(Photo by Weesley Winterink)
AMES, Iowa – Multiple Cougars ran their way into the BYU top-10 lists in their respective events, including Shea Collinsworth claiming the No. 2 spot in the nation in the 800 meters at the Iowa State Classic on Saturday.
Following several record-breaking performances on Friday, additional members of the men’s and women’s track and field teams set personal records and claimed places in the all-time books at BYU.
“This was probably one of the best weekends we have had as a team for as long as I have been involved in the program” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I am really pleased. We had a total of 15 top-10 all-time BYU performances, including school records in the women’s 800 meters and the women’s mile, and No. 2 all-time in the men’s 800 meters. It was a real banner week in a number of ways, so I am very excited.”
Collinsworth ran a 2:01.42 in the 800 meters, a time good enough to set a new BYU record and claim fifth place all-time on the list of collegiate athletes running the indoor 800 meters. Her time will qualify for NCAA nationals as she took first place at the meet, beating the runner behind her by over a full second and beating her previous personal record (2:04.39) by nearly three seconds.
“That was huge," Eyestone said of Collinsworth's nationally-recognized performance. "For her to set a new PR by a couple seconds was also big. The way she did it was really strong, so that was amazing to watch.”
Men's 800-meter runner Abraham Alvarado also set a new personal record and moved into second place all-time at BYU with a time of 1:47.46. Alvarado took fourth place overall in the race. Connor Ross likewise set a new personal record of 1:49.59, which was good enough for 14th place at the meet and No. 7 all-time at BYU. Ross already held seventh place as a Cougar, and he will now claim multiple spots in the top 10.
Chloe Hadley and ShyAndrea Jackson both jumped their way into BYU history as well, claiming the No. 8 and No. 10 spots in the triple jump. Hadley jumped a 12.17m with Jackson recording a 12.14m jump. The two athletes took third and fourth overall at the meet with their new personal records.
Shot putter Sierra Freeland also threw a new personal record of 14.46m (47-5.25 feet) while also throwing her way into eighth place all time as a Cougar.
Meanwhile, in Boise at the Boise State Challenge, Kevin Nielsen also jumped into the top-10 lists at BYU with a new personal record in the long jump, logging a mark of 7.54m (24’9.00”) to win the meet and take spot No. 7 all-time at as a Cougar. Additionally, pole vaulter Kylee Trageser had a jump and a new mark that tied her for 10th place all-time at BYU as well, 3.95 (12-11.50 feet).
Several other Cougars recorded new personal records at the Iowa State Classic. Talem Franco and Josey Hedquist set new personal bests in the men's and women's non-invite miles. Franco ran a 4:03.8 and claimed first place in the men’s race, while Hedquist finished in 4:59, a time good enough for sixth place overall. This was the first time that the sophomore broke a five-minute mile. Kaitlyn Gunnerson ran a new personal record in the 60-meter hurdles with a time of 8.96.
Eyestone said this weekend’s meets have set many athletes up nicely to have a good final two meets before the national competition in Eugene, Oregon.
“This was certainly the week to come in and put up some big numbers,” Eyestone said. “We have MPSF Conference meet in two weeks, and though times can be fast there, a lot of times the races are more tactical. So, we came to Iowa State intentionally because they have paced races, and it is far enough into the indoor season to where our athletes are really hitting their peak, and we certainly saw that.”
Next, the Cougars will travel to Notre Dame, Indiana, to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 18. For additional information, visit the BYU track and field Twitter account, @BYUTFXC.
For a full list of results from the Iowa State Classic, click here.
For full results from the Boise State Challenge, click here.
For yesterday’s recap, and to read about additional BYU records broken, visit the women’s track and field blog here.