Thompson, Tidwell-Allphin continue top-10 success as Air Force Invitational concludes
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — BYU track and field won five events on Saturday as both men's and women's athletes continued to raise the bar with personal-bests and program top-10 marks in the final day at the Air Force Invitational.
Jessica Thompson’s day two success continued into day three. She began the day for the Cougars setting a new personal best in the shot put, finishing third with a mark of 15.05m/49-4.5. The sophomore’s toss is good for 10th all-time at BYU.
Freshmen throwers Lia Pili (13.82m/45-4.25) and Jayda Lee (12.88m/42-3.25) also set new personal bests in the shot put. The pair have done so in all three of the meets they’ve competed in during their young careers.
Annalise Hart (56.09) and Brilee Pontius (56.81) finished fourth and sixth, respectively in the 400m final on Saturday. Hart’s time was a new personal best in the event.
Cierra Tidwell-Allphin moved up from 10th to ninth all-time in BYU high jump history with a first-place finishing and personal best mark of 1.82m/5-11.5. Freshman Maddie Lempka competed for her first time this season, jumping a 1.60m/5-3.
Brinn Jensen finished off the meet for BYU, placing fourth in both the 60m and 200m final. She clocked a 7.77 in the 60m and 24.84 in the 200m.
BYU men's track and field brought home top finishes in each of its four Saturday finals.
Zach McWhorter took first in the pole vault with a mark of 5.50m/18-0.5. With this mark, the returning All-American is now in a three-way tie for sixth all-time at BYU with a 2021 clearance by teammate Caleb Witsken and a 2014 mark set by Braydon Bringhurst. McWhorter now owns three spots on the BYU men's indoor pole vault top-10 board with two of those coming this season.
For the second day in a row, BYU’s Josh Taylor and Trey Jackson finished first and second in the men’s 400m, this time in the finals. The dominant duo clocked personal-best times with Taylor crossing at 47.88 and Jackson at 47.96. This is just the second career collegiate meet for the two freshmen.
Taylor and Jackson overcame opponents from Long Beach State, Colorado State and host Air Force as they flew across the finish. Fellow BYU freshman Spencer Carlile took sixth.
Sprinters Easton Bianchi and Jared Davis each won their finals with Bianchi clocking a 6.86 (60m) and Davis a personal-record of 21.75 (200m). Landon Maxfield took fourth in the 200m with a time of 22.06.
The Cougars will next compete at the UW Invitational in Seattle on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28-29. Watch for the first men’s and women’s indoor track and field national rankings to be released by the USTFCCCA on Monday, Jan. 24.
Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri and Jessica Thompson kicked off day two setting personal bests and top-10 BYU marks in the weight throw. Lohmeier El-Bakri threw a mark of 18.12m/59-5.5, jumping from No. 6 to No. 4 all-time in school history. Thompson tossed a 17.62m/57-9.75 to enter the BYU record book at No. 7 all-time.
In the 60m trials, Brinn Jensen ran a 7.80 to qualify for the semis. She then clocked a 7.71 later in the day to advance to Saturday’s finals. Freshman pole vaulter Rebekah Ross won the event for the second-straight week, jumping a 4.05m/13-3.5 to earn her first-place finish.
Annalise Hart (56.47) and Brilee Pontius (56.86) both qualified for the 400m finals, with Hart setting a new personal best in the trials. Jensen closed out the Cougars’ day by advancing to another final, this time the 200m, after running a 24.93 in the trials.
Five BYU men’s athletes set personal records with six advancing to compete in finals on Saturday. The 400m runners were the highlight of the day for the men with four top-10 finishers, including Josh Taylor (48.44) and Trey Jackson (48.71) finishing first and second, respectively. Jackson edged Colorado State’s Adam Stark by 0.17 seconds ensure the top-2 spots for BYU in a field of 26.
Spencer Carlile and Eli Hazlett also finished top-10, giving the Cougars four to compete in the men’s 400m final on Saturday.
Dallin Draper and Easton Bianchi took second and third, respectively, in the men’s 60m semi-finals. Draper clocked a 6.81 to tie a personal-best. The Delta, Utah native, continued his successful day with another personal-best of 21.62 to take second-place in the men’s 200m preliminaries. Jared Davis and Landon Maxfield join Draper in qualifying for the 200m finals.
Despite winning the heptathlon pole vault with a mark of 4.90m/16-0.75, Dallin Vorkink took ninth in the overall scoring at 4478. AJ Beynon finishes sixth with a score of 4693.
Folsom Walker and Mayci Torgerson floated between second, third and fourth place throughout the day. Folsom Walker trailed the pentathlon leader, Houston Baptist's Kaitlin Smith, by 116 points heading into Thursday's final event, the 800m. In the event, the senior from Medford, Oregon, clocked a personal best 2:08.98, finishing nearly 13 seconds before Smith to earn a come-from-behind pentathlon victory.
The two pentathletes set new personal best pentathlon scores. Folsom Walker finished with 4118 points, further solidifying her top-3 position in BYU history, and Mayci Torgerson totaled 3654 points.
Vorkink and Beynon's best events on Thursday were the shot put and high jump. Vorkink finished second in the shot put, throwing 13.22m/43-4.5, and sixth in the high jump with a mark of 1.85m/6-0.75. Beynon threw a 12.15m/39-10.5 for a fourth-place finish in the shot put, and placed fifth in the high jump with a mark of 1.88m/6-2.
With 2769 points, Vorkink stands in sixth place, while Beynon's 2712 points put him in eight place with the 60m hurdles and pole vault to come on day two.
Track and Field to compete at Air Force Invitational
PROVO, Utah -- BYU men's and women's track and field will compete in the Air Force Invitational at the United States Air Force Academy's Cadet Field House near Colorado Springs, Colorado Thursday-Saturday, Jan. 20-22.
- Live Results
- Thursday: 1-6 p.m. MST - Pentathlon and heptathlon
- Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. MST - Completion of pentathlon and heptathlon with field events and heats for jumps and sprints
- Saturday: 12-4:25 p.m. MST - Field events continue with finals for sprints and distance
- Fans are allowed to attend with no admission charged Thursday or Friday. On Saturday, spectators will be charged admission to the Air Force vs. Colorado State men's basketball game.
- According to current Defense Department and Air Force Academy rules, all individuals are required to wear a mask inside Academy facilities. All individuals who have not been fully vaccinated must wear masks outside on military installations.
Cougars in the meet record books
BYU track and field athletes hold four all-time meet records at the Air Force Invitational.
Just last season, Michael Bluth, Eli Hazlett, Cortez Ruiz and Colten Yardley combined to set the its men's mile relay record with a time of 3:12.87.
Chase Dalton (heptathlon, 2014), Ada Robinson (high jump, 2011) and Kenneth Andam (60m, 2000) have also etched their names in Air Force Invitational history.
Last time out...
BYU seized 11 first-place finishes at its second home indoor meet on Jan. 13-15 at the Smith Fieldhouse. Gretchen Hoekstre, Dallin Vorkink and Rebekah Ross stole the show with some of the top individual performances in program history.
Hoekstre won the women’s shot put with a mark of 17.10/56-1.25, good for No. 2 all-time at BYU, passing a mark set by Kartsi Leppaluoto in 1991. Hoekstre is currently tied with Nebraska’s Axelina Johansson for the fourth-best shot put mark of the season.
Vorkink won the heptathlon with the program’s fifth-best all-time score at 5500 points. With his Jan. 14 score, Vorkink leads all Division I heptathletes on the season.
Rebekah Ross cleared 4.11m/13-5.75 to win the women’s pole vault and pass Nicole Naatjes for No. 7 in program history. Ross’s personal-best clearance also currently ranks top-25 nationally in 2022.