Senior All-American Jacob Gustafsson earned a spot in the BYU record books for his performance in the 1500-meter run. Gustafsson was one of four other Cougars to break a BYU record the first two days of the Mt. Sac Relays. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
WALNUT, Calif. (April 17,2009) – In a record-setting weekend, the BYU men’s track and field team qualified more athletes for regional’s while placing several on the record books in the first two days at the Mt. Sac Relays.
“We’ve had historic events this weekend all the way around,” said men’s distance coach Ed Eyestone. “Several of these athletes made BYU history. I think we have more distance regional qualifiers than any other team in the nation.”
Kicking off day one, the 10,000-meter was a race to be remembered for senior transfer Stephan Shay and sophomore Nathan Ogden. Earning a spot in the record books, Shay had a final personal best time of 28.56.71. Ogden tallied the second regional qualifying mark for the Cougars in 29:15.79.
Entering day two, the Cougars surpassed expectations in the middle distance races, not only in their individual heats but for BYU as well.
Leading the 1500-meter runners, senior All-American Jacob Gustafsson finished with an astounding time of 3:43.41, earning him a spot in the BYU record books. Alongside Gustafsson, Miles Batty set another record with a time of 3:44.06. Closing in the top performers for the Cougars in this race was junior Brandon Babiracki, finishing in 3:45.63. All earned regional qualifying marks.
Representing the 3000-meter steeplechase, junior Rich Nelson brought his talent to the line. With a regional qualifying mark, Nelson completed the race in 8:52.98.
Adding more success to the Cougar front, the 5000-meter athletes stepped up their game, two finishing strongest for BYU. Despite fighting off a sickness the day of, senior All-American Kyle Perry landed an additional school record time of 13:35.64. Adding another regional qualifying mark to Perry’s, senior Tommy Gruenewald added his finish of 14:06.65.
“I’m happy with my run,” said Perry. “I feel like I could’ve gone faster, but I’ve been feeling sick today. I’m really happy that I was able to just do what I needed to do and compete well today.”
The Cougars will finish up the Mt. Sac Relays and the Utah State Mark Faldmo Invitational on Saturday. For full results of the Mt. Sac Relays go to http://www.mtsacrelays.com/archives/2009/results/uo/index.htm.