PROVO, Utah – Short distance runners, jumpers and throwers will have the spotlight this weekend at the New Mexico Collegiate Track and Field Classic on Feb. 5-6.
Last weekend’s standout long distance runners have the week off. Now BYU coach Ed Eyestone is looking forward to what this weekend’s traveling squad can do in Albuquerque as most of them stayed home during the preceding week’s trip.
“Many of our athletes who are going this week have had a couple of weeks of training,” Eyestone said. “When you get in the heat of things and are competing every week you actually lose a little bit of fitness. Sometimes you just need to spend a week at home, get in some good training and then come back every couple of weeks. Usually when you do that you can expect good things, so we’re looking for that.”
With the NCAA Championships just over a month away, the facilities in New Mexico are as close to the type of track those qualified will soon see in Birmingham, Alabama.
“It will be nice in a couple of ways,” Eyestone said. “For one, it’s a 200-meter banked track, which is what those who make it will be running on at the national meet. It’s also a good facility for sprints and jumps, so our high jumpers and pole vaulters, in particular, are all looking for big performances.”
Eyestone is hopeful he can inch closer to nailing down the always-important men’s 4x400 meters team as a result of this meet.
“We’re trying to get our men’s 4x400 meters group rounded out, so we’re going to have Tatenda Tsumba run the opening leg of the race to see what he can do,” Eyestone said. “He’s been pretty conservative because he’s a short sprinter, and we’re trying to get him some confidence in some of the longer sprints.”
One other group he is particularly interested in on this trip is the pole vaulters.
“We have some pole vaulters that have been doing very well, so we’d like to see them improve,” Eyestone said. “It will be a nice test for Jameson Shirley and Kyle Brown in particular. Those two guys are very capable, but they just need some more reps on a good facility.”