Track Heads to Stanford

BYU track and field will compete at the Stanford Invitational this weekend. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- BYU's No. 11 men's and No. 17 women's track teams will be back in action this week as athletes head to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday.

The Stanford Invitational is one of the largest and most competitive meets of the year. Several quality teams will be in attendance, including No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 21 Washington and No. 25 California.

“It’s a big meet and there is great competition,” men's coach Mark Robison said. “My expectation is to improve dramatically over last week. For a lot of guys its their first meet and we can solidify some depth.”

In the 800-meter, three members of the Cougar’s indoor national championship distance medley relay team will compete. Juniors Chris Carter, Justin Hedin and senior Brian Weirich will look to pick up where they left off at the conclusion of the indoor season.

The pole vault should be a strong event for BYU with senior TJ Emrich earning good marks last week and sophomore Victor Weirich looking to improve upon his indoor season. Senior Aaron Powell will be strong in the long jump and will be joined by junior Kyle Mills and freshman Drew Tingey.

BYU will have athletes competing in the javelin for the first time this year. Junior Chris Reno and senior Sean Richardson will both compete in the event. Both athletes competed at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships last year.

On the women’s side, National Champion Lacey Bleazard will open up her 2011 outdoor campaign at Stanford with the 800-meter race. Bleazard will also compete in the 1500m for the first time this season, alongside Katie Palmer and Nicole Clark.

"This will be the strongest competition we face all year, including Nationals," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "There will be several top teams and a lot of professionals there. The competition will be great."

Junior Nachelle Mackie, an All-American for her performance on the distance medley relay team in 2009, planned on competing for the first time on Saturday but will redshirt the outdoor season due to injury.

In the field events sophomore Rachel Fisher will also redshirt. Christen Botteron will lead the pole vault squad as they compete for the first time during outdoor season this weekend.

The Stanford Invitational will begin at 10 a.m. MT Friday and conclude Saturday at 6 p.m. MT at Cobb Track and Angel Field in Palo Alto, Calif. To view live results CLICK HERE.