All three BYU athletes placed in the top five in their respective events at the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend.
“The bottom line is the athletes went out and performed and weren’t intimidated,” BYU track and field head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We got great efforts out of them.”
Junior Shaquille Walker took third in the men’s 800-meter finals with a time of 1:47.50. He trailed only Akron’s Clayton Murphy and Middle Tennessee State’s Eliud Rutto. He also ran a 1:47.36 in the men’s preliminaries on Friday, which also ranked third among all competitors.
Junior Zachary Blackham took third overall in the men’s high jump with a mark of 2.18 meters. He trailed only Air Force’s Taylor Smith and Texas Tech’s Trey Culver. With Blackham’s and Walker’s combined scores, BYU took 19th overall among men’s teams.
“All three of our athletes outperformed their ranking coming in to the meet,” Eyestone said. “The men took 19th overall as a team, and considering we only had two people that’s a very good result.”
Junior Shea Martinez-Collinsworth ran a 2:04.38 in the preliminaries on Friday afternoon, ranking second among all competitors. In the finals, she placed fifth with a time of 2:06.57.
“Just getting to nationals is a hard thing,” Martinez-Collinsworth said. “I just tried to close strong and stay positive throughout the race and enjoy the moment. I was happy with the outcome and being able to represent BYU. I’m grateful for my coaches and everyone who helped me get to this point. I’m really grateful for BYU and everything it does to help us succeed.”
The outdoor track and field season begins Friday and Saturday, March 18-19, at the Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles.
Blake Dorton is a BYU student studying broadcast journalism and French. He hopes to pursue a career in sports broadcasting after graduation. You can follow him on Twitter @BlakeDorton.