She is four states away from her husband and it is her senior year. It’s a big adjustment. To see what she’s doing on the track with what’s happening off the track is amazing. —BYU coach Diljeet Taylor
Kyle Collinsworth may be the NCAA’s Mr. Triple Double but if his car broke down in the desert, it would be wise to send his wife if he wanted to get help fast.
Shea Collinsworth became BYU’s all-time indoor 800-meter master over the weekend when she smashed her own personal record by nearly three seconds, finishing first at a meet in Ames, Iowa. Her 2:01.42 time placed her No. 5 all-time in the collegiate realm and qualifies her for the NCAA championships with the second best recorded time in the country.
While away from her husband Kyle, who is playing NBA D-League basketball in Dallas, Shea’s effort is even more impressive when you consider how she’s juggling school, track and a marriage from distance, according to her coach Diljeet Taylor, who herself was a three-time collegiate All-American and new on BYU’s staff.
Taylor said anyone who’s been around Shea Collinsworth, seen her workouts, taken note of her times, and witnessed her determination the past year would have see this coming.
In fact, at a meet two weeks ago at Washington, Shea ran against professional athletes in an indoor meet, placing third. But along with her coach, she was a little disappointed.
“Some would see that as being greedy, but we knew at that meet what she was capable of and it was better than the time she posted because of her baseline established in workouts.”
Some of that enthusiasm for Shea’s potential spilled out in Iowa when she dominated the 800-meter race even though she got in some awkward situations during the race. All that signaled Shea isn’t done turning heads.
“It wasn’t a smooth and perfect race being that she had to move out a few times and got tripped up a couple of times,” said Taylor. “To run the time she did with a couple of hiccups she had is a testament to her hard work, her workouts and that she is ready to make that jump.”
Former Olympian, BYU head coach Ed Eyestone later tweeted: “With that run Shea has entered a whole new stratosphere ”
A senior, Shea already owns BYU’s indoor 400-meter mark at 53.72 seconds. Her record 800-meter mark broke a five-year-old school mark set by All-American and BYU NCAA champion Nachelle Stewart Mackie of 2:03.30 set March 9, 2012, in Nampa, Idaho.
Shea Martinez and then-Cougar hoop captain Kyle first met in an athletic department weight room three years ago this month. Kyle found he had to chase Shea because their initial chat ended quickly when Kyle asked her to rank his workout outfit and she called it a 3 and walked away. They later began dating and married in June 2015.
Those who know Kyle Collinsworth know that he has converted to a strict diet and nutrition lifestyle. Taylor said Shea bought into it and she has benefited from that support.
That their athletic careers have taken them apart in 2016-17, plus Taylor’s recent hire at BYU, which presented Shea with a whole new coaching personality and approach, makes her trajectory all the more impressive.
“I wouldn’t say she’s been underperforming because it hasn’t been that way,” said Taylor. “But she‘s made a lot of sacrifices so it’s nice to see the success on the track. She is four states away from her husband and it is her senior year. It’s a big adjustment. To see what she’s doing on the track with what’s happening off the track is amazing.”
What makes Shea tick is the same recipe champions time after time ascribe to, according to her coach.
“It is her natural speed and natural talent combined with work ethic and confidence in her workouts. This is my first year. To buy in and take on something you aren’t used to does take a lot of faith and so really she has blown me away in the amount of belief she has. She has trusted the process and when an athlete buys in with the amount of God-given talent she has and her own determination and work ethic, that’s when magic happens.”
What kind of athletic wife did Kyle Collinsworth marry?
She is shy to those she isn’t acquainted with, according to Taylor, but for those who do know her, she has the ability to light up a room.
“She is super bubbly and positive. I think one of her greatest assets is she smiles a lot, has a good outlook. People who know her say she lights up the room and she makes everyone else smile. I hit it off with her pretty well. I feel her connection with me and it has gone very well.”
Taylor believes predictions can go out the window at an NCAA championship because so many things can happen to a runner in a meet, on the track and between the lanes. But her expectations for Shea are high.
“I’d like to see her improve. She’s done so, and not by a small amount. Usually indoor tends to be slower than outdoor. I expect her to improve and she expects it too. This is a good starting point. She will need to keep healthy and work hard.”
In the meantime, Kyle, if you challenge the wife for a race to the local Maverik for something healthy, my money is on the missus.