BYU track: Whaley, Harrison lead Cougars at the Armory

By Lorie Garnett

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Feb. 8 2014 8:16 p.m. MST

The Armory proved to be as prestigious as ever, with more than 50 Division I athletes competing alongside the BYU women’s track team in New York City on Feb. 7-8.

The New Balance Invitational was selected as the U.S Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association DI meet of the week with many ranked teams competing on both the men's and women's side. The New Balance Invitational at the Armory is one of the most prestigious meets of the indoor season and has continued to live up to its name for 14 years.

“We look forward to coming to New York every year. It's one of our highlights of the indoor season,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We accomplished some good things and we are seeing continued improvements in all the categories."

Deezbaa Whaley highlighted the meet this weekend with a third place finish in the weight throw with a mark of 19.28m.

Andrea Nelson Harrison, one of the few distance runners to travel to New York, competed in the championship section of the 5K and finished in third place overall with a time of 16:49.04.

Allysa Hansen took fourth place in the college section of the 500m race with a time of 1:14.46. The 500 will help her to prepare to run an excellent 400m at the MPSF Championships in three weeks.

Kassie Jensen finished in 14th in the 60m dash with a time of 7.78, alongside freshman teammate Lauren Baxter who finished with a time of 7.94.

The track and field team made the most of its time in New York City, attending the taping of The Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman offered his special welcome to Eyestone, whom he referred to as “coach” and used throws coach Leif Arrhenius as material for one of his stand-up jokes, referring to him as a “40-year-old shot putter”. In both instances, Eyestone and Arrhenius were shown laughing on screen.

“We got a shout out on Letterman and that was really cool,” Eyestone said. “But the meet this weekend has continued to give all of our athletes continued confidence for the meets ahead and conference in a few weeks.”

The Cougars will split up next weekend, with the distance runners heading to the University of Washington and the power groups heading to the Air Force Academy.

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