Clinger finishes runner-up in 5,000-meters at NCAA Indoor Nationals


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Casey Clinger blazed to a second-place finish in the 5,000-meter final to lead No. 23 BYU men’s track and field at Friday’s NCAA Indoor National Championship. With five events complete, BYU sits in third-place with 12 points. 

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At his first indoor nationals appearance, Clinger’s runner-up time of 13:38.12 was good for First Team All-American honors. He used a strong final 200 meters to pass NCAA record holder Drew Bosley of Northern Arizona to finish runner-up to Tennessee's Dylan Jacobs. 

“Casey ran a very smart, patient race,” BYU Director of Track & Field Ed Eyestone said. “I was very impressed with his composure late in the race and his ability to move over that last 600 meters and come within a spot of winning the whole thing. I don’t think I’ve been as happy with a second place before. Now we’re just trying to get him recovered and coming back for the 3,000-meters tomorrow.”

Clinger is now the second-highest BYU finisher ever in the 5000m at indoor nationals, behind only Luis Hernandez’s national championship run in 1977.

Joey Nokes placed 10th in the 5,000m, crossing the line at 14:01.43 to become a Second Team All-American in the sophomore’s first indoor nationals appearance. Clinger and Nokes posted the 13th and 14th All-American finishes in school history for the event.

Caleb Witsken became a three-time indoor nationals All-American, earning First Team honors with a clearance of 5.61m/18-4.75 to finish sixth overall for his second time at indoor nationals. The senior now has two First Team All-American honors under his belt (2021, 2023), with today’s clearance marking his highest-ever in his three championship appearances.

The distance medley relay finished eighth at 9:39.45 to rack up First Team All-American honors. The squad included Kenneth Rooks, Trey Jackson, Sebastian Fernandez and Lucas Bons. Aside from Bons, each were competing for the first time at the highest NCAA indoor level. Fernandez led all runners in the third 800m split, registering a 1:46.89 time.

“Sebastian’s performance was no surprise,” Eyestone said. “He’s been running like that for us all season. The DMR can get very crowded too. Kenneth did a great job of getting out early on.”

The Cougars will have one more competitor in Albuquerque tomorrow night as Clinger will run in the 3,000-meters at 8 p.m. MST.