Nelson Posts NCAA-Best Time in Steeplechase


PALO ALTO -- Richard Nelson recorded the fastest 3,000-meter steeplechase time in the NCAA this season, placing first among collegiate competitors with a time of 8:46.91 at the Stanford University Invitational on Friday.

Nelson’s time is his second-best ever, leading a strong field of Cougars who hold four of the top five times in the nation.

"We had some good things," said BYU head coach Mark Robison. "We performed well, so I was very pleased. Hopefully tomorrow we can be able to improve on it."

Josh Adams set a time of 9:00.93 in the steeple, a new personal best, while Ryan Merriman recorded a 9:00.40 and Reagan Frey finished in 9:19.47. Former Cougar and national champion Kyle Perry also competed, finishing second overall in 8:38.38 running for New Balance.

In the javelin, Chris Reno competed for the first time in over four years after an LDS mission and a redshirt last season. Reno took second with a long throw of 69.92 meters while Blaine Baker placed fourth at 67.98 meters, giving BYU three of the top six marks in the West Region and three of the top ten javelin marks in all of Division I with Sean Richardson’s mark set last weekend.

"We’re going about as good we hoped and progressing as we hoped," Robison said. "Hopefully we can even get some surprises and do even better."

Aaron Powell finished in third place in the long jump finals, recording a distance of 7.11 meters. Phillip Bettis finished two spots behind Powell for fifth with a mark of 6.92 meters, a personal best, while Kyle Mills jumped 6.73 meters.

Competing in both hurdle events, Bryan Payne finished second in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 51.95 and also qualified for the finals in the 110-meter hurdles after winning his heat in 14.98 seconds.

Kevin Ahlstrom added a fourth-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at 52.86 while Sean Adams placed tenth and Lance Walker took 13th place.

James Derek McAllister was the top finisher for BYU in the 400 meters, finishing in 49.12. Steven Hart was not far behind with a time of 49.32. Kevin Biesinger placed finished in 49.35.

In other field events, Daniel Lawson took second in the shot put, throwing 17.31 meters, while Trevor Heiner took fourth in the high jump at 2.04 meters.