Ward, Thatcher join BYU record books in 5,000


WALNUT, Calif. -- Five BYU athletes finished with regional qualifying marks in the men’s 5,000-meter run at the Mt. Sac Relays on Friday night, with two Cougars submitting some of the best times in school history.

“We had a very good day from all five guys in the 5,000,” BYU distance coach Ed Eyestone said. “They all had regional qualifying times and they finished under that 14-minute mark, which was a big goal for us. It really shows the nice depth we have, which is one of the reasons we were a strong cross country team last fall.”

Jared Ward took 13th overall in the Elite division of the men’s 5,000-meter run with a time of 13:37.03. The time was good enough to move Ward into fifth all-time in the BYU record books. Tylor Thatcher also ran in the event, taking 22nd overall with a time of 13:51.11 and moving into eighth on BYU’s all-time list.

“It’s definitely takes the pressure off to get the regional qualifying times out of the way early in the season,” Ward said. “I’ll be able to treat the upcoming meets a bit like workouts, work on speed and just try to get good races in without peaking as much.”

In the Olympic Development division of the 5,000 meters, Tommy Gruenewald took 10th place with a time of 13:54.26. Steve Flint and Jason Witt took 20th and 21st overall, respectively, with times of 13:57.93 and 13:58.20.

The Cougars also had two athletes compete in field events on Friday. Braydon Bringhurst took third place in Group B of the Open division pole vault competition, clearing 16-10.75. Victor Weirich failed to register a height, however, knocking the standard off on the third attempt at his opening height.

The Cougars will compete in three events on Saturday at the Utah State Mark Faldmo Invite in Logan, Utah.