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BYU track: Cougars to face top competition at New Balance Invitational

By Mason Porter

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 30 2013 5:36 p.m. MST

PROVO, Utah - After a strong showing by the distance runners at last week’s University of Washington Invitational, the No. 19 BYU men’s track and field team heads to New York this week for the New Balance Invitational, one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious meets.

“It’s by far the biggest event for us during the indoor season,” head coach Mark Robison said. “We’ll get to face some of the best teams in the country and compete in one the best facilities around, so we look forward to it.”

BYU will be one of ten of the top 25 men’s track and field programs in the country competing at the meet. The top four teams in the country - No. 1 Arkansas, No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Texas A&M and No. 4 Oregon - will all be in attendance.

Last week, the Cougars sent most of the team to the Air Force Invitational, while the distance runners headed to Seattle, Wash., for the UW Invitational. BYU placed three athletes in the top 10 of the 3,000-meter run, with Jared Ward leading the way. Ward took fourth with a time of 8:01.87.

“Our distance guys have done really well so far, but we’ve had some injuries to deal with among our sprinters,” Robison said. “That’s really tough in the indoor season since it’s so short, but hopefully we can get them back by the middle of February in time for the MPSF meet.”

Another strength for the Cougars so far this year has been the pole vaulters. Despite suffering an ankle injury at the beginning of the year, senior Victor Weirich posted the highest mark at the Air Force Invitational, taking first place with a vault of 17-06.50.

“I was blown away with how well Victor vaulted last week,” Robison said. “He’ll have some tough competition this week, but we think he’ll do really well again.”

The New Balance Invitational starts Friday at 7:30 a.m. MST. Live streaming and results of the meet can be found at Flotrack.

Mason Porter is a Sports Information Director for BYU Athletic Communications. Contact him at mretrop@gmail.com.

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