(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
PROVO, Utah -- The 2012 BYU men’s track and field team finished 5th in its first season in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and ended the outdoor season ranked No. 7 in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I Program of the Year Standings.
The 2012 track season was also highlighted by 22 MPSF All-Academic honors, eight All-America honors and a USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Track & Field Team honor. At the National Indoor Championships, BYU finished 14th overall with two top-three finishes. The Cougars tied for 21st overall at the National Outdoor Championships while finishing in the top-10 in three events.
In his final season as a Cougar, Miles Batty broke the NCAA Indoor mile record by almost half a second at the Millrose Games with a time of 3:54:54. Batty’s senior season also included three All-America citations, a Mountain Region Track Athlete of the Year award, two MPSF Indoor individual championship and a USTFCCCA Division I All-Academic Team honor. At the end of the season, Batty was awarded the NCAA Walter Byers Postgraduate Scholarship, the most prestigious academic award given by the NCAA.
BYU began the indoor season ranked 14th nationally by the USTFCCCA with returning national champion Batty leading the way. After a warm up home meet, the Cougars headed to the Blue and Orange meet at Boise State where they finished first in six different events.
The Cougars swept the 800m race with Ryan Waite taking first, breaking the stadium record in 1:49.8, a time that placed him in the top three in the nation. Justin Hedin finished in second, with a time of 1:50.1 and Ryan Jones coming in third, in 1:53.6.
At the Cherry and Silver Invitational in New Mexico, BYU had 12 top-10 finishes. On the track, Lindahl gained a first-place finish for BYU in the 400m, with a time of 47.31, and Rhyan Atrice took fifth, posting 48.57.
Batty made his season debut at the Washington Invitational, finishing third in the 3000m race, with a time of 7:49.58, one of the fastest times in BYU history in that event. With his time, Batty also qualified for nationals in the event.
At the Air Force Team Challenge, Russell Nielson placed second in the high jump with his best markings since returning from serving an LDS mission, clearing 2.1-meters. Braydon Bringhurst also placed second in the pole vault, clearing an impressive 5.00m.
In the largest meet it competed at in 2012, the BYU men’s track and field team finished with 16 points, giving them a 15th place finish at the New Balance Invitational, a meet which had over 150 schools competing.
In the championship category, BYU had three top-five finishers. Cade Lindahl finished fourth in the 400m, with a time of 47.29. Shaquille Walker continued his strong freshman season with a fifth place finish in the 500m, with a time of 1:02.98. Representing the distance runners, Tylor Thatcher finished third in the 3000m, finishing with a time of 8:08.28.
With an unbelievable time of 3:54.54, Batty broke the indoor collegiate mile record by almost half a second at the 2012 Millrose Games, which took place at the Armory Track & Field facilities in New York City.
"I was really happy to get the record," Batty said. "It's been a big goal of mine for quite awhile. I wasn't in the best position for the first half of the race and was boxed in against the rail, but I just had to be patient and make passes when things opened up. I probably wasted a lot of energy fighting for position, so I would have liked to have gone a bit faster, but I was happy with the race."
With the fastest time in the nation, Batty qualified for the Indoor National Championships where he sought to defend his title in the mile and his joint title in the DMR.
In its first ever MPSF championship meet, BYU finished 5th with 67 points. The distance medley relay team of Rex Shields, Walker, Waite and Batty stole the night, winning the event with a time of 9:29.00, setting a new BYU record, recording the No. 1 time in the NCAA and automatically qualifying for nationals.
Batty picked up his second first-place finish of the meet in the 800m, finishing with a time of 1:49.17, a personal best.
In the 400m, Lindahl improved on his career-best time by a whole second, setting a new school record with 46.25, a time that placed him in the top five nationally.
At the National Indoor Championships, eight BYU athletes earned All-America honors. The men's distance medley relay team of Batty, Waite, Lindahl and Shields finished third in 9:36.07. BYU trailed throughout the race but Batty had an amazing finish and passed four different schools to pull BYU into the top three.
After running a 4:03.85 in the mile preliminaries and a 3:57.90 anchor split in the distance medley relay on the first day of competition, Batty finished third in the mile finals, with an impressive time of 4:01.86. Overall, the men finished 14th with 12 points.
The Cougars opened up the outdoor season with four first-place finishes at the 34th Aztec Track & Field Invitational in San Diego.
At the USC Trojan Invite, Fanfan Charles finished the 100m in a career best time of 10.58.
BYU pulled in four top-five finishes at the Texas Relays, including a first-place finish by the 4x400m team of Derek McAllister, Atrice, Chris Carter and Lindahl. The team finished with a time of 3:08.13.
Second team All-American Victor Weirich finished second in the pole vault tying his indoor season record of 5.50m (18’ 0.50”).
The Cougars secured three first-place finishes and 14 top-ten finishes at the UVU Invite. Sophomore James Tracey and freshman Jeffrey Bastian finished one-two in the 3000m steeplechase, with times of 9:24.96 and 9:39.41, respectively.
At the BYU Tri-Meet, the Cougars turned in 13 first-place finishes and 169 points. Batty opened his outdoor season with a substantial win in the 1500m, finishing with a time of 3:50.45, two seconds faster than all other competitors.
BYU took home four first-place finishes from the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner Kersee Invitational.
Kevin Nielsen took first in the 400m hurdles, finishing in 54.70 while James Tracy won the 3000m Steeplechase in 9:12.89.
Batty came in 15th in the 5,000m Invite Elite race at the Mt. Sac Relays, finishing in 13:46.84, the 13th best time in the nation for a collegiate athlete.
BYU finished two runners in the top 10 in the 10,000m Invite Elite event, with Alden Bahr finishing fifth in 29:09.13 and Jared Ward coming in ninth with a time of 29:13.81. With those times, both runners secured their place in the top 25 in the nation.
At the USU Mark Faldmo Invitational in Logan, Utah, Bringhurst finished first in the pole vault, clearing 4.90m (16’ 00.75”).
In his final home meet as a Cougar at the Robison Invitational, All-American Batty attempted to become just the second runner in history to complete a sub-four minute mile in the state of Utah. Batty made a valiant attempt at completing the sub-four mile, finishing in 4:04.53.
On the track at the Weber Twilight Invitational, Lindahl won the 200m in 21.70 while Jason Hinds secured first in the 400m, finishing in 48.03. Waite and Walker finished two-three in the 800m race with times of 1:52.36 and 1:52.59 respectively.
Batty was the lone Cougar to win an event at the Georgia Tech Invitational with a 1:49.43 finish in the 800m. Waite finished just behind Batty, in 1:49.48, to take second.
Bahr and Ward finished fifth and ninth, respectively, in the men’s 10,000 meters at the NCAA West Regionals to advance to the NCAA Outdoor National Championships.
Waite claimed his spot at the Nationals Championships by finishing 11th in the 800 meters with a time of 1:48.80. Carter finished seventh in the 400 meter hurdles with a time of 50.38 to qualify.
Batty finished second in the 1,500 meter run with a time of 3:45.88. The 4x400 meter relay team posted the second-best time in school history at 3:06.21 while finishing eighth overall.
Carter concluded his BYU career with an eighth-place finish in the 400 meter hurdles at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships.Ward finished fifth in the 10,000 meters and Batty wrapped up his stellar BYU career with a second-place finish in the 1,500 meters. Batty scored eight points to give the Cougars 13 team points, good for a tie for 21st.
BYU men’s track & field and cross country finished the 2011-12 season ranked No. 7 in the final U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association NCAA Division I Program of the Year Standings.
Sixteen cougars were named to the men’s 2012 Division I All-Academic Track & Field team, the most by any school in the country.