Cougars win 15 events in season opener
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field started off the 2016 indoor season by winning 15 total events at the BYU Cougar Collegiate Indoor Invitational.
“I think it was a nice day with nice performances for the weekend,” BYU coach Ed Eyestone said. “Kevin Nielsen really jumpstarted things in the heptathlon on Thursday and Friday. He had the No. 3 performance all-time in the heptathlon in BYU indoor history. I think that puts him at No. 3 in the country right now. It probably won’t hold up because heptathlon is one of the events that are held a lot at other meets. He’ll probably have to improve on that but it’s a close mark to get him into the national meet.”
As part of his personal record heptathlon effort, Nielsen also had the No. 10 all-time mark in the long jump in BYU indoor history.
Tatenda Tsumba, John Glazier, Zachary Blackham, Connor Ross, Sean Adams and Zachary Stetler all set PRs in their respective events this weekend. Eyestone was very pleased with each of their performances.
“Tatenda had a very nice mark in the 300m,” he said. “He’s showing some good range as a short sprinter who is getting out of his comfort zone and running a really fast time in the 300m. His strength is progressing nicely, and he might get an opportunity to run in the 400m if he can run a 300m that fast.
“Glazier hit the No. 4 all-time mark in BYU indoor history in the long jump, so that was really nice for a guy just off his mission this past summer. His speed is coming along really well.
“Blackham had the No. 9 all-time mark in BYU indoor history for the high jump at 7’1”. It was a great performance for him.
“It wasn’t a surprising mark, but true freshman (Connor) Ross ran 1:51.43 (in the 800m). It was the first time in uniform and it was a nice opener for him,” Eyestone said.
Eyestone also had high praise for Adams, one of his senior leaders who had a PR in the 500m.
“Sean (Adams) is tough as nails and we always get good performances out of him. He doesn’t have an outdoor season to go to, so it’s all indoor season for him. He’s going to be a great asset and strength. He’s going to be a crucial member of our 4x400m team.”
Stetler’s PR came in the discus with a throw of 167’1.5”.
The women had a strong performance in the meet-- placing first in eight events.
“On the women’s side, Alyssa Monteverde-Dalton had the No. 5 all-time 60-meter hurdles mark in BYU indoor history at 8.42. She came back just an hour later and won the 60 meters, so that was a nice day for her,” said Eyestone.
Monteverde-Dalton also holds a new personal record of 7.76 in the 60 meters.
Along with the win from Monteverde-Dalton, Erin Merkley (pentathlon), Lauren Shubin (one mile), Shea Collinsworth (500 meters), ShyAndrea Jackson, (triple jump), Anginae Monteverde (pole vault), and Marissa Appiah (high jump) were among the other first-place finishers.
“Shea Collinsworth just missed the school record in the 500 meters by 0.2 seconds. She really got out and ran strong and was on her own,” said Eyestone. “The 500 meters isn’t an event that is run really frequently, so for her to run that time sets her up well for the 800 meters that she is going to be running in the future.”
Marissa Appiah and Andrea Stapleton both scored the same in the high jump with marks of 5’8”. This mark is a new personal best for Appiah.
Click here for complete meet results.
Up next the track and field team will travel to College Station, Texas, for the Texas A&M Team Invitational as well as Pocatello, Idaho, for the Snake River Open on Jan. 15-16.