Seriously."

Favorite inspirational quote...

"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." - Juma Ikangaa

UP CLOSE with Andrea Nelson Harrison

Feb 05, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 1:47 pm | Updated: February 5, 2013 1:53 pm | Permalink

Class- Junior

Height- 5' 6"

Hometown- Spokane, Washington

Major- Social science teaching; minor in physical education and coaching

Track and field events-  Indoor: 3K, 5K; Outdoor: Steeple chase

Reason for attending BYU...

"Many of my family members have gone to BYU, and I've wanted to go ever since I can remember. I wanted to run for BYU because I thought it was so cool my brother Rich Nelson did!"

Favorite movie...

"Stardust. It's weird, but I LOVE it!"

Best place to eat in Provo...

"My husband and I always love a good trip to JCW's."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight... 

"Harry Potter by sooooo far!"

If you could do anything in 10 years it would be...

"Have a big family!"

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

"Men's Basketball."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Kathryn Vidmar. We have the same sense of humor, so we always know how to make one another laugh! Natalie Shields and Laura Young’s Alpaca/Llama Facebook posts always get me too."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

“Fact. Bears eat beets. Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica.” –Jim Halpert, the Office

Hidden Talent...

"Piano and Guitar."

Favorite pro sports team...

"Seattle Mariners. Some day they will actually have a good team, and I will have been a loyal fan the whole time!"

Best sport you play/played other than track and field...

"Soccer."

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"Sometime during WWII. I think it would be interesting to see what was going on in the United States as everyone joined the war cause!"

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"Lindsi Lisonbee Cutshall." 

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be...

"Escalators, those stairs heading down to the Smith Fieldhouse kill me!"

Favorite musical artist/band: 

"Jimmy Eat World and Mute Math."

Most embarrassing moment...

"One time my skirt got ripped off by a handcart wheel on the stake trek. The second councilor of the stake presidency had to hand it back to me. My dad then tied it around his waist cause he ripped his pants open." 

Favorite inspirational quote...

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." –Steve Prefontaine