BYU wins Mid-Major Challenge with five first-place finishes

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The BYU women’s track & field team finished with five first-place finishes and multiple second-place finishes to narrowly win the Mid-Major Challenge this weekend, 155-147, over Sacramento State.

“It all came down to our performance in the 4x400-meter relay,” BYU coach Patrick Shane said. “We were neck and neck with Sacramento State through much of the meet, and in order for them to win, they needed to beat us by two places in the 4x400. We finished second, and they finished third in the race, so we were able to pull off the win.”

The BYU 4x400 relay team consisted of Allysa Hansen, Nicole Rudd Bringhurst, Angela Shields and Natalie Stewart. The team finished second overall with a time of 3:46.34, only 3.40 ahead of Sacramento State.

During the first night of competition on Friday, Rachel Fisher led the Cougars to their first, first-place finish in the pole vault with a vault of 3.95 meters (12-11.50). Also on Friday, Deezbaa Whaley and Brittany Critchfield finished second and third in discus with throws of 44.92m (147-04.00) and 43.15m (141-07.00), respectively.

On Saturday the top performances came from Sarah Yingling in the 1,500 meters, Kelsey Brown in the 800 meters, Hansen in the 400-meter hurdles and Allyson Anderson Wardell in the javelin.

Yingling led the distance runners finishing first in the 1,500 with a time of 4:20.25. Yingling also broke the Mid Major Challenge meet record in the 1,500 set by  Kim Conley of UC Davis in 2009. Candace Eddy Carlisle finished third overall in 4:22.45. Rachel Stewart and Natalie Shields finished fifth and eighth with times of 4:24.34 and 4:33.16, respectively.

Brown finished first in the 800 with a time of 2:06.83, a new personal best during the outdoor season. Yingling and Rachel Stewart finished third and eighth in 2:09.35 and 2:12.15. Carlisle finished 10th in 2:14.40.

Brown, Yingling and Carlisle all finished first in their respective heats.

Hansen led the way for the Cougars in the 400m hurdles with a time of 1:00.64. Teammate Kaylee Packham finished second narrowly behind Hansen in 1:00.71.

The last first-place finish came from Wardell in the javelin. She finished with a throw of 44.49m (145-11.00). Freshman Taylor Barrus finished sixth overall with a throw of 39.00m (127-11), and Brie Simmons finished eighth with a mark of 32.61m (107-00). 

In the 400 meters, Natalie Stewart finished second with a time of 55.05.

Results from the Mid-Major Classic can be found at hornetsports.com.

Next weekend the Cougars head to Walnut, Calif., for the Mt. Sac Relays, one of the most competitive meets of the year.