Three BYU athletes hope to qualify for the Olympics this summer

Three BYU athletes hope to qualify for the Olympics this summer

PROVO-  Three BYU track team members are taking their next step towards the Olympic trials at the NCAA championships.

Their preparation and hard work are key.

“Honestly it starts [with] fall training, our off-season, and just building up for this meet, and obviously the end goal is the end of the year, outdoor nationals and Olympic trials,” junior standout Shea Collinsworth said.

Collinsworth qualified for the national indoor track and field championships in the 800 meter. For the men, high jumper Zach Blackham will join 800 meter Shaquille Walker.

“I want to try and win a national title this weekend,” Walker said. “It’s gonna take a special effort I think, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”

“Take it one step at a time, just have fun, keep working hard and see where it goes,” Blackham said.

Making their mark on the national stage is not where it stops for these high octane competitors.

“From there, obviously qualifying for outdoor nationals, and placing top three there and then going to the Olympic trials,” Collinsworth said.

“And then of course after that the Olympics,” Walker said.

“I’d love to be able to go to the Olympic trials and just be there,” Blackham said.

While all of these Cougars left their mark in the school record books, it may be Georgia native Shaquille Walker who has the best chance for a spot on the Olympic team. His talent has earned him a sixth in the nation ranking, but he’ll need to move up to the third spot to qualify for Brazil.

The Cougars compete in Alabama with the finals on March 12th. Following this meet the outdoor season begins, all in preparation for the Olympic trials this July.

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