Riner rises atop national javelin rankings as Robison Invitational concludes


PROVO, Utah — Following a frustrating lightning delay on Friday, BYU track and field weathered stiff Saturday winds on its way to seizing 25 event wins at the Robison Invitational, highlighted by Ashton Riner’s record-shattering javelin throw.


Men's Recap

BYU men’s track and field piled up 13 event wins over the course of four days of competition at the Robison Invitational.

The Cougars filled spots one through four in the men’s mile final with Aidan Troutner crossing first at 4:05.33. Garrett Marsing clocked a personal-best 4:10.97 to finish second, surpassing his previous best set at the home meet three years ago. Brandon Garnica and Justin Hartshorn took third and fourth, respectively. Davin Thompson represented the BYU men’s distance team in the steeplechase, winning at 9:04.56.

BYU sprinters saw success on Saturday as well with wins in both 4x100 and 4x400 races. The BYU “A” Squad of Dallin Draper, Jared Davis, Trey Jackson and Colten Yardley fought through the biting wind to take first in the 4x100 with a time of 40.33. Draper helped the 4x400 team win too, combining with Eli Hazlett, Jace Jensen and Joshua Taylor for a time of 3:12.02.

Draper and Davis also finished first and second, respectively, in the men’s 100m dash, while Asante Laryea-Akrong took sixth with a personal-best of 10.70. Taylor took first in the 400m at 47.54 and Yardley in the 400m hurdle with 50.34.

Danny Bryant, Dallin Shurts and Michael Whittaker each won field events at the home meet. Bryant took the top spot in the lone pre-weather delay event on Friday with a 53.26m/174-8.75 in the men’s hammer throw. Shurts recorded a winning discus throw of 58.92m/193-3.75 on Saturday morning and Whittaker closed the meet with a mark of 63.44m/208-1.75 to win the javelin throw.

Women's Recap

BYU track and field javelin thrower Ashton Riner broke her own school record, twice, at Clarence F. Robison Track & Field on Saturday.

“She was able to hit a gorgeous flight and get over 60 meters, which internationally is a gigantic barrier,” said BYU throws coach Niklas Arrhenius. “It’s what separates the world-class from the great throwers. She works super hard and is just an amazing athlete. This was fun to watch.”

The junior from Connell, Washington, threw a 58.58m/191-10.25 on her first throw of the series, breaking her previous school record by three feet. On her last throw of the day, Riner launched a 60.36m/198-0.5, breaking the elusive 60m barrier in the event, and breaking her original school record by 10 feet.

“I’ve felt it was coming, because I’ve thrown PRs in practice, but I woke up early this morning and thought that I needed to throw 60m because it’s halfway through the season and I haven’t thrown in yet,” Riner said. “I woke up feeling good and healthy, which I haven’t felt in a long time, and I was ready."

Riner’s first-place finishing mark on Saturday also leads the nation by over 10 feet, putting her squarely in national qualifying position.

Jessica Thompson joined Riner in the women’s throwers’ success, placing second in the shot put, tossing a 15.31m/50-2.75 personal best that also put her at No. 6 all-time at BYU.

The Cougars went 1-2-3 in the pole vault, which was held indoors at the Smith Fieldhouse due to inclement weather. Cailee Faulkner (4.22m/13-10.25), Rebekah Ross (4.07m/13-4.25) and Nikki Naatjes (3.92m/12-10.25) represented BYU in the top-3.

Anastaysia Davis (4:56.25) and Aubrey Frentheway (4:56.50) placed first and second, respectively, in the first outdoor mile run of their careers.

Cierra Tidwell-Allphin set a new personal best in the high jump, winning the event with a mark of 1.83m/6-0. The jump also boosted her from No. 9 into a tie for No. 8 in program history.

Taye Raymond won the long jump with a mark of 5.98m/19-7.5. Raymond was also on the first-place finishing 4x100 squad of Adaobi Tabugbo, Dolita Awala-Shaw, Annalise Hart and herself that clocked a 45.48.

Tabugbo finished first in the 100m hurdles with a time of 13.29, and Annalise Hart’s 54.89 in the 400m earned her a first-place finish as well.

Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri won the discus throw with a mark of 52.10m/170-11.25, Raymond took first in the 100m (11.65) and 200m (23.86), Halley Folsom Walker (58.19) won the 400m hurdles, moving up from No. 8 to No. 6 all-time, and Anna Martin (17:30.28) placed first in the 5000m to close out the weekend’s event wins for BYU.

Up Next

Despite storms on Friday and relentless wind on Saturday, BYU Director of Track and Field Ed Eyestone was pleased with the opportunity to showcase his staff's athletes before a home crowd. 

"Today showed that our athletes know how to rise up, even when conditions are a little less than ideal," Eyestone said. "I'm really happy with all of the work that our event coaches have done to prepare them to be in a good place to have such amazing performances." 

While the program honored its graduating seniors on Saturday, the thick of the outdoor season remains in front of them with three meets next week, April 28-30.

Much of the team will compete at the Desert Heat Classic in Tucson, Arizona while men's distance will send runners to Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational and women's distance will compete at the prestigious Penn Relays in Philadelphia.