“Spencer ran an amazing race,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “He rose to the occasion, but we knew he was capable of that. The fact that it’s his senior year, and he made the national meet is inspiring. Ending the evening with that exclamation point put a stamp on a very good day.”
Witt, who finished in 29:45.13 (sixth), came in as the No. 1 seed in the 10,000 meters and was expected to advance. Gardner was one of the final West qualifiers for the event (11th), but kept pace with Witt for much of the race and held on in the final laps for the top 12 finish and a place at the NCAA Championships.
"Going in to the race I was ranked 47 out of 48 people," Gardner said. "So statistically, I didn’t have a good chance of advancing. My goal going in to the race was to beat as many people as possible. As the race started, I knew I had to be up there and pass people every lap. After about 6,000 meters, the pace picked up and I knew it was now or never. I made sure to stay among the top 15 and held on at the end."
Other highlights on day one of the West Prelims began with the 400-meter hurdles. In the men's Korey Smith led a trio of Cougars on to the next round. Smith started fast and battled for the lead going in to the final 100 meters eventually placing 2nd in his heat. Smith’s time of 51.30 was good for the fifth-best time overall. Mark Carlson and Max Scheible finished in 51.44 and 52.18, respectively.
In the women's 400-meter hurdles, Angela Shields moved on to the next round finishing in 59.73, her second-best time this season. Shields came in to the event seeded No. 31, but her time was the 17th fastest time overall.
"Angela has shown she is capable of running really fast races," Eyestone said. "We look forward to her running even faster tomorrow."
In the women’s 800m, Kelsey Brown-Gilbert and Shea Martinez raced from the front in their heats and secured automatic berths to the next round with second-place finishes. Brown-Gilbert finished in 2:08.40, while Martinez finished in 2:08.66.
No. 1 seeded Shaquille Walker took charge early in his 800-meter race, leading the whole way and taking first comfortably with a time of 1:49.64.
The meet continues tomorrow beginning at 11:00 a.m. MDT. Live results of the event can be found here. A live stream of the event can be seen at the University of Texas track and field website. A list of BYU athletes that competed today along with their results are listed below.
|Angela Shields||400m Hurdles||59.73||17th||400m hurdle NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:30 p.m. MDT)|
|Kaylee Packham||400m Hurdles||1:00.39||26th||
Did not qualify (DNQ)
|Alyssa Monteverde-Dalton||400m Hurdles||1:02.05||41st||DNQ|
|Kelsey Brown-Gilbert||800m||2:08.40||9th||800m NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:00 p.m. MDT)|
|Shea Martinez||800m||2:08.66||12h||800m NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:00 p.m. MDT)|
|Jesse White||400m||47.32||32nd||Did not qualify (DNQ)|
|Korey Smith||400m Hurdles||51.30||5th||400m hurdle NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:45 p.m. MDT)|
|Mark Carlson||400m Hurdles||51.44||9th||
400m hurdle NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:45 p.m. MDT)
|Max Scheible||400m Hurdles||52.18||23rd||400m hurdle NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:45 p.m. MDT)|
|Cam Dopp||400m Hurdles||52.93||36th||DNQ|
|Shaquille Walker||800m||1:49.64||11th||800m NCAA Quarterfinals (Friday 6:15 p.m. MDT)|
|Jason Witt||10,000m||29:45.13||6th||NCAA Championships (June 10-13)|
|Spencer Gardner||10,000m||30:03.09||11th||NCAA Championships (June 10-13)|
|Zachary Stetler||Discus||170–05 (51.95m)||28th||DNQ|
|Blake Steeves||Long Jump||F||N/A||DNQ|
|Zachary Blackham||High Jump||6–11.75 (2.13m)||19th||