Women's Track & Field Blog | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

Women's Track & Field Blog

Highlights from day one at Iowa Classic

Feb 10, 2017 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 9:00 pm | Permalink

AMES, Iowa – The opening day of the Iowa Classic featured several athletes breaking into the BYU record books.

Erica Birk took first place in the women’s mile and set a new BYU record with a time of 4:38.95. Ashleigh Warner, Kristi Rush and Whittni Orton took fourth through sixth places, also claiming spots in the top 10 all-time at BYU. Warner now sits in second place (4:39.48) with Rush in fourth place (4:39.79) and Orton in ninth place (4:41.66).  

Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter and Jonathan Harper also took their places in BYU's top-10 all-time lists with their personal-record performances in the men's 5000 meters. Young finished in 13:45.25 for fourth place overall and third place all-time at BYU. Linkletter's time of 13:49.00 was good enough to give him seventh place overall and sixth place at BYU all-time. And Harper ran a time of 13:54.81 for 12th place at the meet and ninth place all-time at BYU. 

Tatenda Tsumba also had a good day, winning the men’s 200 meters and claiming third place all-time at BYU with a time of 21.02. He also took fourth place in the men’s 60 meters in 6.76.

Men’s runner Chase Horrocks placed third in the mile with a time of 4:03.19, and in the men’s 3000 meters, Alex Hedquist took eighth place in 8:25.52.

Tomi Adegoke finished second in the long jump with a mark of 7.06, and Chloe Hadley took seventh in the women’s long jump with a mark of 5.64.

Keesha Miller competed in the final of the women’s 60 meters and ran a 7.65, taking sixth place overall. Christina Hedgepath, Samantha Reevers and Lauren Rawlinson also finished in the top 15.

BYU Indoor Invitational wraps up second day

Jan 13, 2017 - Posted by Taylor Brown at 8:01 pm | Updated: January 13, 2017 9:27 pm | Permalink

During the second day of the 2017 BYU Indoor Invitational, the women’s heptathlon wrapped up with sophomore Halley Folsom taking first place (3463) and freshman Lyndsay Yetter came in at a close second (3294 points).

At the close of the men’s pentathlon, Kevin Nielsen took first place in the men’s heptathlon with a total of 5525 points and Jackson Walker third place with 4414 points.

The women wrapped up three field events today including the pole vault, shot put and long jump. Kylee Trageser in first place overall for the pole vault (3.97m) and Sierra Freeland first place in the shot put.

The meet with resume tomorrow with the final field events and all races for both men and women. For a full schedule of Saturday’s events, click here

Cougars complete first day of indoor track and field competition

Jan 12, 2017 - Posted by Caitlan Wrubell at 9:42 pm | Updated: January 13, 2017 10:32 am | Permalink

At the end of the first day of competition at the BYU Cougar Indoor Invitational, Kevin Nielson leads all athletes in the men’s heptathlon with 3130 points. The men’s heptathletes competed in the high jump, long jump, shot put and the 60 meters. Nielson placed first in all heptathlon events, with Cougar Jackson Walker taking second place in the shot put, third place in the 60 meters and fourth place in the jumps. Walker finished the day with 2713 points, behind Nielson, Utah Valley’s Rusty Jones and unattached Brian Matthews.

The discus throw finals also took place on Thursday, with BYU’s Jefferson Jarvis placing second place with a 47:08 mark. Cougar Jacob Foutz finished close behind in fourth place with a mark of 45.58.  

The women got in on the action as well on Thursday, with five Cougar athletes competing in the weight throw. Siale Viatohi and Sadie Nielsen took fourth and fifth for BYU with marks of 15.50 and 15.36, respectively. Sierra Freeland and Emily Spendlove took sixth and seventh with 13.75 and 13.45 marks, and Leah Thompson rounded out the pack in 11th place with a 12.28 mark.

Competition resumes tomorrow with additional men’s heptathlon events and beginning of the women’s pentathlon. The men’s shot put and long jump finals, as well as the women’s pole vault, long jump and shot put finals, will take place tomorrow.

For a full schedule of Friday’s events, click here

Getting to know Anginae Monteverde

Mar 24, 2015 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 4:27 pm | Updated: May 12, 2015 2:16 pm | Permalink

Anginae’s career best indoor mark of 4.27m/14-00 is second all-time for a BYU women’s pole vaulter



Exercise and Wellness

When did you know you were good at track?

It was my junior year. I finally started bending the pole and jumping higher than 10 feet. I ended up jumping 12-2.00 my junior year and coaches started calling me.

How long have you been involved with track and field?

I’ve done track since third grade. I started out sprinting, high jumping and long jumping. High jump didn’t last. I did long jump all the way up until college. I did all the relays. I also got in to hurdles my sophomore year of high school. Hurdles and pole vault were my main events.

Why did you transfer to BYU?

I had a good experience with the people at Oregon. It wasn’t about the coaches, and it wasn’t about the team. It was about lifestyle. I knew I could be happier here. I would go to meets where BYU was at, and I wished I was wearing a BYU uniform. I never thought I would ever think that. There would be moments where I’d see them saying a prayer right before the competition and I would think, ‘oh can I join you guys?’ I really felt like I was missing out on stuff.

Who is one person you’d like to meet?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

What is your hobby outside track and field?

I love playing volleyball and anything sports related.

If you could visit anywhere, where would you choose to go?

I’ve always wanted to go to Paris.

What is something few people know about you?

I was a cheerleader for six years.

What is you favorite sport besides pole vaulting?


What is your favorite part of pole vaulting?

Pole vaulting is very exciting and I love how the crowd gets so involved. It’s nothing like any other sport! You don't have to wait to see what the mark is. Either you make the bar or you don't and everyone can get excited right away.

What are your pre-meet rituals?

I listen to certain songs before every meet.

I also do my hair the same every meet. I have two braids. My hair always stays out of my face and it never falls down so it’s perfect.

What is your favorite class taken at BYU?

Positive psychology

Who has had an influence on your athletic career?

My twin sister Alyssa. I look up to her with how competitive she is and how much work she puts into everything she does. No matter what she has been through, she will never give up.

What is your best track memory?

About a month ago when I cleared 14-0.00 for the first time. I went through transferring here from Oregon, which was hard. Then I got injured right away. And I had a rough year trying to get back into it. So, coming into this indoor season and clearing 14-0.00 so fast and qualifying for nationals was very rewarding.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Rascal Flatts

What is your favorite movie?

Remember the Titans

What is your favorite quote?

"Success isn't how far you go, but the distance you traveled from where you started." -Steve Prefontaine

Advice for other athletes:

“Have fun, enjoy what you’re doing. In the end it’s all about doing ordinary things extraordinary well.”-Vince Gagliardi, Anginae’s high school coach at Clovis West High School

Getting to Know Janel Passey

Feb 27, 2015 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 1:15 pm | Updated: February 27, 2015 1:16 pm | Permalink

Janel Passey is a freshman from Hailey, Idaho. She redshirted during indoor track season but will compete during outdoor track season beginning in March. 

What is your favorite class?


When did you start running?

My parents said ever since I could walk I would want to run in front of them when we went on walks. I did track in elementary school, but I was a sprinter. I didn’t get into distance running until the summer before high school. My parents started training for a marathon, and I thought it sounded cool. I started running with them and I couldn’t breathe. My form was awful, but I decided to stick with it so I joined the cross country team. I was really bad, but by the end of my freshman year I was able to travel to state as an alternate.

When did you know you were good at running?

My junior year I could tell I was getting better, but it was my senior year when I really noticed I was improving as a runner.

Did you always want to run for BYU?

I did, I definitely didn’t think I’d make BYU’s team, so I was kind of bummed out about that. The plan was to come to BYU, and if I didn’t make the team, I would join running clubs or run on my own. I went back and forth about trying out, then I was told I should. If I didn’t make it, then I would just go on with my other plans.

What were tryouts like?

It was scary. We did a track workout then had to run two college races unattached. If we did well at the two college races, then we would be on the team. I felt like I did what I could and Coach Shane told me I did well. It was a big relief when he told our group we finally made it.

Cross country or track?

I like cross country because it’s a different terrain, and it’s more adventurous than running in a circle. I like it because it’s not so structured and always something new.

Why BYU?

I really like BYU because of the religious aspect. It’s nice to be here where people have similar standards.

What are your favorite sports to watch?

I like to watch volleyball, basketball and gymnastics.

If you could be good at another sport, which sport would you choose?

Pole vaulting looks super cool, or rock climbing.

What is your hobby?

I do event organizing. I work with the Red Cross and do blood drives. I own my own 5K race so that’s been fun. I started doing it my junior year and did the race for charity. This will be my third year organizing the “Paint the Town” 5K race.

If you could meet anyone, who would it be?

I’d really like to meet Captain Moroni. I’ve always really looked up to him.

Who had the most influence on your running career?

My parents were always really big supporters. My high school coach was always the one who told me I had potential and told me I could do hard things. He helped me through a lot and helped me realize I could be a good runner.

What is your favorite part of your running?

I love distance running because it’s all about endurance and not giving up. It’s good for you mentally and physically but it’s also super fun. I’ve met some of the best people through running and had the greatest memories through running.

What was the most rewarding moment running?

Districts my senior year. I had never won a race before. I was seeded fifth, so I was like “Ok fifth is pretty good.’ Once the race started I moved into fourth and then third. I just thought, ‘Third is great so I’ll just stick here.’ My coach said, ‘Janel! You can do this! Don’t settle.’ So I moved into second and decided to go all out and went for first, and I actually ended up winning it.

What other talents do you have?

Some people say I’m good at drawing.

What are your pre-race rituals?

I always like to say a prayer in my mind or sing primary songs.

What is something few people know about you?

I’ve never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I am half-Argentine.

Who is your favorite musical artist?

Bon Iver


What is your favorite movie?

I really like the Lord of the Rings series.


Nacho Libre

Favorite quote

Part of Douglas Malloch’s poem, “Good Timber”

“Good timber does not grow with ease. The stronger the wind, the stronger the trees. The further the sky, the greater the length. The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, in trees and men good timbers grow.”

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

It would be really cool to travel to Greece.

What do you want to do with your major?

I would like to possibly be an ultrasound technician.

Best track memory

My high school coach used to send the girls and boys teams out on long runs. We’d end up going in to the forest and playing a massive game of tag or hide-and-seek. We’d be chasing each other around but still get in our mileage.

Embarrassing moment

One time at girl’s camp, we were pranking the other camps in our stake. On the way back to our cabin we thought we were getting chased by a bear. It was pitch black so we all turned and ran really fast. I ran right in to a thick wood sign and knocked myself out. 

Advice for other runners

Run because you love to run. If you stick with it and you work hard you’ll definitely see results and improvements. Don’t give up on it.

New Track and Field Commit: Lauren Ellsworth

Dec 15, 2014 - Posted by Nicholas Henderson at 3:10 pm | Updated: December 15, 2014 3:23 pm | Permalink

At what point did you realize you could run in college?

“The first time I knew I could run in college was the end of my freshmen year. I had an unexpected finish to the year and I knew when it was over that I could only get better.”

What was the recruiting process like?

“It was a long process. I had certain criteria that I wanted the schools to fit. As each school didn’t fit it, I would cross them off. I basically narrowed it down to two schools. I went on a couple official visits and afterwards knew where I wanted to go.”

What were some of the criteria?

“I wanted to do both running and nursing. The coach was definitely important. I really liked Coach Shane and Coach Eyestone. They were definitely factors in my decision.”

What stood out at BYU?

“The team stood out to me. There wasn’t any drama, they were all pretty close. They were nice and they are good. You could tell that most of them liked each other.”

What is your best event?

“The 800-meters.” – Her time of 2:07.61 in the 800-meters last season ranked among the top-10 times in the nation.

Ellsworth is a senior at Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona. She will join the team in the fall of 2015. 

UP CLOSE with Lindsey Sowards Nielson

Apr 09, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 4:16 pm | Updated: April 9, 2013 4:46 pm | Permalink

If anything else, distance runner Lindsey Sowards Nielson is a lover of all things Spanish. She's a Spanish major, her favorite movie is Nacho Libre, she would love to visit Peru and loves the Twilight series...but in Spanish.

The most unique aspect of her UP CLOSE story is she raised chickens like most people raise dogs...as pets. The chickens would even come to her and sit in her lap when she called to them. 

Height- 5-3

Major- I'm a Spanish teaching major with a TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) minor.

Hometown- Alamosa, Colorado

Track and field events- 5K

Reason for attending BYU...

"The reason I came to BYU is, of course, to study Spanish and to run track collegiately."

Favorite movie...

"My favorite movie is Nacho Libre."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"My favorite places to eat in Provo are India Palace and Pizza Pie Café."

Harry Potter, Hunger Games or Twilight...

"Hunger Games, but that's really unfair. I love the Twilight books in Spanish, and Harry Potter is my childhood!"

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"I would like to have at least four kids with my hubby."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Sarah Darby is by far the funniest girl on our team. I love her so much and she always can make me laugh!"

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"I am unfortunately The Hero of Ages." -The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson

Hidden Talent...

"I raised chickens as my pets when I lived at home during high school. They would seriously come to me and sit on my lap when I called for them."

Favorite pro sports team...

"The Broncos with Tim Tebow."

If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to Peru and live with the Incas."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"Jimmer, hands down."

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be...

"Mountain Dew."

Favorite musical artist/band...

Moydie Nielson, a guitarist."

Most embarrassing moment...

"I really can't think of an embarrassing moment..."

Favorite inspirational quote...

"Champions are made when no one is watching." -Author Unknown

UP CLOSE with Deezbaa Whaley

Apr 04, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 4:16 pm | Updated: April 5, 2013 3:13 pm | Permalink

For Deezbaa Whaley, family is quite important. There is not anything she would rather do than be with family. Even coming to BYU is part of a long standing family tradition.

One thing you most likely do not know about her is her hidden talent as a Navajo Frybread maker. She also grew up on a Navajo reservation in Arizona. If your curiosity is peaked, keep on reading...

Height- 5-7

Major- Physical Education      

Hometown- Kayenta, Arizona

Track and field events- Hammer, discusand weight throw

Reason for attending BYU...

"Going to BYU is a family tradition, and it has always been my dream."

Best place to eat in Provo...

"My sister's houses."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"Having a family reunion with everyone in my family, going to my dad's weightroom, and playing volleyball."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Sharisa Thayer. She is a jokster. She always brings a laugh and a smile to my face."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"It’s not over till it’s over." -Rocky

Hidden Talent...

"I am a navajo frybread maker."

Favorite pro sports team...


If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would go to Australia to site see because it has always been on my list of places to visit."

Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

Haley Steed

Most embarrassing moment...

"Crashing my bike while on my mission."

Something most people do not know about you...

"I grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona."

Favorite inspirational quote...

“Find joy in the journey.” -Thomas S. Monson

UP CLOSE with Allyson Anderson Wardell

Mar 12, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:24 pm | Updated: March 14, 2013 2:38 pm | Permalink

Allyson Anderson Wardell, the All-American javelin thrower from Billings, Mont., came to BYU three years ago due to the outstanding environment at BYU and her close family ties. Her tentative life plan consists of finishing school, becoming a surgical assistant, starting a family and coaching.

When she isn't on the field throwing, Allyson uses her hands for more delicate activities like sewing or crocheting. 

Height- 5-6

Major- Exercise Science

Hometown- Billings, Mont.

Track and field events- Javelin

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came to BYU because I have family here. I love the environment on campus, in my classes and in my apartments."

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team...

"The fantastic friends I have made. Not only are my fellow teammates great athletes but they are amazing friends who stick with me through thick and thin."

Favorite movie...

"It would have to be Mega Mind or the Avengers."

If you could be doing anything in 10 years it would be...

"Hopefully, I will have had a job as an surgical assistant. After working for a while, I want to start a family and be a stay at home mom. Maybe I will coach on the side."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

"Women’s gymnastics. Those girls are so incredible at what they do. I like my feet to be planted firmly on the ground, not tumbling through the air."

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why...

"Brittany Critchfield. There is never a dull moment without laughter when I am around her. A play on words surrounds every comeback I try."

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

“Minion, I’m sorry. You were right, I was… less right.” -Mega Mind

Hidden Talent-

"I actually love sewing and crocheting."

Best sport youplay/played other than track and field...


Best athlete in any sport at BYU...

"Alexa Gray on the women's volleyball team."

Favorite musical artist/band...

Owl City

Most embarrassing moment...

"My sophomore year we were practicing inside throwing at the large blue wall in the annex. When I was starting my crossovers, my spikes caught on my other shoe and I belly flopped on the track. I’m pretty sure every track athlete there saw what happened."

Favorite inspirational quote...

“Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you.” -Arnold Palmer

UP CLOSE with Kelsey Brown

Feb 28, 2013 - Posted by Steven Tew at 2:18 pm | Updated: March 5, 2013 3:59 pm | Permalink

If you are a sucker for cookies, double fudge chocolate cake or apple pie, you should make Kelsey Brown one of your baking buddies. Baking is actually her hidden talent, and she even tries to bake something new every Sunday. 

Brown, a transfer from the University of Oklahoma, grew up in Orem and came back to Utah County not only for the great track program at BYU, but also with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer for the Utah Jazz or a Jazz dancer.

Make sure you read to the end. The most embarrasing moment is definitely a keeper.

Height- 5-8

Major- Exercise Science

Hometown- Orem, Utah

Track and field events-  400, 800, 1500 and Mile

Reason for attending BYU...

"I came here for the wonderful track & field program and to get a top-of-the-line education."

Best part of being on the BYU track and field team..

"Having such a great and large team, or possibly being able to go to the snack shack everyday."

Favorite movie...

"Definitely Bubble Boy. It's a classic!"

Best place to eat in Provo...

"I love Molly's restaurant and catering."

Favorite BYU sport other than track and field...

Men's Volleyball

Funniest member of the BYU track team and why..."

"Laura Young. She has great one liners such as 'I'm NOT dramatic,' or 'I'm DYING coach!'"  

Best catchphrase or line from a book, movie or TV show...

"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get." -Forrest Gump

Favorite pro sports team...

Utah Jazz

Best sport you play/played other than track and field...


If you had a time machine, when/where would you go and why...

"I would like to go to the time period when dinosaurs roamed the earth. How cool would it be ride them?"

If you could add one thing to the BYU campus, what would it be:

"An escalator for the RB stairs. Those kill me everyday."

Favorite musical artist/band...

"Its got to be my soul sister Beyonce."

Most embarrassing moment...

"My most embarrassing moment was while I was still attending the University of Oklahoma. The men's and women's teams were on a bus going to a meet, the men were in the back and the women sat in the front. It was only a four hour drive, so I told myself I wasn't going to use the bathroom. Well, a short while into the drive, I already had to go. I was dating a guy named George at the time who was on the team and just happened to be sitting right next to the bathroom. Luckily, when I went back there he was asleep, so I wasn't that embarrassed going back. A little while later, I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN! I must have been really well hydrated. I was debating on trying to hold it for the last hour of the drive, but there was no way that was going to happen. I walked to the back of the bus again. This time, George was awake. As I was walking back, I made eye contact with him. When I looked at him, I just held up two fingers, and mouthed the words 'number two' as I am walking toward the bathroom. After seeing the terrified/disgusted look on his face as he is trying not to laugh, I made the connection on what he thought I said. I instantly fell to the ground in laughter trying to explain to every guy on the bus, and my boyfriend, that what I meant  was it was my second trip back to the bathroom, not that I was literally going to go 'number two'. I don't think I have ever gone to the bathroom so quick in my life, or been so embarrassed."

Favorite inspirational quote: 

"Promise me you'll always remember: you're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin to Pooh