Clinger and Rooks clock times for the record books


PROVO, Utah — BYU men’s track and field enjoyed an array of success in its opening day of competition at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, California and the Bryan Clay Invitational in Azusa, California on Thursday.

Casey Clinger and Kenneth Rooks headlined the day’s results as each put on some of the greatest distance performances in program history.

Clinger clocked a school record 13:23.33 in section one of the men’s invite 5000m, surpassing the previous record of 13:24.77 set by former Cougar Conner Mantz just a season ago. The junior from American Fork, Utah beat Victor Kiprop of No. 10 Alabama by over a second to take fifth. Each runner in the top-5 broke the Cougar Athletic Stadium and Bryan Clay Invitational record of 13:24.77 set by Nike professional runner Evan Jager in 2018.

Rooks rocketed to victory in the men’s collegiate steeplechase at the Mt. SAC Relays with a personal record time of 8:32.75. As of Thursday, Rooks’ performance ranks No. 1 in the nation, ahead of the previous leader, Ryan Smeeton of Oklahoma State.

Rooks improved by nearly four seconds over his previous best while jumping from No. 7 to No. 5 on the BYU top-10 board, surpassing Josh McAdams’ 8:34.10 set in 2006. A sophomore from Walla Walla, Washington, Rooks was recently honored on the MPSF’s Indoor Track and Field All-Academic Team and is less than a year removed from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Dallin Shurts was the Cougars’ lone thrower to compete on Thursday, but made the most of his moment, finishing second of 22 in the discus throw at the Mt. SAC Relays with a mark of 56.02m/183-9. Shurts came in ahead of No. 22 Cal’s Iffy Joyner and was only overcome by Ralford Mullings of No. 9 Arizona State. The junior from Banks, Oregon advances to the discus throw final on Friday at 4:45 p.m. PDT.

Several other BYU distance runners competed at both meets on Thursday, including Davin Thompson, Aaron Leavens and Justin Hartshorn who each finished top-10 in the 10,000m at Mt. SAC.

Catch up on the remainder of the results with these results links:

Mt. SAC Relays

Bryan Clay Invitational

The Cougars continue competition tomorrow at both meets with the addition of throwers at the Beach Invitational hosted by Long Beach State.