McWhorter extends school record clearance at Columbia Challenge


PROVO, Utah — BYU track and field kicked off competition at the Dr. Sander Invitational Columbia Challenge in New York City on Friday, highlighted by another school record from Zach McWhorter, an impressive men's DMR performance and two top-10 finishes in the women's shot put. 

Men's Recap
For the third time in less than a year, BYU men's pole vaulter Zach McWhorter set a program-record clearance. McWhorter recorded a 5.85m/19-2.25 mark at The Armory on Friday, surpassing his previous record of 5.82m/19-1.25 set at the BYU December Invite. The sophomore from Springdale, Arkansas is now tied for No. 5 in NCAA Division I history with former Texas athlete Jacob Davis who cleared 5.85 in 1999. 

McWhorter won the men's pole vault over Sondre and Simen Guttormsen of Princeton. Caleb Witsken finished fourth over Carson Lenser of South Carolina and Travis Snyder of UConn. 

Garrett Marsing, Cortez Ruiz, Austin Klingler and Aidan Troutner combined to clock a 9:43.76 in the men's distance medley relay. The Cougars took second in the relay, only 1.2 seconds behind host Columbia and in front of teams from UConn, Syracuse and South Carolina. With Friday's time, the men's relay team made qualifying position for NCAA Indoor Nationals. While standings may change over the coming weeks, the top-16 national mark keeps the team on track to compete for a national title. 

Freshman sprinter Omar Aburouss also competed in his first collegiate meet, clocking a 7.08 in the 60m preliminary. 

Women's Recap
Gretchen Hoekstre and Sierra Freeland both secured top-10 finishes in the women’s shot put. Hoekstre took second with a mark of 15.47m/50-9.25, and Freeland’s toss of 15.22m/49-11.25 earned her a fourth-place finish. Jessica Thompson (11th, 13.56m/44-6), Jayda Lee (12.40m/40-8.25) and Lia Pili (23rd, 12.31m/40-4.75) also competed in the event for the Cougars.

Mayci Torgerson was the only other BYU athlete to compete at The Armory on Friday. She finished 30th in the 60m hurdles with a time of 9.39 and 34th in the long jump with a mark of 5.23m/17-2.

The women’s throwers will kick off Saturday’s action starting with the weight throw at 9:30 a.m. EST.