BYU opens outdoor track season at Aztec Invitational

(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)

PROVO, Utah -- The BYU men’s track and field team will open its outdoor season this weekend at the Aztec Track and Field Invitational at San Diego State.

“This will be a good meet for us to see where we stand,” head coach Mark Robison said. “We need repetition to make a good transition into the outdoor season, and this meet will give a lot of our athletes a chance to get outside and get a feel for the competition.”

After a disappointing end to the indoor season, the Cougars are driven to improve in the upcoming outdoor season.

“It wasn’t a disaster at (indoor) nationals, we finished about where we were ranked going in, but we weren’t satisfied with that,” Robison said. “It gives us motivation. I want to see the passion in our guys and see how we develop. We’re facing some top competition early this season, and that’s what we want, to go up against the best.”

The transition into the outdoor season includes the addition of events that aren’t part of the indoor track season. Athletes who compete in events such as the javelin, discus and hammer throw have been training since last August in preparation for the outdoor season. Even athletes who competed during the indoor season will have to make adjustments to outdoor competition.

“Indoor track always gives you perfect conditions, but when you compete outdoors it adds another element,” Robison said. “The outdoor tracks are bigger and you have weather to deal with, so it takes some repetition to get used to outdoor competition.”

This weekend’s meet will give BYU athletes plenty of opportunities to adjust to outdoor competition since certain athletes will compete both Friday and Saturday in open and invite-only events. Robison said most of the distance runners won’t make the trip this weekend and will instead travel to the USC Invitational next weekend.

BYU’s decathletes won’t compete in a proper decathlon this weekend, but most will compete in a number of decathlon events. Robison said there is lots of anticipation to see how the throwers fare at the Aztec Invitational, since most didn’t have a chance to compete during the indoor season.

“Those guys have been throwing against a wall for six months, so we want to get them out in competition and see how their training has paid off,” Robison said. “We’ll see how they perform and go from there.”

The field events begin on Friday at 8 a.m. PDT at the SDSU Sports Deck. More information about the meet, including event start times can be found on the Gameday page.