PROVO, Utah – BYU men’s track and field will compete in its first road meet of the indoor season in College Station, Texas at the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 15 and 16.
BYU will join an 11-team field that also includes Texas A&M, Abilene Christian, Baylor, Oklahoma State, South Carolina, Texas, TCU, Texas State, UTSA and Stephen F. Austin.
Traveling to the southwest to face great competition are things BYU coach Ed Eyestone is looking forward to this weekend.
“We’re going to take a good group. It’ll be fun because we’ll get to go down to Texas and see a part of the country where we have started to do a bit more recruiting,” Eyestone said. “I think it will be a good opportunity. Texas A&M is one of the track powerhouses, especially in sprints and jumps. I think we’ll be able to match up with them pretty well, especially in the distance and short distance events.”
He also views the event as another opportunity for his athletes to make significant progress in the early part of the season.
“I’d be a little bit surprised to be pulling out our fastest times of the year this early, but it is an important step in the process of just improving from one week to the next and that’s what we hope to do this week,” Eyestone said. “You want to peak at the (national) indoor meet and carry it on to the outdoor season. So this is a crucial step but we aren’t expecting our athletes to be at 100% at this point.”
Eyestone mentioned a number of athlete performances he has his eye on this week.
“On the men’s side, we had some outstanding performances last week,” he said. “Zachary Blackham is going to be competing again in the high jump. He went 7-feet, 1-inch” last week. We’re hoping he can duplicate that performance or do even better. There will be some great competition for him there.”
Other athletes to pay particular attention to in Texas are David Graham, who will make his season debut in the 800 meters and Tatenda Tsumba, who will run both the 60 and 200. Many other additional athletes also made the trip.
The Cougars will also field a four-man relay team in the distance medley this weekend. The DMR consists of four legs – 400, 800, 1200 and mile – with one team member competing in each of the events. Eyestone believes BYU has a chance of qualifying for indoor nationals in the DMR, so he will likely enter a team in the event throughout the indoor season.