First Full Day of Competition Has BYU Out In Front

Leif Arrhenius won the weight throw at the MWC Indoor Championships on Friday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- After the first full day of competition, the No. 7 BYU men’s track team currently sits at the top of the leader board with 66 points at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

The highlight of the meet so far is the performance of the 4000-meter distance medley relay team. Senior Brian Weirich and juniors Chris Carter, Justin Hedin and Miles Batty won the race in a time of 9:37.88. The time is a new facility record and after altitude adjustment is expected to be an NCAA qualifying mark.

“The performance of the day has to be the distance medley relay,” head coach Mark Robison said. “It was unbelievable and I was just sitting back in awe.”

In an unfortunate turn of events for the Cougars, senior Phillip Bettis was not able to finish the heptathlon due to injury. Bettis won the 60-meter hurdles portion of the event but pulled a hamstring mid-race. He was unable to continue in the final events.

“It was phenomenal and horrible all at once,” Robison said. “It was really too bad and heartwrenching.”

Bettis had the lead in the point scoring through five events and was on pace to break a personal best and set an NCAA qualifying mark. The senior had won back-to-back indoor heptathlon titles and was in search for a third.

Freshman Joshua Weirich managed to contribute to the scoring in the event, finishing sixth with a lifetime best 4,965 points.

In the weight throw, seniors Leif Arrhenius and Oliver Whaley finished first and second to give BYU a big lift in the points. Arrhenius went for 20.19m (66-03.00) and Whaley threw a season-best 19.52m (64-00.50).

The long jump had senior Aaron Powell finish second with a jump of 7.12m (23-04.50) and Drew Tingey pick up a sixth-place finish with a 6.97m (22-10.50).

Senior Trevor Heiner put on another solid performance in the high jump, clearing 2.12m (6-11.50) for his third consecutive conference title in the event.

The Cougars' distance team fought hard in a 5000-meter race that saw Air Force go out strong and made it tough to score points. Senior Nathan Ogden finished third in a time of 14:21.32 and freshman Jared Ward finished fifth in time of 14:27.35.

In the shorter running races, the Cougars advanced all of their athletes to the finals tomorrow. BYU had the top three times in the 400-meter by sophomore Cade Lindahl leading the way with a 47.50 and junior Chris Carter and sophomore Sean Adams right behind him with a 47.53 and 47.98, respectively.

The meet continues Saturday morning at 9:45 a.m. MT and will conclude at approximately 1:40 p.m. For results from today's action and results for tommorrow's events CLICK HERE.

To see video from Friday’s competition CLICK HERE.