(Photo by BYU Photo/Jaren Wilkey)
PROVO, Utah – With a total of 46 qualifying athletes, BYU track and field heads to the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field West Preliminaries in Austin, Texas, this weekend.
“When you go into the preliminaries, it’s a celebration of those athletes who made it, but first and foremost, the goal is to advance to the national meet in Eugene, Oregon, by finishing in the top 12,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “The secondary goal is to improve on your position coming in and move up.”
The men’s team has a total of 31 entries in 16 events while the women will compete with 22 entries in 10 events. The women’s team is currently ranked No. 23 in the USTFCCA NCAA Division I rankings.
In order to move on to the 2017 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, in two weeks, athletes will have to finish in the top 12 in their respective events at the West Preliminary. BYU currently has 13 athletes and a relay team ranked in the top 12 in the west going into the preliminary round.
Sophomore Brenna Porter (No. 9) will kick off the meet for BYU on Thursday in the first round of the 400m-hurdles. Chase Horrocks (No. 9) will then compete in the 1500m followed by Tatenda Tsumba (No. 10) in the 100m and Shea Collinsworth (No. 3) in the 800m. Quarterfinals for these events will be held on Friday and Saturday.
Clayton Young (No. 3) will also compete on Thursday in the 10,000m with teammates Rory Linkletter (No. 12) and Jonathan Harper (No. 15).
Eight Cougars will race in the 3000m steeplechase on Friday night. Five of the eight are ranked in the top 10, including Kristi Rush (No. 3), Erica Birk (No. 4) and Courtney Wayment (No. 6) on the women’s side with Clayson Shumway (No. 7) and Daniel Carney (No. 8) representing the men.
Other performances to watch out for on Friday are Andrea Stapleton (No. 10) in the high jump and Jameson Shirley (No. 15) in the pole vault. BYU’s 4x100m relay team (No. 12) will compete on Saturday.
“We’re not ruling anyone out and there is hope for everyone to, at the very least, improve on their ranking coming into this meet, and at the very best, finish top 12 and advance,” Eyestone said. “This meet is not so much about winning your event because it’s a preliminary heat. Really, you just want to finish in the top 12.”
The meet will begin Thursday, May 25, and run through Saturday, May 27, at Mike A. Myers Stadium on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. To view a full schedule of the meet, click here. Click here for live streaming and here for live results. These links can also be found on the track and field schedule page. For a complete list of qualified athletes from BYU, click here.