Track and Field begins indoor season with first home meet
PROVO, Utah -- BYU track and field begins its home indoor season with the BYU December Invite on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 9-10, at the Smith Fieldhouse.
- Thursday events begin at 11:15 a.m. MST
- Long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus throw, weight through, women's pentathlon, men's heptathlon
- Friday events begin at 11 a.m. MST
- Pole vault, high jump, 60m, men's and women's 300m, men's 800m men's and women's 3000m, men's heptathlon
- Attendance: this is a non-ticketed event, however no public seating is available
- Full meet schedule
Thursday's meet marks the first of three indoor competitions the Cougars will host during the 2022 season. The next home meets will be on Jan. 13-15 and Feb. 25-26 at the Smith Fieldhouse.
The Cougars return seven All-Americans in Alena Ellsworth, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Kate Hunter, Claire Seymour, Courtney Wayment, Halley Folsom Walker and Heather Hanson.
Ellsworth and Ellsworth-Barnes were both members of the DMR team that took first at the 2021 Indoor Track & Field National Championships earlier this year with a time of 10:52.96. Hunter, with a time of 4:37.65, placed sixth in the mile, and Seymour placed fifth in the 800m with a time of 2:02.25.
Wayment, a member of BYU's DMR team as well, also took first in the 3000m with a time of 9:01.47. Rounding out the returning All-Americans, Folsom Walker placed 14th in the pentathlon and Hanson took 10th in the mile with a time of 4:48.97.
As a team, the Cougars finished the 2021 indoor season at No. 7 in the USTFCCCA final rankings. Preseason rankings for this season are set to release on Monday, Jan. 10.
BYU's distance runners got an early start to their 2022 season at the Boston University Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener last weekend. Most notable was senior Wayment’s school record-breaking performance in the 5000m.
With a time of 15:15.46, Wayment finished in third place, but was the first collegiate athlete to finish. She did so just behind former BYU athlete Whittni Orton, who raced unattached, on her way to the seventh-fastest time in NCAA history.
Wayment’s indoor 5000m time is the fastest all-time at BYU, over seven seconds faster than Orton’s previous school record, set at the same meet in 2019.
Also competing in the 5000m with Wayment were Aubrey Frentheway, who finished 20th with a time of 15:52:11, and McKenna Lee, who clocked in at 16:11.94 for a 31st-place finish. In the 3000m, Lexy Halladay finished in sixth with a time of 9:02.32 while Hunter came in 13th at 9:31.85.
BYU men’s indoor track and field returns three All-Americans in distance runner Lucas Bons and pole vaulters Zach McWhorter and Caleb Witsken.
McWhorter and Witsken received First Team All-America honors with clearances of 5.80m/19-0.25 and 5.50m/18-0.5, respectively, at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas in March 2021. McWhorter’s mark at nationals broke the BYU indoor men’s record and was good for national runner-up.
As a team, the Cougars finished the 2021 indoor season tied with Virginia Tech for No. 16 in the USTFCCCA national rankings.
BYU’s distance runners kicked off the 2022 season at the Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener at Boston University on Saturday, Dec. 4.
In Boston, Bons and Garrett Marsing set personal records in the men’s 3000m, finishing top-5. Brandon Garnica and Casey Clinger competed in the men’s 5000m and recorded the fourth and sixth-best times in program history, respectively.