Rooks, Yardley advance to finals on day one at track and field championships


EUGENE, Ore. — Kenneth Rooks and Colten Yardley qualified for the finals in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and 400m-meters hurdles, respectively, as No. 4/14 BYU track and field opened competition at the 2022 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Hayward Field on Wednesday.

“Certainly, Kenneth and Colten advancing was the highlight of the evening,” said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. “They both ran very strong races, and I’m excited to watch them and follow them in Friday’s finals.”

Rooks advanced to Friday’s steeplechase final as he won his heat and finished second overall with a personal-best 8:24.88. With Wednesday’s time, Rooks now stands at No. 2 all-time among BYU men’s steeplechasers, surpassing 2009 national champion Kyle Perry’s 8:29.24.

“Kenneth definitely advanced with style,” Eyestone said. “Each race has crucial moments in it and I felt like when that crucial moment occurred, Kenneth knew to move himself up into top-five position, and then he just crushed the last 400.”

Steeplechase Semifinal Top-5
1.Duncan HamiltonMontana State8:23.13
2. Kenneth RooksBYU8:24.88
3.Parker StokesGeorgetown8:26.04
4. Ahmed JaziriEastern Kentucky8:26.27
5.Ryan SmeetonOklahoma State8:26.64

Rooks will compete for BYU’s fourth all-time men’s steeplechase national title on Friday at 6:24 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.

Senior Garrett Marsing joined Rooks in the steeplechase and finished 19th at 8:45.71.

After anchoring the men’s 4x100-meter relay earlier in the afternoon, Yardley ran 49.82 in the men’s 400m hurdle semifinal, finishing second in his heat and eighth overall as he punched his ticket to Friday’s final. Yardley pulled away late from Rivaldo Leacock of New Mexico and Georgia’s Caleb Cavanaugh to achieve the automatic qualifier to the final with a top-2 spot in the heat.

“Colten had a great mentality and executed his race well to put himself in the final,” said BYU men’s sprints and hurdles coach Kyle Grossarth. “I’m excited to see what he can do on Friday.”

Yardley will compete for a 400m hurdles final on Friday at 7:27 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.

Zach McWhorter concluded the season with a First Team All-American performance in the men’s pole vault final on Wednesday. McWhorter’s clearance of 5.60m/18-4.5 was good for a sixth-place finish. Caleb Witsken took home Second Team All-American honors as he finished 10th with a final height of 5.45m/17-10.5.

Sebastian Fernandez’s season wound to a close with an 11th-place finish in the men’s 800m semifinal. At 1:47.66, Fernandez was two spots out of finals qualifying. Navasky Anderson of Mississippi State won the semifinal at 1:45.94.

Brandon Garnica and Casey Clinger took 11th and 12th, respectively, in the 10,000m final. Both finished as Second Team All-Americans with Garnica running a 28:21.81 and Clinger a 28:22.99. Notre Dame’s Dylan Jacobs was crowned national champion with a winning time of 28:12.32. Clinger will return for the 5,000-meter final on Friday at 7:55 p.m. PDT on ESPN2.

Michael Whittaker, the lone BYU men’s thrower to reach nationals, took 20th in the javelin final at 65.96m/216-5.

Jared Davis, Dallin Draper, Landon Maxfield and Colten Yardley combined to clock a 4x100m relay time of 40.10, finishing 24th and falling short of qualifying for the final. Houston won the semifinal at 38.66.

Through five events, decathlete Dallin Vorkink stands in 13th with 3,733 points. Vorkink began the day running a season-best 100m time of 11.38.

Thursday’s events will begin with Vorkink in the 110-meter hurdles at 11:30 a.m. PDT on ESPN3. Courtney Wayment and Lexy Halladay kickoff women’s events in the steeplechase semifinal on Thursday at 6:02 p.m. PDT on ESPNU.

Wednesday, June 8
EventAthlete(s)Time/MarkFinishNext Up
Decathlon 100mDallin Vorkink11.38Day 2 on Thursday, June 9
Decathlon Long JumpDallin Vorkink6.62m/21-8.75 (+2.6)Day 2 on Thursday, June 9
Decathlon Shot PutDallin Vorkink13.56m/44-6Day 2 on Thursday, June 9
Decathlon High JumpDallin Vorkink1.95m/6-4.75Day 2 on Thursday, June 9
Men's 4x100 (Semifinal)Easton Bianchi
Jared Davis
Dallin Draper
Colten Yardley
Men's Pole Vault (Final)Zach McWhorter 6th
Men's Pole Vault (Final)Caleb Witsken 11th
Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal)Kenneth Rooks8:24.882ndFinal on Friday at 6:24 p.m. PDT
Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal)Garrett Marsing8:45.7119th
Men's Javelin (Final)Michael Whittaker  
Men's 800m (Semifinal)Sebastian Fernandez1:47.6611th
Men's 400m Hurdles (Semifinal)Colten Yardley49.828thFinal on Friday at 7:27 p.m. PDT
Decathlon 400mDallin Vorkink50.95Day 2 on Thursday, June 9
Men's 10,000m (Final)Brandon Garnica28:21.8111th
Men's 10,000m (Final)Casey Clinger28:22.9912th
Thursday, June 9
11:30 a.m.Decathlon 110m HurdlesDallin VorkinkESPN3
12:20 p.m.Decathlon DiscusDallin VorkinkESPN3
1:30 p.m.Decathlon Pole VaultDallin VorkinkESPN3
4 p.m.Decathlon JavelinDallin VorkinkESPN3
6:02 p.m.Women's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal)Lexy Halladay
Courtney Wayment
6:45 p.m.Women's Javelin (Final)Alex McAllister
Ashton Riner
7:14 p.m.Women's 800m (Semifinal)Claire SeymourESPNU
7:56 p.m.Decathlon 1500mDallin VorkinkESPNU
8:08 p.m.Women's 10,000m (Final)Aubrey FrenthewayESPNU
Friday, June 10
1 p.m.Heptathlon 100m HurdlesHalley Folsom WalkerESPN3
2 p.m.Heptathlon High JumpHalley Folsom WalkerESPN3
4 p.m.Heptathlon Shot PutHalley Folsom WalkerESPN3
6:24 p.m.Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Final)Kenneth RooksESPN2
7:27 p.m.Men's 400m Hurdles (Final)Colten YardleyESPN2
7:43 p.m.Heptathlon 200mHalley Folsom WalkerESPN2
7:55 p.m.Men's 5,000m (Final)Casey ClingerESPN2
Saturday, June 11
10:30 a.m.Heptathlon Long JumpHalley Folsom WalkerESPN3
11:45 a.m.Heptathlon JavelinHalley Folsom WalkerESPN3
2 p.m.Women's High Jump (Final)Cierra Tidwell-AllphinESPN3
2:05 p.m.Women's Discus (Final)Sable Lohmeier El-BakriESPN3
2:54 p.m.*Women's 3000m Steeplechase (Final)Lexy Halladay
Courtney Wayment
3:44 p.m.*Women's 800m (Final)Claire SeymourESPN
4:13 p.m.Heptathlon 800mHalley Folsom WalkerESPN

*If qualified