Cougars post all-time marks amid power outage at West Coast Relays
CLOVIS, Calif. – All-Americans Whittni Orton and Courtney Wayment both broke school records in their respective events as BYU track and field had 11 athletes move up the program’s top 10 list at the West Coast Relays.
A power outage at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Clovis, California, delayed Friday’s distance events late into the night. While waiting for the power to come back on, cars were positioned around the track so that their headlights provided some light, and those attending the meet were asked to circle the fence around the track with their cell phone lights. The stadium lights came back on following the men’s 1500m invitational race.
After having the 3000m steeplechase invitational pushed back late into the night, Wayment put together one of the most historic performances in school and collegiate history. The two-time national champion completed the race in an NCAA-leading 9:31.37 to break the BYU record by more than 11 seconds (Erica Birk-Jarvis, 9:42.54, 2019). Only four women’s collegiate runners have run faster times than Wayment and her time marks the fastest steeplechase since 2016.
Orton claimed her fourth school record after recording a 4:09.31 in the 1500m invitational on Friday. The All-American’s time marks the third fastest in the NCAA this year. Orton broke Jamie Cottle’s record of 4:11.67, set in 2003, by more than two seconds.
Three other Cougars also ran all-time marks in the 1500m invitational. All-American Anna Camp-Bennett completed the race in 4:11.63, marking the second-fastest time in school history and the sixth-fastest time in the country. All-American Olivia Hoj Simister ran a 4:13.28 to move up to No. 5 on the BYU Top 10 list (No. 12 in the NCAA this year) and All-American Kate Hunter crossed in 4:14.53, marking the seventh-fastest time in program history.
Racing with the help of car headlights and cellphone flashlights, All-Americans Talem Franco, Lucas Bons, Conner Mantz and Casey Clinger all ran top-5 times in program history in the men’s 1500m invitational.
Franco ran a 3:37.55, marking the second-fastest time in BYU history and the sixth-fastest time in the nation this year. Bons finished the race in 3:37.68 for the third-fastest time in program history and Mantz ran a 3:37.96 for the fourth-best time on the BYU Top 10 board. Clinger rounded out the historic race with a 3:38.16, marking the fifth-fastest time in school history.
All-American Aubrey Frentheway completed the 5000m in 15:58.76, marking the seventh-fastest time in program history. In the steeplechase, All-American Sara Musselman ran a 10:00.61 to retain her No. 10 spot on the BYU all-time list.
Garrett Marsing (8:44.50), Matt Owens (8:46.11) and Adam Wood (8:47.23) finished 2-4 in the men’s steeplechase. In the men’s 5000m, Easton Allred (13:45.54), Michael Ottesen (13:53.52), Connor Weaver (13:53.52) and Aidan Troutner (14:02.85) all recorded personal records.
All-American pole vaulters Zach McWhorter and Caleb Witsken were set to compete Saturday night at the Texas A&M Alumni Muster before heavy rain caused the meet to be canceled.
The Cougars will return to action next week at the Weber State Invitational May 3-4 and the Oregon Twilight meet on Friday, May 7.
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