SEATTLE – Of the 54 BYU athletes who competed at the MPSF Championships over the weekend, 36 had season-best performances.
The team’s goal heading to Seattle was to have two-thirds of the participating athletes notch their best marks of the indoor season. BYU coach Ed Eyestone was pleased with the big weekend for many of his athletes.
“It was a phenomenal meet for us,” he said. “The men’s team ended up in second and the women’s team in seventh. We had some great performances overall.”
Zachary Blackham won the high jump and set a new personal record in the process. He jumped 2.20 meters, which gives him the fourth-best mark in BYU indoor history and puts him at sixth in the NCAA this season.
Tatenda Tsumba won the 200 meters in 21.38 but was a few hundredths of a second shy of his best on the season.
Rory Linkletter took second place in the 5,000 meters with a time of 13:52.74. He trailed the winner by less than three seconds. His time is good for seventh-best in BYU indoor history.
Kevin Nielsen finished third in the heptathlon with a season-best 5640 points. He set the BYU indoor record in the process and currently sits at No. 20 in the NCAA, just missing a top 16 spot needed to qualify for nationals.
The 4x400 meter relay team took second overall with a time of 3:07.68. They just missed breaking the school record (3:07.66) by two one-hundredths of a second.
Zachary Stetler finished sixth overall in the shot put with a mark of 18.62 meters. It wasn’t a season-best, but Eyestone said it might have been the best series in his life, meaning that all of his throws were very strong.
BYU has two athletes, Shaquille Walker (800 meters) and Blackham (high jump), who will compete at nationals in two weeks.
“As well as we did, it could have been even better in terms of NCAA qualification had a number of very close performances been slightly improved,” Eyestone said. “It was a series of close calls in a number of events.”
Full results from the MPSF Championships can be accessed by clicking here.
The indoor season will conclude at the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, on March 11-12.