Women's distance runners dominate at Blue & Orange Invitational

(Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BOISE, Idaho – The BYU women’s track and field team opened its season at the Blue and Orange Opener in Boise, Idaho, Saturday with four first-place finishes.

“Overall we looked strong," head coach Patrick Shane said. "We are really young, but I was very encouraged today. As coaches we were able to see the girls did their part over the break. It showed in the way they performed."

BYU dominated the distance events with first-place finishes in the 800 meter run, 1-mile run and 3,000 meter run.

In the 800 meters, walk-on freshman Rachel Stewart led the pack with a time of 2:14.60. She was followed by Ashleigh Warner (2:14.75), Sarah Yingling (2:15.66) and Candace Eddy Carlisle (2:24.97) who finished in second, third and fifth, respectively.

The Cougars took eight of the top 10 spots in the mile race. University of Oklahoma transfer Kelsey Brown took first place with a time of 4:51.31 in her BYU debut. The top five was rounded out by Cougars Lindsey Sowards Nielson (4:56.54), Stewart (4:56.86), Carlisle (4:57.05) and Natalie Shields (4:57.96). Stewart's time was also a personal record.

With a time of 10:00.21, Andrea Harrison took first place in the 3,000 meter run. Again, the Cougars earned the top-five places with Nicole Nielsen (10:03.03), Laura Young (10:13.87), Carrie Jube (10:14.17) and Katie Swanson (10:17.13).

In the high jump, Melissa Merrill (5-05) and Taylor Stapley (5-03) took third and fourth, respectively. Long jumper Shea Taylor finished in third place with a jump of 17-08.25 and Elizabeth Wilson took second in the triple jump with a distance of 39-03.25. Melissa Keltner (38-08.25) and Kensey Berry (37-05.75) took third and fifth in the triple jump, respectively.

Rachel Fisher earned first place in the pole vault, clearing a height of 12-11.50.

Full results from the Boise State Invitational can be found here.

Meanwhile back in Provo, the throwers on the women’s team competed in the shot put and 20 lb. weight throw during the final day of BYU Invitational.

Brianna French took sixth place in the women’s shot put finals with a mark of 40-09.00. Cougar senior Sharisa Thayer finished in eighth place with a throw of 40-02.25.

Unattached senior Deezbaa Whaley took second in the weight throw finals with a mark of 58-11 and Freshman Meaghan Heffelfinger took sixth place throwing 50-07.50.

The final results from the BYU Invitational can be found here.

The Cougars head to New Mexico next week for the Cherry & Silver Invitational.