Troutner sets top-10 mark on day two of UW Invitational


SEATTLE — BYU track and field wrapped up competition at the UW Invitational on Saturday with its distance runners making strides toward qualifying for nationals. 

In addition to BYU's presence in Seattle, recent alums Conner Mantz, Whittni Orton, Anna Camp Bennett and current senior Courtney Wayment competed at the Millrose Games in New York. 

“It was nice to get the distance squad out and into action,” said BYU Director of Track and Field Ed Eyestone. “I was pleased with what I saw.”

Men's Recap
Aidan Troutner and Brandon Garnica highlighted the day’s performances among the No. 6 BYU men.

Troutner clocked a 4:00.58 mile, good for No. 9 all-time at BYU, surpassing a time of 4:00.77 set by Clayton Young in 2019. Troutner’s finished 10th in a field of 50 and edged in-state rival Nate Osterstock of Southern Utah by just under a second.

Saturday marked Troutner’s first collegiate indoor mile.

Lucas Bons also finished in the top-half of the men’s mile standings with a time of 4:05.03 for 22nd. Garrett Marsing (27th) and Kenneth Rooks (34th) competed in the mile as well with Rooks setting a personal-best.

While seven BYU men’s runners set personal-bests on Saturday, none was more resounding than Garnica’s 7:55.04 in the 3000m. The junior from Springville, Utah surpassed his previous best by 11 seconds on the way to finishing seventh in a field of 63.

Freshman Joey Nokes competed in his first collegiate indoor 3000m on Saturday and came in 25th with a time of 8:07.49. Justin Hartshorn, Adam Wood, Davin Thompson and Zach Erikson each set personal-bests in the 3000m while finishing top-40. Aaron Leavens and Zac Jacklin also competed in the 3000.

Austin Klingler, a freshman from West Jordan, Utah, competed in the men’s only mid-distance event of the day. Klingler clocked a personal-best of 1:51.06 to finish fourth of 28 in the men’s 800m.

Women's Recap
The women's distance runners continued their competition at Dempsey Indoor on Saturday, beginning with the 3000m. With a personal best time of 9:29.42, McKenna Lee placed 12th. Madi Moffitt finished 30th with a time of 10:01.09, Lizzie Dildine, making her freshman track debut, clocked a 10:02.14 for a 33rd-place finish and Kaylee Thompson ran a 10:04.15 to finish 35th. Allie Warner competed in her first meet since returning for serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, finishing 44th with a time of 10:17.32. 

"Today was a solid opener all around for us," BYU Associate Director of Track & Field Diljeet Taylor said. "This meet serves as a rust buster for us and we are looking forward to working hard and continuing to get better."

In the mile run, Lexy Halladay came in ninth with a time of 4:40.31. Freshman Carmen Alder (4:44.61) finished right behind her in 11th place, followed by Heather Hanson (4:46.02) in 12th, Sadie Sargent (26th, 4:55.19), Kate Hunter (29th, 4:56.03) and Alissa Fielding (35th, 4:59.94).

Meghan Hunter (2:06.67) and Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes (2:06.86) placed third and fourth, respectively, in the 800m. Krystie Solomon (2:13.36) and Alli Baker (2:18.26) also competed in the event for the Cougars.

Sierra Freeland also made the trip to Seattle for No. 7 BYU. The senior placed fourth in the shot put with a mark of 14.38m/47-2.25. 

“All-in-all, we’re moving in a good direction,” Eyestone said. “We don’t have any distance runners qualified for nationals yet, so we’re hoping to strengthen that up when we come back to Seattle in two weeks for another race.”

The Cougars will travel to Spokane, Ogden and New York next weekend for three meets across the nation, beginning with the WSU Open & Invite held at The Podium in Spokane, Washington. The BYU distance team will return to action at the Husky Classic on Feb. 11-12.