TEMPE, Ariz. – Shaquille Walker ran a record-breaking time of 1:44.99 in the men’s 800-meter race at the Sun Angel Classic and now ranks number one in the nation.
“We’ve been preparing for this for quite some time now. I’ve been having dreams of what was going to happen in this race,” Walker said. “It feels amazing to come out and perform well. It’s been an unreal night and I’m really grateful. It’s been a really good year having people support me – the trainers, coach Eyestone and my wife have been the biggest supports.”
Walker is one of seven All-Americans in NCAA history to break the 1:45.00 mark in the 800 meters. He is the first athlete to do so since 2012. Only one man in collegiate history has run a faster time in the month of April – South Carolina's Otukile Lekota in 2001 (1:44.76). He also improved upon his own school record in the event.
Jesse White also had an outstanding performance in the 400-meter race with a time of 45.92. The time ranks him No. 4 all-time at BYU, and he currently holds the fourth fastest time in the country this season.
“I was shocked after the race; I couldn’t believe it,” White said. “I thought the clock was broken. I was just so amazed. I clapped a couple times then kneeled down and said a little prayer and just thanked God for the opportunity because that’s where it all came from. I’m thankful for my teammate Shaquille who always knew I could do it. He always tells me that I’m going to go 1:45. We motivate each other and we fed off each other’s energy tonight.”
On the women’s side, Shea Martinez-Collinsworth ran a time of 2:03.21 in the 800 meters to put her at first in the nation and No. 4 all-time at BYU.
“Shea had an incredible performance in the 800m. She looked really strong and powerful,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said.
Kaylee Packham had yet another performance for the BYU record books. Packham ran a time of 58.65 in the 400-meter hurdles. It puts her at No. 8 on the BYU all-time list in the event.
A number of track and field athletes also competed at both the Utah Spring Classic and Weber State Invitational this weekend.
Track and field will be back in action next Thursday through Saturday for split-squad meets at the Mount Sac Relays in Walnut, California and the Mark Faldmo Invitational in Logan, Utah.
PROVO, Utah – Almost every BYU track and field athlete will compete in one of three meets this Friday and Saturday.
The team will split between the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona, and the Utah Spring Classic and Weber State Invitational in Salt Lake City, Utah, and Ogden, Utah, respectively.
“We’re excited right now because we have 18 men and 10 women qualified for regionals already,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We’re hoping to have at least a half dozen additional qualifiers after this weekend.”
All three of the Cougars’ NCAA Indoor Championships qualifiers will make the trip to Arizona. Shaquille Walker will compete in the 800 meters for the first time this outdoor season. Zachary Blackham will look to improve upon his mark of 2.20 meters he posted in the high jump at the Aztec Invitational two weeks ago. The mark matched his personal record and currently has him sitting at No. 3 in the country. Shea Martinez-Collinsworth will also make her outdoor season debut in the 800 meters.
Sprinters, pole vaulters and middle distance athletes will make the trip to the Sun Angel Classic hosted by Arizona State University. All other athletes will compete locally at the Utah Spring Classic and Weber State Invitational. Most of the BYU distance runners will have the week off after competing in the Stanford Invitational last Friday and Saturday.
Fans will have the option of watching live streaming video of the Sun Angel Classic. To access the link visit the BYU men’s track and field schedule page.