FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Jason Witt placed fourth in the 5,000 meters, and Shea Martinez took seventh in the 800 meters for BYU track and field at the NCAA Indoor National Championships this weekend.
"Jason (Witt) ran an amazing race," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "He put himself in a good position and really ran an astonishing last 800 meters to take fourth. Shea (Martinez) ran a personal record just to qualify, and then did a great job in the final, too. She's got two more years and this was an invaluable experience for her."
Witt passed four runners on the final lap of the 5,000 meters. The senior's time of 13:53.64 was good for his highest finish at BYU in an NCAA Championship race.
Martinez qualified for the 800-meter final with a 2:04.40 preliminary time on Friday. In Saturday's final, the sophomore finished seventh with a time of 2:05.75.
Shaquille Walker and Anginae Monteverde also competed for BYU in the championships. Walker narrowly missed qualifying in the 800 meters with a 1:48.99 preliminary time. Monteverde was unable to clear the entrance height in the pole vault.
"Shaquille (Walker) did a nice job in the preliminary," Eyestone said. "He was on target to qualify and just had a little stumble at the end. He had run a nice race up until the end."
BYU track and field begins its outdoor season next Friday in Los Angeles at the USC Trojan Invitational.
PROVO, Utah – Four athletes from BYU track and field—Shaquille Walker, Jason Witt, Shea Martinez and Anginae Monteverde head to Fayetteville, Arkansas this weekend to participate in the NCAA Indoor Championships.
“This is the first indoor championship for all four of them, and it will be a great experience,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I have no doubt that each one of them stands a good chance as long as they perform the way they can.”
Athletes to watch
Sophomore Shaquille Walker, who is competing in the 800 meters, is undefeated this indoor season, having competed in the 500 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters and 4x400 meters. He set the BYU indoor record in the 800 meters on Jan. 30 with a 1:47.44 at the University of Washington Invitational. He will run in a semifinal at 7:55 p.m. CDT on Friday, attempting to qualify for the final, which will be Saturday at 7:30 p.m CDT.
Jason Witt will compete in the 5,000-meter final Friday at 8:45 p.m. CDT. The senior’s 13:42.09 time at the University of Washington Invitational broke the meet record and is the second-fastest indoor 5,000-meter time in school history.
Sophomore Shea Martinez qualified for the 800 meters at the Husky Classic by posting the fourth-fastest indoor time in school history. At the time, her 2:04.79 was the second-fastest 800 meters in the nation this season. The women’s semifinal will take place Saturday at 7:45 p.m. CDT. Should Martinez qualify, the final will be Saturday at 7:40 p.m. CDT.
Junior Anginae Monteverde qualified for the pole vault late in the season with a mark of 4.27 meters at the MPSF Indoor Championships on Feb. 27. She is BYU’s lone jumper to qualify for indoor nationals, and will compete in a straight final Saturday at 5:30 p.m. CDT.