Provo • BYU’s men’s and women’s track teams will be represented by 42 athletes at the NCAA West Preliminary this week in Fayetteville, Ark.
The NCAA regional will be held Thursday through Saturday at the John McDonnell Field on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Because several BYU athletes qualified in more than one event, the Cougars will be chasing a total of 49 qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore, next month.
BYU’s men’s team is especially strong this year and looking for a high finish at both meets. The BYU men had the second-most qualifying marks in the country, 32, behind Oregon’s 36.
The Cougars’ best chance for a medal is senior Curtis Carr of Nashville, Ind., who is seeded No. 2 in the steeplechase. He posted a time of 8:37.54 seconds in the 3000-meter steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays last month, the fastest time by a collegiate athlete in the nation this year.
Distance runners Jared Ward (5,000 and 10,000), Jason Witt (10,000) and Jonathan Nelson (10,000) are also ranked in the top 10 in their respective races.
BYU women’s basketball star Lexi Eaton is ranked No. 12 in the country in the high jump; BYU’s Andrea Harrison, a junior from Spokane, Wash., is No. 8 in the steeplechase.
At one time this season, BYU’s Chase Dalton had the best score in the country in the decathlon. Dalton and teammate Joshua Weirich automatically advance to the decathlon final June 11-14 in Oregon.
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