Cougars tally eight individual titles on day one of MPSF Championships


SPOKANE, Wash. — BYU track and field athletes earned eight individual MPSF titles during day one of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships at The Podium on Friday.

Women's Recap
Halley Folsom Walker and Mayci Torgerson kicked off the day for the Cougars in the pentathlon. Folsom Walker finished first in each event except the long jump, where she placed second, on her way to an individual MPSF Championship, totaling 3,818 points in the event. Torgerson finished seventh with 2,703 points.

Cailee Faulkner earned BYU’s second individual title of the day in the pole vault. The freshman’s mark of 3.97m/13-0.25 was good for first place, and fellow freshman Rebekah Ross placed third with a mark of 3.82m/12-6.25.

The individual MPSF title success continued into the weight throw, where Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri’s toss of 17.88m/58-8 gave her a first-place finish. Jessica Thompson finished second with a throw of 17.63m/57-10.

Adaobi Tabugbo (8.39) set a new personal best in the 60m hurdles, further solo during her spot at No. 6 all-time in BYU history. She placed first in the event, advancing to the Final on Saturday, Feb. 19.

The Cougars also advanced all four athletes (Tabugbo, My’Jah Mintze, Taye Raymond and Layne Bolli) competing in the 60m to Saturday’s Final.

Raymond’s long jump of 5.74m/18-10 was good for first place, earning the freshman an individual MPSF title, BYU’s fifth on the day.

Brinn Jensen highlighted six Cougars in the top-10 of the 200m, finishing third with a time of 24.62. Annalise Hart (fourth, 24.63), Mintze (fifth, 24.91), Tabugbo (sixth, 24.92), Brilee Pontius (seventh, 25.01) and Raymond (10th, 25.30) rounded out the top-10 finishers. Hart, Mintze and Tabugbo each set personal bests in the event.

Women’s distance concluded day one competition at The Podium with the DMR. The squad of Sadie Sargent, Krystie Solomon, Anastasia Davis and Madi Moffitt clocked an 11:41.88, good for third place.

Men's Recap
The BYU men garnered four individual conference titles in a variety of events at The Podium on Friday.

BYU freshmen came out in force during the men’s 5000m. Distance runner Zach Erikson clocked a 14:22.46 as he successfully fended off Portland’s John T. Kavulich for the MPSF crown. Erikson is a freshman from Idaho Falls, Idaho and is just months removed from his missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Georgia.

Davin Thompson, a freshman from Lehi, Utah, joined Erikson on the podium with a third-place finish and time of 14:29.80.

Joey Nokes, Cortez Ruiz, Kenneth Rooks and Brandon Garnica combined to bring home a conference title for the men’s distance medley relay team. The Cougars’ “A” squad clocked a winning time of 9:48.28, overpowering teams from Long Beach State, Portland and UC Riverside.

Zach McWhorter and Caleb Witsken finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s pole vault. McWhorter clinched the 2022 MPSF pole vault title and tied the meet record with a clearance of 5.72m/18-9.25. Former Washington pole vaulter Scott Roth set the record in 2010.

Witsken claimed runner-up with a mark of 5.32m/17-10.56.

The Cougars also dominated the men’s 200m with all five of their sprinters finishing top-7. Dallin Draper won the conference championship with a personal record time of 21.33. Jared Davis (21.51), Jace Jensen (21.61) and Easton Bianchi (21.79) followed in places two through four, with Spencer Carlile (21.95) in seventh. Davis, Jensen and Carlile each set new personal records as well.

Draper’s day one success wasn’t confined to the 200m. The Delta, Utah native took first in the 60m preliminary and joins second-place finisher Bianchi in the final on Saturday at 10:35 a.m. PST.

Through four events, BYU heptathletes Dallin Vorkink and AJ Beynon lead the competition with scores of 2843 and 2754, respectively. Vorkink and Beynon will battle for the MPSF Heptathlon title as they compete in the 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m on Saturday.

Tabugbo will lead off BYU’s competition on Saturday, starting with the 60m hurdle final at 10 a.m. PST.