SEATTLE – BYU track and field’s women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team broke BYU’s all-time record as the Cougars wrapped up competition at the UW Invite and Dr. Sander Invitational on Saturday.
“We had an amazing weekend,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Our athletes at the Dr. Sander Invitational in New York did amazing. The men’s team there took first place and we had some great individual performances. We also had great performances here in Washington at the UW Invite and had athletes put themselves in contention to qualify for the NCAA Championships.”
On Friday, All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis, Alena Ellsworth, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes and All-American Whittni Orton clocked a 10:56.51 to set a school record in the DMR. The previous record of 10:56.73 was set by All-Americans Lacey Cramer, Katie Palmer, Nachelle Stewart and Angela Wagner on their way to taking third place at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“The women’s DMR team was the highlight of the weekend,” BYU associate head coach Diljeet Taylor said. “It was an amazing performance to break the school record and they put themselves in position to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet. It’s exciting to have this type of race early on in the season and it shows that we’re a lot further along than where we were last year.”
Cougars continued to earn spots on the school record board with Olivia Hoj running 9:11.75 in the women’s 3000m for the No. 2 time in BYU history. All-American Connor McMillan finished with a time of 7:51.55 in the men’s 3000m for the eighth-fastest time in school history. All-American Clayton Young and Conner Mantz finished close behind McMillan with a time of 7:51.91 and 7:53.32, respectively.
“Hopefully we get some guys to the NCAA Championships in the men’s 3000m,” Eyestone said. “I think they raced with confidence. They moved well and responded well. Those three guys hopefully have marks that will get them through to Nationals.”
After racing on the DMR team on Friday, Birk-Jarvis and Orton both had strong performances on Saturday in the women’s mile. Birk-Jarvis earned a career-best 4:36.95 while Orton finished with a time of 4:38.46.
Four men’s team athletes set personal-best times in the mile with all four finishing under four minutes and five seconds. Talem Franco led the way with a 4:02.38 mile followed by All-American Rory Linkletter at 4:02.41, Patrick Parker at 4:03.41 and Marcus Dickson at 4:03.67.
Dr. Sander Invitational
The No. 9 BYU men’s team won the Dr. Sander Invitational scoring a total of 89 points. The Cougars edged out Ohio State and UCLA for the win while BYU women’s team finished 10th overall with 20 points.
Jacob Foutz moved up to No. 5 all-time at BYU in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 19.86/65-1.75. This marks the third time the senior has climbed the record boards this season after previously sitting at the No. 8 and No. 10 positions.
Michael Bluth earned a pair of second-place finishes clocking 47.88 in the men’s 400m and 21.63 in the men’s 200m. Clark Brown ran a 21.66 and Derek Sorensen ran a 21.67 to finish within four-hundredths of a second of Bluth in the 200m.
Brown advanced to the men’s 60m finals where he clocked a 6.83 to take fourth overall. Jefferson Jarvis placed fifth in the shot put with a toss of 17.05m/55-11.25 while teammate Austin Carter threw 16.88m/55-4.5 beat his personal record by more than a meter to take seventh.
All-American Brenna Porter finished with a time of 2:08.58 to take second place in the women’s 800m. Elise Romney matched her season best of 4.05m/13-3.5 to finish fourth in the women’s pole vault.
The Cougars had four athletes compete in the men’s heptathlon that started on Thursday before finishing on Friday at the Armory Track. All four Cougars finished in the top 8 with Ben Barton leading the way taking third place with 4981 points. Brian Matthews (4951) and Dallin Vorkink (4925) finished fourth and fifth with Caleb Witsken (4611) placed eighth.
BYU will compete next at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa and the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock, Texas. Both meets will start on Friday, Feb. 8, and finish Saturday, Feb. 9.