Men's Track Excellence Present and Future

Junior Nathan Robison conintues to show the excellence of the BYU men's track program as he set a new personal record in the one-mile, clocking the fastest time in the nation.

PROVO -- BYU has long been known for excellence on the men's track team, which excellence continues now and will continue as the track team adds to their strength for future teams.

Saturday at the Mt. SAC Relays, one of the most prestigious distance competitions of the outdoor season, junior distance runner Nathan Robison, an All-American in the indoor season set a new personal record as he clocked the one mile in 3:40.89.

"Not only was this time a huge PR for him," men's head coach Mark Robison said. "But this time clocks him as the fastest in the nation."

Nathan Robison, although not in the top heat at the meet, took first place and still managed to beat this year's indoor champion who ran in the top heat.

"To hold the fastest time in the nation right now is amazing," Mark Robison said. "This goes to show that all his hard work really is paying off."

Not only is Nathan Robison's hard work paying off, but also so is several high school athletes' hard work, which this week signed letters of intent to compete with the BYU men's track team next year.

One bright addition to the team is the third Arrhenius brother to compete at BYU, Leif. He currently is the No. 1 high school discus thrower in the nation, marking the farthest throw this year among high school athletes.

In addition, this winter he broke his own national record three different times in the weight throw. He also is ranked top five in the shot put, throwing farther than even his All-American brother Nik did in high school.

"This soon to be two-time high school All-American is going to help blow this team away," Mark Robison said.

Another signee, Bryan Payne from California will add great depth to the hurdles squad. Last year he took second at the CIF championships in the 300m-hurdles and last week he won the hurdles at the Arcadia Invitational, one of the largest high school track meets in the nation.

"This 14.10 high hurdler is going to give us amazing strength," Robison said.

On the sprints, BYU will add Charlie Milhoan from Texas to their roster. Last year he ran 10.60 in the 100m. Robison said he looks for him to make a huge contribution in the sprints next year.

Adding depth to the distance team will be a junior college transfer, Brandon Schmidt, from Paradise Valley, Ariz.

"We have so many great guys coming in," Robison said. "Truly this year's team with guys like Nathan and next year's will be the strongest we probably ever will have."

In addition to new transfers, the men's team will have several recent transfers and redshirt athletes ready to compete next year. Standouts among that group are Jake Garlick, acclaimed as the best hurdler to ever come out of the state of Utah, Nate Rencher, a transfer from Ricks who has been injured, Jason Dorias back from his mission ready to compete in the 800m and Kevin Keys from Sam Houston, Texas who will compete as a decathlete for the Cougars.

Not only does BYU have new athletes to look forward to, but four top athletes will return home from their mission, distance runners Ty Jensen and Mark Nevers, David Pendergrass who won the conference high jump title his freshman year and Matt Weirich who made the junior national team for the pole vault at the end of his freshman year.

"We are excited to have these guys back," Robison said. "Most likely we will only improve upon this years top performances. The 2004 team will only lose four or five guys and so we have a lot to look forward to. Excellence will only continue to dominate on the BYU men's track team."