Miles Batty was named the National Track Athlete of the Year on Tuesday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
NEW -- After steady performances all season long and winning an individual national championship, junior Miles Batty has been named the National Men's Track Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“I think it shows how much people respected his efforts at nationals,” distance coach Ed Eyestone said. “It tells you all the coaches voting were paying attention and it’s a special honor. It’s like winning the Heisman of track.”
At the NCAA Indoor National Championships, Batty ran a controlled race and managed to outsprint the field on the last lap to win a national title in the mile with a time of 3:59.49.
The day prior to winning his individual title, the All-American helped BYU’s distance medley relay team to national championship, running the mile leg of the race in an even faster split of 3:56.14. The team’s time of 9:29.28 is the seventh-best in collegiate history and came just hours after Batty ran his qualifying individual race.
"I never really would have thought I would win something like this," Batty said. "Knowing I was voted this honor gives me a lot of confidence and added pressure to accomplish all my goals going forward."
Batty helped the Cougars this season to a ninth-consecutive men’s indoor Mountain West Conference title and a school-best third place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships.
The Sandy native had his breakout performance at the Flotrack Husky Classic in Seattle, WA when he broke BYU’s 31-year-old record in the mile with a 3:55.79. Batty’s time took down Olympian Doug Padilla’s record of 3:56.85 set in 1980.
In the MWC Championships, Batty brought home an individual title as well as running in the DMR again, helping BYU to another championship.
To see video of Batty’s mile race at the finals of the NCAA Indoor Championships CLICK HERE.