Brigham Young University’s Shaquille Walker is heading to the NCAA outdoor track-and-field championships in two events.
Walker, a sophomore from Richmond Hill, finished second in the 800 meters and anchored BYU’s second-place 4x400-meter relay team Saturday at the NCAA West Preliminary in Austin, Texas, punching his ticket to nationals in both events.
Walker finished in 1 minute, 47.30 seconds to win his 800 semifinal heat and place second overall in the west region. He ran in second place most of the race but took charge in the 200 final to win by nearly a second.
Walker’s time was second only to the 1:46.23 by Edward Kemboi of Iowa State, earning him a spot in the NCAA outdoor championships June 10-13 in Eugene, Oregon.
The Richmond Hill High School alumnus then qualified in a second event, giving BYU a strong finish that shattered the school record in the 4x400 relay.
The Cougars were in third place in their heat when Jesse White handed off to Walker for the anchor leg. Coming into the homestretch, Walker shifted over a lane and outsprinted the two top-seeded teams’ anchors to take the victory.
Every 4x400 team member’s split came in well under 47 seconds. The team’s time was 3:03.82, breaking the 44-year-old school record by more than two seconds.
The BYU relay team’s time was second overall to Illinois’ 3:03.11.