University beat: BYU's Miles Batty sets sights on cross-country nationals
Miles Batty is fast, durable and intelligent.
So, far this cross-country season, it's been a winning formula. The Brigham Young senior All-American is three for three in 2011, as are the Cougar men.
However, as BYU prepares for Saturday's trip to Madison and the Wisconsin Invitational, Batty has his eyes and mind focused down the road, to the NCAA Regional meet in Provo on Nov. 12 and the national championships nine days later in Terre Haute, Ind.
"I'd like a top-five finish," said the reigning U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Track Athlete of the Year. "You're not going to do that if you are worn out."
There is a fine line in the distance runner's preparation. Too much work leaves the body drained and unable to meet the mind's demands.
The aim is for a peak.
"You're only going to push as far as the body lets you," Batty said. "On the psychological side, you want to be calm and relaxed.
"Last year I came into nationals feeling pretty worn down, on the down side of the peak."
Batty and the No. 8-ranked Cougars were calm and relaxed during their most recent victory at the Notre Dame Invitational, where they beat second-place Florida State by 47 points.
Batty, a senior from Sandy, went into the 2011 NCAA Indoor National Championships with high expectations, but he never could have predicted the results of that weekend.
Plenty was expected coming into this cross-country season. Not only did an experienced BYU team finish 18th overall at last year's nationals, Batty was also the 15th fastest runner during the 10K race.
"Batty was a consistent No. 1 guy," BYU coach Ed Eyestone said. "He was very strong all year long."
It was truly only the beginning for the recently named West Coast Conference's Runner of the Month.
Batty won the NCAA indoor mile event. He also anchored both winning medley relay teams.
In between, Batty's time of 3 minutes, 55.79 seconds in the mile at the Husky Classic in Washington broke a 31-year-old BYU record, which was set by Doug Padilla in 1980, by 1.06 seconds.
His mind was calm and body right, plus he didn't stress about running a fast time, which, in turn, contributed to the stellar performance.
Batty seeks the same mindset in the coming months.
"In the first half of the race [at Notre Dame] I didn't feel like I was in control," he said. "I was able to control [my negativity] and run better.
"To me, it is all about where you are."
So, far, Batty's been in front.