John McDonnell Field
10 S. Razorback Rd. Fayetteville AR 72701
Cougars tally nine total entries to NCAA Championships
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — No. 14 BYU women's track and field concluded NCAA West Preliminary action at John McDonnell Field on Saturday, punching five more tickets to Eugene for a total of nine national qualifiers. Including the 12 qualifiers on the men's side, the Cougars qualified 21 total entries.
Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri led off the day for BYU in the discus throw. Competing in the second of three flights, the junior quickly rose to first place with an opening throw of 54.52m/178-10. On her third throw, Lohmeier El-Bakri launched a school record-breaking throw of 56.31m/184-2, a mark that would be good for No. 7 in the event, to clinch her a trip to Nationals.
Cierra Tidwell-Allphin also earned national qualification, finishing in a three-way tie for first place in the high jump with a mark of 1.81m/5-11.25. Making it to Eugene for the second-straight season, she cleared both 1.71m/5-7.25 and 1.76m/5-9.25 on her first attempt as well.
“Going into today, we figured that she would have to clear 1.81-meters to qualify for Nationals," BYU assistant coach Mark Robison said. "She couldn’t have done any better. This was probably her best outdoor meet of the season. It was good for her to have this performance going into Nationals because now she knows she’s right there in the hunt for a national title.”
Both Courtney Wayment and Lexy Halladay qualified in the 3000-meter steeplechase. Racing in heat two, Halladay posted a 10:06.15 to finish third in her heat and seize an automatic qualification. Wayment competed in heat three and surged to the front of the pack early, breaking away during the final laps to finish over five seconds ahead of the next runner at 9:42.32 and qualify in the event for the second year in a row.
“Coming to this race, I just wanted to be grateful because this is my last opportunity to compete at a West Preliminary," Wayment said. "The steeplechase is a lot of fun and that was my goal tonight; to have a lot of fun. At the NCAA Championships I just need to put my head down, listen to Coach Taylor and know that it’s my last collegiate race so I’m going to make it the best that I can.”
Claire Seymour punched her ticket to Nationals in the 800-meters, running a 2:03.01. After a 1:01.08 first lap split, the junior surged around the final turn to take second in the third heat and automatically qualify, earning a trip to Eugene in the event in back-to-back seasons.
“I’m super proud of the girls’ effort, "BYU associate director of track and field Diljeet Taylor said. "Obviously at a meet like the West Preliminary some things are going to go your way and others aren’t. We had a couple of women who were right outside qualifying and that’s always gut-wrenching. I’m just super proud of the women for showing up, competing and fighting for their spot. I look forward to two weeks from now when we can showcase what’s been a phenomenal year. We’re hoping to end the season in Eugene on a high note.”
The following athletes competed for the Cougars on Saturday, but were eliminated from preliminary competition:
- Leah Thompson // Discus
- 31. 49.20m/161-5
- Gretchen Hoekstre // Discus
- 35. 48.71m/159-9
- Adaobi Tabugbo, Taye Raymond, Dolita Awala-Shaw and Annalise Hart // 4x100m Relay
- 16. 44.68
- Kate Hunter // 1500m
- 13. 4:20.73
- Carmen Alder // 1500m
- 19. 4:29.30
- Heather Hanson // 1500m
- 21. 4:31.38
- Adaobi Tabugbo // 100m Hurdles
- 20. 13.32
- Lizzie Dildine // 3000m Steeplechase
- 34. 10:43.96
- Madi Moffitt // 3000m Steeplechase
- 43. 10:57.49
- Allie Warner // 3000m Steeplechase
- Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes // 800m
- 13. 2:03.94
- Halley Folsom Walker // 400m Hurdles
- 15. 57.85
- Meghan Hunter, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Claire Seymour, Alena Ellsworth // 4x400m Relay
- 14. (3:34.94)
The Cougars will have a week to prepare before traveling to Eugene, Oregon, for the 2022 NCAA Division 1 Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Wednesday through Saturday, June 8-11.