PROVO, Utah – The BYU track and field team will compete at two different meets this weekend. Part of the team will head to Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10 and another group will head to Idaho for the Bronco Challenge at the Jacksons Indoor Track on Saturday.
“We are dividing and conquering this weekend,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Hopefully we come away from this weekend with many of our athletes qualifying for the NCAA Championships.”
More than 55 athletes will travel to Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic. The meet has paced races, which means that the races will have non-collegiate runners who are paid to set fast paces. The goal is to push the collegiate athletes to run personal bests and ultimately qualify for the NCAA Championships.
Eyestone looks forward to watching his athletes compete in these races as he has many of them participating in the fastest races.
Among those athletes is Rory Linkletter, who qualified last year and finished second in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000m. He will be running the 5,000m and Eyestone expects him to qualify. Linkletter is also working to beat Olympian and professional runner Jared Ward’s BYU record for the race.
Daniel Carney is also running the 5,000m and Eyestone expects him to qualify. Clayson Shumway and Conner Mantz will compete in the second-fastest heat and they will have a chance to qualify as well.
Eyestone hopes to see Whittni Orton earn a qualifying spot in the mile and Laura Young-Bluth earn a spot in the 5,000m.
The throwers and long sprinters will also head to Iowa. The goal of all of the athletes is to earn a qualifying spot.
"Hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll have a number of people with a guaranteed ticket to the indoor national championships," Eyestone said.
A group of athletes will head to Idaho to compete at the Bronco Challenge. The Cougars will send multi-event athletes, jumpers and short sprinters to participate.
Keesha Miller will compete in the 60m and is an athlete to watch. Andrea Stapleton hopes to improve her mark in the high jump as her current mark is right on the border for qualifying. She hopes to secure her spot in the championships with her performance this weekend.
Live results for the Iowa State Classic can be found here.