Orton, Mantz post NCAA-leading times in regular-season finale


IRVINE, Calif. – Whittni Orton shattered the school record in the 5000m with an NCAA-leading 15:12.91 and Conner Mantz notched the fastest 10,000m in the nation with a time of 27:41.16 as BYU track and field completed its regular season at the Sound Running Track Meet and Cougar Invitational.

Sound Running Track Meet

Racing at the Sound Running Track Meet in Irvine, California, Orton’s time of 15:12.91 marks the seventh-fastest outdoor 5000m ran in NCAA history. The All-American shattered the previous school record of 15:38.12, set by Erica Birk-Jarvis in 2019, by more than 25 seconds. Along with claiming the top 5000m in the NCAA this season, the senior also ranks No 3 in the 1500m after breaking the school record earlier this season with a time of 4:09.31.

Racing late Friday night, Mantz completed the 10,000m in an NCAA-leading 27:41.16. The 2020 cross country national champion came within .11 seconds of BYU head coach Ed Eyestone’s school record set back in 1985 (27:41.05). The duo’s times are both more than 13 seconds faster than the third-fastest time in program history.

All-American Courtney Wayment followed Orton with her own all-time performance in the women’s 5000m with a time of 15:17.58. The time marks the second-fastest time in the NCAA this year and in program history, just behind Orton. Wayment also made her way onto the NCAA all-time list as the ninth fastest women’s collegiate runner in the outdoor 5000m.

Olivia Hoj Simister recorded a career-best 4:10.90 in the women’s 1500m. The All-American’s time marks the second-fastest 1500m in program history and the fourth-fastest time in the nation this season. Teammates Kate Hunter and Simone Plourde also turned in strong performances in their heat of the 1500m with times of 4:15.88 and 4:16.06, respectively.

All-American Alena Ellsworth clocked a 2:03.81 to lead the Cougars in the 800m, marking the ninth-fastest time in program history. All-American Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes ran a season-best 2:04.03 while Meghan Hunter earned a personal record of 2:04.27.

All-American Casey Clinger had a solid outing in the men’s 5000m, completing the race in 13:30.34. In the men’s 1500m, Lucas Bons ran a 3:38.69 and Aidan Troutner finished the race in 3:44.95.

Cougar Invitational

On the final day of the Cougar Invitational hosted at the Clarence F. Robison Track & Field Complex, Gretchen Hoekstre moved up to No. 2 on the BYU all-time list with a toss of 16.27m/53-4.5 in the women’s shot put.

Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri put together a pair of impressive performances in the women’s discus and hammer throw. The sophomore moved up to No. 4 on the BYU Top 10 board in both the discus and the hammer throw with tosses of 54.03m/177-3 and 58.23m/191-0.5, respectively.

Colten Yardley won the men’s 400m hurdles with a career-best 50.34, marking the sixth-fastest time in program history and the 15th-fastest time in the NCAA this season. In the women’s 400m hurdles, Halley Folsom Walker moved up to No. 8 on the BYU all-time list with a time of 58.38. Taking second place behind Folsom Walker, Kayla Perry ran her first career sub-60 second 400m hurdles with a time of 59.85.

In the men’s discus, Dallin Shurts cracked the BYU Top 10 board with a throw of 58.30m/191-3.25. His mark currently ranks No. 17 in the NCAA this season.

The 4x100m relay team consisting of Michael Bluth, Dallin Draper, Landon Maxfield and Andrew Stuart clocked a season-best 4x100m. Draper went on to win the men’s 100m with a career-best 10.45 while Bluth took second place in the 200m with a personal record of 20.75.

Several Cougar distance runners had impressive performances running at altitude. Haley Johnston ran an impressive 35:01.04 in the women’s 10,000m at altitude and Madi Moffitt completed the 3000m steeplechase in 10:37.26. In the men’s mile, Elijah Armstrong ran a 4:03.95 and Easton Allred finished with a 4:04.80.

All-American Zach McWhorter won the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 5.60m/18-4.5. In the men’s long jump, Conner Kennedy took first place with a season-best mark of 7.36m/24-1.75.

Complete Results: Cougar Invitational | Sound Running Track Meet

The Cougars will wait to find out which athletes qualify for the 2021 NCAA West Preliminaries. The meet will be held May 26-29 in College Station, Texas.