COLLEGE STATION, Texas – In the first road meet of the season, BYU men’s track and field took third place in a very competitive 11-team field at the Texas A&M Team Invitational.
BYU (72.50) trailed only No. 9 Texas A&M (146.0) and No. 2 Texas (87.50) in the meet. Stephen F. Austin (67.0), No. 19 South Carolina (64.50), Baylor (42.0), No. 16 Oklahoma State (41.0), Texas State (32.0), UTSA (28.50), Abilene Christian (17.0) and No. 7 TCU (11.0) rounded out the team scoring. BYU coach Ed Eyestone was thrilled with the Cougars’ performance.
“I think we had an outstanding meet for both the men’s and women’s teams,” he said. “We ended up third and fifth, respectively, in the meet. When you’re battling against some of the best from the SEC and the Big 12 I think that’s a great result.”
The Cougars kicked off the meet on Friday with the distance medley relay.
“The DMR started off really well last night. It was nice for both the men and women to represent in the DMR – they had very solid legs from all the runners,” Eyestone said. “Any time you open the meet really strong it kind of sets the tone for things.”
A few newer faces had breakout performances over the weekend.
“On the men’s side we had Rory Linkletter win the 3000m (8:11.35). He led for most of the race and then made a nice move down the homestretch to win.”
Sophomore Karson Fronk took second in the men’s mile (4:10.63) after leading most of the race.
Senior leader Sean Adams took fourth in the 400m with a time of 47.64, a new indoor personal record.
One of the Cougars’ best high jumpers, Sam Rockwood, continued his road to recovery with his best meet since tearing his ACL in the fall of 2014.
“Sam did extremely well," Eyestone said. "He ended up in second place with a jump of 6’11”. It was his best performance since his season-ending injury. He went out last year trying to get confidence back in his leg, so it’s the best we’ve seen from 'post-injury Sam.'"
“For me personally, it was the first time travelling in 17 months,” Rockwood said. “It was a big burden off my back to finally clear a pretty good height in 6’11”. I had a pretty miserable meet last week, and coach Mark Robison talked to me and told me to quit focusing on outcomes and focus rather on what you’re doing well and stay positive. In all honesty, I just kept thinking about the things I needed to do and I never worried about where the bar was. I was pleased with how it worked out and it’s something I’m going to continue to do in the future.”
“All in all I think it was a great opportunity to garner some experience going against some of the sprint powers on teams that are consistently scoring well at the NCAA championships,” Eyestone said. “I think we showed that we can compete. It’s still a very early meet but this was a good learning experience. The NCAA meet has been held here a couple of times as well. It gave our athletes a big time experience prior to the NCAA meet so that when the time comes for them to go to nationals their eyes won't be like saucers—they’ll be going in with the mindset that this is just like Texas A&M.”
Click here for complete meet results.
Next up for BYU is the Air Force Invitational in Colorado Springs, Colorado next Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 21-23.