Ah, the BYU High School Invitational. The meet that we all look forward to every year and it never fails to disappoint. Looking back at these past couple of years, we've had countless state records broken, new nation-leading times/marks, and incredible memories made. A couple of months ago, I thought I would've been writing a recap article talking about all the new state records that went down, being able to experience our new events (4x200m & 4x800m) for the first time at BYU, and what we can expect for State.
But now, we can only look back and remember what has happened and the memories we made then.
I remember my first encounter with this meet back in 2015 which was my sophomore year of high school. I had qualified by time to run in the 1600m and it was truly a special moment for me as I had seen my hard work pay off and was now rewarded with the opportunity to run at one of the most competitive meets in the state!
In that race, I'll never forget how excited I was and being able to run in the same heat with a few other guys my age in my region that I had been racing with since middle school. I remember leading the way on the first lap and hearing the announcer attempt to pronounce my last name, to which he fell short. It was a great feeling finishing 3rd in my heat and earning myself a new PR for the event!
Although that was the only time I ever ran at the BYU HS Invitational, I still went every year since as an athlete supporting my friends and as the editor for MileSplit Utah. The BYU Invitational is without a doubt my favorite track meet of the year to cover because we get to see the best of the best compete in the same race with no classifications to separate them!
Looking back at the special moments we had at this meet, such as Dallin Draper running 21.12 to break Hunter Woodhall's State record in the 200m, Meghan Hunter running 52.63 in the 400m (she was the nations fastest 400m runner at the time), Ryan Raff upsetting the two-time NXN Champion Casey Clinger in the 3200m, or when Austin Carter threw 66-5 in the shot put, to rank him 8th in the county at the time and so many other spectacular performances!
The BYU Invitational never failed to excite us and get us on our feet to cheer on the athletes as they chased down their goals and set new personal bests. There's definitely a magical feeling of being there and competing with other top athletes in the state. It was after BYU that we were able to really talk about what could be at state and it was one of the last meets before championship season began.
Although we weren't able to have the BYU invitational this May, it will be back again and we will be there with you for the next one. Watching the incredible athletes of Utah and surrounding states compete together to accomplish their goals they made for themselves at the beginning of the season.