Cougars tally 11 first-place finishes as Indoor Invitational I concludes


PROVO, Utah — BYU track and field picked up 11 first-place finishes as it concluded the BYU Cougar Indoor Invitational I on Saturday.

"I think it was an outstanding meet considering we were coming off the Christmas break with testing and people out being quarantined," said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. "It gave those healthy athletes that we have, an opportunity to get out, stretch their legs, get ready for our first traveling that's coming up with Air Force and then Washington. All in all, just a good overall opener for us, and we'll look to build on that in the future."

Day Three

Women's Recap
On the women's side, BYU took first place in four out of five events. In the 60m trials, all six Cougars who competed qualified for the finals. Emma Johnson would not race in the final, but BYU athletes filled five of the top-six athletes in Taye Raymond (1, 7.695), who set a personal best in the event, Brinn Jensen (2, 7.70), Layne Bolli (3, 7.76), Brilee Pontius (5, 7.89) and Annalise Hart (6, 7.92).

Chloe Taylor placed fourth in the 400m with a time of 1:03.00 before the Cougars took the top-four spots in the 200m and six in the top-10. Jensen led the way, clocking 24.98 for a first-place finish, followed by Bolli (2, 25.12), Hart (3, 25.21), Pontius (4, 25.22), Raymond (5, 25.43) and Taylor (26.98). Bolli, Hart and Raymond each set personal bests in the event.

BYU went one-two in the pole vault as Rebekah Ross took first on a mark of 4.11m/13-5.75. Lauren Merrill finished second after a mark of 3.78m/12-4.75. Both marks were new personal bests for Ross and Merrill. 

The Cougars took first in their final event of the day, the 4x400m relay. The team of Jensen, Bolli, Hart and Pontius clocked a time of 3:50.43, over five seconds faster than Utah State, the second-place finishing team.

Men's Recap
BYU men’s track and field took first place in seven of its eight events on Saturday. True freshmen Josh Taylor (48.52) and Spencer Carlile (48.81) finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s 400m final over athletes from Utah State and Westminster. Taylor recently returned from missionary service while Carlile is a newcomer from Dixie High School in St. George, Utah.

Freshman Austin Klingler likewise took first in the 800m with a time of 1:55.84.

Sprinter Dallin Draper won the men’s 60m while setting personal records in both the heat and final.

The Cougars dominated in both short and long distance with BYU runners finishing first through third in the 200m and first through sixth in the 3000m. Easton Bianchi took first in the 200m with a time of 21.94 while Brandon Garnica galloped ahead of the pack by 10 seconds to win the 3000m at 8:09.44.

To cap off the day, Carlile, Draper, Landon Maxfield and Cortez Ruiz combined to clock a winning time of 3:16.21 in the 4x400 finals.

BYU will continue its indoor season at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado with the Air Force Invitational on Jan. 20-22.

Day Two

Women's Recap
The Cougars took first in the two events they competed in Friday. Cierra Tidwell-Allphin finished first in the high jump, clearing 1.77m/5-9.75. Mayci Torgerson came in second with a mark of 1.72m/5-7.75 and Christina Blackmon (1.57m/5-1.75) tied for sixth.

Taye Raymond also finished first, winning the high jump with a mark of 5.64m/18-6. Her mark was over a foot more than the second-place finisher.

Men's Recap
BYU men’s heptathlete Dallin Vorkink finished off the competition by winning in each of his four events on Friday. Vorkink set a new personal record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.52, shaving off 0.6 seconds from his previous best. Victories in the pole vault and 1000m paved the way for Vorkink’s heptathlon-winning total score of 5500 points.

The former walk-on’s 5500 points set a new personal record and placed him No. 5 all-time at BYU in heptathlon score, surpassing Josh Weirich’s mark set in 2014. Vorkink’s previous best was 5375, then No. 10 in program history.

Conner Kennedy and Jacob Veres also competed for the BYU men on Friday. Kennedy took first in the men’s long jump with a mark of 7.04/23-1.25 and Veres finished fifth in the men’s high jump.

Day One

Women's Recap
Five BYU women's athletes set new personal bests on Day 1, including pentathlete Halley Folsom Walker in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.89, and the high jump with a mark of 1.73m/5-8. Walker finished third in the pentathlon with a total of 3000 points.

The Cougars filled seven of the nine spots in the weight throw finals, led by Sable Lohmeier, who finished second with a mark of 16.96m/55-7.75. Jayda Lee (16.38m/53-9), Lia Pili (16.16m/53-0.25) and Gretchen Hoekstre (16.01m/52-6.5) each set new personal bests in the event.

Hoekstre etched her name in BYU history with a shot put mark of 17.10m/56-1.25, good for second-best all-time at BYU. Hoekstre, Jessica Thompson (14.25m/48-9), Pili (13.33m/43-8.75) and Lee (12.86m/42-2.25) each set personal bests in the event.

Men's Recap
Dallin Vorkink led BYU men’s track and field on Thursday as he stormed out to first place in the men’s heptathlon with a score of 2931. Vorkink clocked a 7.34 in the 60m and cleared 6.50m in the long jump; both personal bests. The junior from Kirksville, Missouri will complete the heptathlon on Friday with the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m.  

Danny Bryant finished second in the men’s weight throw with a mark of 16.01m/52-6.25. Bryant and freshman thrower Harrison Gould finished third and eighth, respectively, in the men’s shot put.