Jared Ward led a strong debut of the BYU distance runners and many standout performances for the men's track squad Friday and Saturday at the UW Invitational.

"It was a good meet for us," head coach Ed Eyestone said. "By in large we did great and performed well. We looked forward to the debut of our distance squad and they didn't disappoint."

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Ward ran the 3000 meters and recorded the 14th fastest time in the country in his first appearance of the year. Four more Cougars finished in the top 20, with Jonathan Nelson taking 13th, Steve Flint finishing in 15th, Taylor Farnsworth placing 17th and Curtis Carr taking 20th.

Zach Stetler set a personal best in the shot put, taking fifth place with a mark of 17.15 meters. Mario Harper took second in the 400 meters in 48.47 seconds. Jonathan Harper ran a personal best 4:06.23 in the mile.

The Cougars return to action Feb. 7-8, as they travel to New York to participate in the New Balance Invitational.

Justin Green is the sports information director over men's track and cross country for BYU Athletic Communications. He is a BYU student majoring in public relations and minoring in business and will graduate in April 2014. Email: justinjgreen8@gmail.