(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
NEW YORK – Rachel Fisher, Lindsey Sowards Nielson and Nicole Rudd Bringhurst led the women’s track and field team with top finishes in their respective events during the New Balance Invitational Friday and Saturday in New York City.
“These three athletes showed us what it takes to score,” head coach Patrick Shane said. “The important thing our other athletes need to learn is these three believed they could do it. It’s all about confidence.”
During the first day, Fisher finished sixth overall in the championship heat with a pole vault of 4.10m (13-05.25). During her final vault of the night, she narrowly missed 4.20m, a mark which would have put her in second place for the event. Fisher currently ranks 14th in the nation in the pole vault.
Nielson finished third overall in the 5,000-meter race with a time of 16:34.76, a new personal record.
In the 500-meter dash, Bringhurst finished fourth overall in 1:15.40. Kaylee Packham, whose mother holds the BYU all-time record in the 500, finished eighth overall in 1:16.45.
Taylor Stapley finished 10th overall in the 60-meter hurdles just two places from qualifying for the finals. She finished with a time of 9.00.
During the second and final day of the invitational, the Cougars were led by Elizabeth Wilson in the triple jump. Wilson finished fourth overall with a life-time best jump of 12.11m (39-08.75). This mark gives her the best jump for her team so far this year. She currently ranks 80th in the nation in the triple jump.
Sarah Yingling and Katie Swanson also recorded life-time bests in the 3,000 meters and the 5,000 meters, respectively. Yingling finished eighth in the 3,000 with a time of 9:59.11. Swanson finished ninth in the 5,000 in 17:24.96.
The 4x200m relay team, consisting of Arlene Gowar, Aubrey Hale, Brie Simmons and Danielle Figgins Johnson, finished third overall with a time of 1:41.60. The team’s time falls short of the BYU all-time record by less than three seconds, which was set at the 2010 New Balance Invitational.
“Overall, this was a good meet,” Shane said. “It gave our young athletes some experience, and we will be able to bring that experience back next year to help improve our standing as a team. We look forward to next week to build on what we accomplished here.”
Next weekend, the women’s track and field team will send its distance runners back to Washington for the Husky Classic and the power athletes back to Colorado for the Air Force Team Challenge.
Full results from the New Balance invitational can be found here.