A lot of good things have happened around BYU sports recently, but BYU Track and Field taking 1st, 3rd and 4th in the Men’s 10K race may be the best.
Hear me out. Football is kind and basketball is the prince, we all know this. All the other sports are just country folk in the terms of the BYU sports kingdom.
But what happened on Wednesday night for BYU track is nothing short of spectacular, and I can not think of anything in recent history that matches the dominance and performance that took place in the near empty stadium at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas.
Clayton Young won the individual championship in a time of 29:16.60 and teammates Connor McMillian (29:19.85) and Connor Mantz (29:19.93) took third and fourth places overall.
Any real runner knows that there are two kings of track in the running events, the 100 and the 10,000 meter. Every other race, although still a great race and with good merit is not as good as those two. If a runner is in the 5,000 meter or 1,5000 meter it is because they don’t have the endurance to hang with the elite 10,000 meter runners. If a runner is in the 400 it is because they lack the speed to run in the 100 meter.
Again, this is not a knock against other events, I was a 800/1500 meter runner myself, but the true races of endurance and speed are the 10,000 and 100 meter runs.
Other dominant performances
As we look back at other recent dominant performances we have
- Football win at Wisconsin
- Men’s Basketball taking down No. 1 ranked Gonzaga
- Women’s Volleyball team making it to the Final Four
- Women’s basketball team making the Round of 32
- Softball winning the WCC title a billion times in a row
- Peter Kuest winning golf tournaments at an unreal pace
- Men’s cross country team taking second place in the NCAA Finals
All of these performances are great, but with an exception to perhaps the men’s cross country team, none of them were on the biggest stage, or atleast made it to the biggest stage with this kind of success.
The thing is, unlike most sports made of teams, running is individual. So take an position in football and imagine three of the four of them leading the nation in whatever position that is. It doesn’t happen!
Think of all 347 division one track teams, take six distance runners that run the 10,000 meter run from each one, and BYU has the 1st, 3rd and 4th best runners out of all of them. Not to mention three other BYU runners qualified for the race finishing 15th, 21st and 25th.
The team scored 21 points from the single event, which last year would have gotten the team tenth place overall. If BYU can find a way to score another ten points or so, they may find themselves in the top five final rankings, which so many runners still waiting to compete is not out of the question.
Currently after day two of competition, the Cougars sit in second place overall in the NCAA Championships.