Mackie, Palmer Stand Out in Washington

SEATTLE – Nachelle Mackie and Katie Palmer led the BYU women’s track and field team with personal record performances at the annual Washington Invitational.

“We had a great meet in Washington today,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “The 800-meters and mile were both really exciting races. Nachelle (Mackie), Lacey (Bleazard) and Katie (Palmer) all ran really, really well. We are right where we should be at this point in the season.”

Mackie finished first among collegiate runners in the 800-meters at 2:04.97, the fastest time in the NCAA this season. The time was also a personal best by nearly two seconds for Mackie.

All-American Lacey Bleazard also competed in the 800m, marking the first time this season she has competed in her premier event. Bleazard finished second among collegians in 2:05.88, which trails only Mackie’s time in the NCAA this season.   

In the mile, Palmer crossed the line in 4:39.38 and trailed only professional runners. Palmer’s time ranks second in BYU history and is currently the third fastest time in the NCAA.

“I felt really great about my race today,” Palmer said. “I just barely missed the school record but that might be a good thing because now I’ll be motivated to break it as the season goes on.”

On Friday night, Bleazard, Mackie and Palmer teamed with Sarah Edwards in the distance medley relay. The group won the event in 11:13.62, nearly five seconds ahead of the nearest team. Their time ranks third in the nation.

While the distance runners competed in Washington, the sprinters and jumpers competed at the Air Force Team Challenge. Senior Christen Guenther led the way with a win in the pole vault by clearing 4.05m (13-3.50).

Freshman Nicole Naatjes finished third in the pole vault with personal best jump of 3.90m (12-9.50).

In the high jump, seniors Ada Robinson and Diana Blauer finished second and third, respectively. Robinson cleared 1.76m (5-9.25), while Blauer jumped 1.73m (5-8.00).

Arlene Gowar led the way in the sprints with a personal best 7.64 in the 60m, good enough for second. Danielle Figgins finished second in the 200m in 25.06, while Gowar crossed in 25.10 to take third.

Fatima Makakala neared a personal best in the 60m hurdles with a third place finish at 8.66.

Next week the team heads to New York to compete in the prestigious New Balance Invitational. The women finished second as a team in New York in 2010 and first in 2011. 

CLICK HERE for complete results from the Washington Invitational. 

CLICK HERE for compete results from the Air Force Team Challenge.