Feb 04 | 09:00 AM
Columbia University

The Armory

216 Fort Washington Avenue New York NY 10032

Cameron Muh | Posted: 4 Feb 2022 | Updated: 23 Feb 2022
Cameron Muh

Hoekstre, Freeland lead throwers at Columbia Challenge

Sierra Freeland studio shoot with arms folded

PROVO, Utah — BYU track and field kicked off competition at the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge in New York City on Friday, highlighted by another school record from Zach McWhorter, an impressive men's DMR performance and two top-10 finishes in the women's shot put. 

Women's Recap
Gretchen Hoekstre and Sierra Freeland both secured top-10 finishes in the women’s shot put. Hoekstre took second with a mark of 15.47m/50-9.25, and Freeland’s toss of 15.22m/49-11.25 earned her a fourth-place finish. Jessica Thompson (11th, 13.56m/44-6), Jayda Lee (12.40m/40-8.25) and Lia Pili (23rd, 12.31m/40-4.75) also competed in the event for the Cougars.

Mayci Torgerson was the only other BYU athlete to compete at The Armory on Friday. She finished 30th in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.39 and 34th in the long jump with a mark of 5.23m/17-2.

Men's Recap
For the third time in less than a year, BYU men's pole vaulter Zach McWhorter set a program-record clearance. McWhorter recorded a 5.85m/19-2.25 mark at The Armory on Friday, surpassing his previous record of 5.82m/19-1.25 set at the BYU December Invite. The sophomore from Springdale, Arkansas is now tied for No. 5 in NCAA Division I history with former Texas athlete Jacob Davis who cleared 5.85 in 1999. 

McWhorter won the men's pole vault over Sondre and Simen Guttormsen of Princeton. Caleb Witsken finished fourth over Carson Lenser of South Carolina and Travis Snyder of UConn. 

Garrett Marsing, Cortez Ruiz, Austin Klingler and Aidan Troutner combined to clock a 9:43.76 in the men's distance medley relay. The Cougars took second in the relay, only 1.2 seconds behind host Columbia and in front of teams from UConn, Syracuse and South Carolina. With Friday's time, the men's relay team made qualifying position for NCAA Indoor Nationals. While standings may change over the coming weeks, the top-16 national mark keeps the team on track to compete for a national title. 

Freshman sprinter Omar Aburouss also competed in his first collegiate meet, clocking a 7.08 in the 60m preliminary. 

The women’s throwers will kick off Saturday’s action starting with the weight throw at 9:30 a.m. EST.


Joseph Hovey | Posted: 31 Jan 2022 | Updated: 18 Feb 2022
Joseph Hovey

Track and Field spreads out for three meets nationwide

Brilee Pontius races during 2022 BYU Cougar Indoor Invitational I

PROVO, Utah — BYU track and field hits the road for three meets across three time zones on Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 3-5 at Washington State, Weber State and Columbia. 

Women's sprints as well as men's sprinters Easton Bianchi and Conner Kennedy will compete at the WSU Open and Invite. The remainder of the men's and women's track and field teams will divide between the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge and the Weber State Indoor Invitational. 

WSU Open & Invite

  • Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5
  • Host: Washington State
  • Location: The Podium in Spokane, Washington
    • The Podium is a recently-completed 135,000 square foot multi-purpose venue in downtown Spokane with a seating capacity of 4,237. BYU will return to The Podium on Feb. 18-19 as it competes in the 2022 MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships.
  • Events Schedule: BYU athletes will compete only on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. PST. 
  • Live Results
  • Live Stream ($)

Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge

Weber State Indoor Invitational 

  • Friday-Saturday, Feb. 4-5
  • Location: Marquardt Field House (4390 Harrison Blvd.) and Stromberg Arena (1356 E. 4100 S.) in Ogden, Utah
  • Friday events
    • Throws will compete 3-6 p.m. MST at Marquardt Field House
    • Jumps will compete 3-6 p.m. MST in the Swenson Gym at Stromberg Arena
  • Saturday events
    • Track events will compete 10 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. MST at Stromberg Arena
  • Attendance: spectators will be charged a $5.00 entry fee and are asked to wear a mask at all times.

Rankings and Recognition

The BYU women's team maintained its No. 7 spot in the national rankings when the USTFCCCA released the poll on Monday. BYU men's track and field will look to increase its national stock during the week's three meets as it fell to No. 24 in the latest men's poll. 

BYU boasts NCAA Division I season leaders in the women's 3000m and men's pole vault.

Courtney Wayment leads then nation in women's 3000m after clocking an 8:50.05 at the Millrose Games on Jan. 29. Lexy Halladay remains top-10 nationally for her 3000m time set at the Boston Season-Opener on Dec. 4, 2021. 

Zach McWhorter continues to hold the top mark of the season among men's pole vaulters nationwide. Only Zach Bradford of Kansas has come close to surpassing McWhorter's 5.82m/19-1 clearance set on Dec. 10, 2021. Bradford came up 0.7m short at the Jayhawk Classic on Jan. 28.