Cougars have high expectations ahead of MPSF Championships
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field will begin the championship portion of the indoor season at the 2019 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships Feb. 22-23.
“One of our goals at the start of the season was to do very well at the conference meet,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I think on the men’s side that means winning the MPSF championships and on the women’s side I think we’re capable of finishing top five.”
The 17th-ranked BYU men’s team will face off against 14 teams at the University of Washington's Dempsey Indoor Track Arena, including No. 10 Oregon, No. 12 USC, No. 15 Stanford and No. 23 Arizona. The 16th-ranked BYU women’s team will compete against 21 other teams at the conference championship meet, headlined by No. 2 USC, No 3. Oregon and No. 25 UCLA.
“I think we’re going to give a good showing,” Eyestone continued. “We have some athletes who we know are going to the national meet that are dropping down in events this weekend so we might be giving up a few points there. However, I think we have enough strength overall to give a really good run at it.”
To help put the team on track at the conference championship meet, the BYU coaches will be putting together a goal for the number of total season-best marks earned by the team at the meet. Eyestone believes that the overall scoring will take care of itself if the athletes are going for their best performances of the season.
Eyestone noted that the men’s distance medley relay (DMR) team will be competing again to take another shot at qualifying for the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships. The BYU DMR team is currently sitting with the 13th-best time in the nation while only the top 12 times advance to Nationals. The team will consist of the same runners as the previous meet with Michael Bluth, Talem Franco, Matt Owens and Patrick Parker.
“Our guys each need to improve 0.25 seconds on their legs,” Eyestone said. “We want to get into the 8-10 range because there are about five marks above that, that are converted because of the tracks they ran on. If we get to the NCAA Championships, I think we could score pretty well.”
The Cougars will have a handful of athletes looking to perform well enough to put themselves in position to qualify for Nationals. Eyestone specifically highlighted Anna Camp in the women’s mile and Lauren Ellsworth in the women’s 800m as two athletes he expects to perform well enough to potentially earn qualifying positions.
Follow @BYUTFXC on Twitter and @BYUtrackfieldxc on Instagram for team updates from the meet. The MPSF Championships will be streamed live on FloTrack.org and live results can be found on Athletic.net.