(Photo by BYU Photo)
TORRENCE, Calif. – BYU took on another busy weekend of running, throwing and jumping as they had athletes compete in California and Utah in efforts to qualify more runners for Regionals at the Mt. SAC Relays, Bryan Clay Invitational, Mark Faldmo Invitational and Long Beach State-Pacific Intercollegiate Meet from Thursday to Saturday, April 13-15.
“This weekend was really good,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "The high marks show the hard work the athletes have been putting in. This is the part of the season where you are really wanting to be running on all cylinders, and we are seeing that. Good things are happening across all groups, and that is what you would expect and hope to have right now. I am super proud of the team as people are stepping up and geting their regional marks, which is awesome because that is how we get on to nationals."
Both the Cougars’ men’s and women’s distance runners put on a good show this weekend. Chase Horrocks impressed onlookers at the Bryan Clay Invitational with his 3:41.68 finish in the 1,500 meters to qualify for regionals and claim seventh place all-time at BYU. At the Mt. SAC Relays, in Rory Linkletter’s first outdoor competition of the year, he punched his ticket to regionals with his performance in the 10,000m, finishing in 28:58.74. Clayson Shumway ran in the 3000-meter steeplechase, taking third place overall and finishing in 8:48.95, while Mitchell Briggs and Daniel Carney set personal bests in the men’s 5,000m with times of 14:05.57 and 14:09.48, respectively.
Kristi Rush and Erica Birk ran in the 3,000m steeplechase—Birk’s first ever steeplechase—and both finished in the top five with times of 9:57.72 and 9:58.22, respectively, for fourth- and fifth-place finishes all-time at BYU. Meanwhile, Laura Young, in the 10,000m, finished with a time of 34:07.94 and qualified for regionals, with Alice Jensen and Yesenia Silva nailing potential qualifying times of 34:33.91 and 34:36.01.
Also, at the Bryan Clay Invitational, David Graham set a personal best in the 800m with a 1:50.59 time while Drew Tingey did the same in the 400m with a 47.11 time that should be good enough to punch his ticket to regionals. Additionally, Heidi Fuhriman ran a collegiate best 2:09.59 in the 800m.
At the Mark Faldmo Invitational, Tatenda Tsumba set a personal best in the 200m and was bumped up to fifth place all-time at BYU with a time of 20.62. His time also set a new stadium record in Logan by .02 seconds. Clark Brown and Derek Sorensen also set personal records in the 200m of 21.00 and 21.27, respectively.
In the 400m, Chase Heiner ran a season-best 47.73 for third-place overall, while Trevor Leavitt ran a college-best 48.80. Scott Mecham improved his personal best by a whole three seconds in the 400-meter hurdles with a new time of 50.79, finishing in first place in the meet.
Chloe Hadley delivered a big triple jump personal best of 12.54m for a regional qualifier and a place in BYU’s all-time top-10 list in the third spot, while she, Kiyana Dixon and Lindsay Yetter went one-two-three in the long jump - Dixon taking first place and setting a personal record of 5.95m.
The women sprinters also put on a show with Keesha Miller, Diamond Thomas, Haley Rogers and Samantha Reeves going one-two-three-four in the 100m and Lauren Rawlinson taking second place in the 400m with a time of 57.92.
Also noteworthy were the women hurdlers’ performances in the 100-meter hurdles. Lindsay Yetter (14.40), Brenna Porter (14.43), Kaitlyn Gunnerson (14.53) and Marissa Appiah (14.68) recorded personal bests all around.
Jameson Shirley came up with a big personal record in the pole vault, vaulting 5.20m for his first time over 17 feet. His mark is also a regional qualifier. Tomi Adegoke logged a personal best of 7.37m in the long jump. BYU took first place in both the 4x100-meter relay and the 4x400-meter relay at the Faldmo Invitational.
In Long Beach, Siale Vaitohi came up with a big personal record in the women’s hammer throw with a 54.25m mark for ninth all-time at BYU, while Emily Spendlove threw a nice personal best of 45.12m in the discus. Sadie Nielsen also got in on the record breaking, claiming the seventh-best time all-time at BYU in the women's discus throw with a 51.97m mark.
BYU will take next week off from competiton before hosting the 2017 Robison Invitational on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29, at Clarence F. Robison Track in Provo.