BYU Women's Track & Field 2022 Season Review
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s track and field enjoyed a successful and historic season that included three individual national titles, 19 All-Americans, nine conference championships, a first team conference title, 50 Top-10 marks, and 10 total school records broken.
"One of the things I was most happy about this season was the number of qualifiers we had to Nationals," said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. "We did an outstanding job of getting people qualified from events across the board. Our theme this year was to 'Show Up,' and I thought we did an excellent job of that in our preparation for and performances at the West Preliminary and National Championships."
Finishing tied for ninth at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships a week ago, the Cougars earned back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time since 1999-2000. Scoring points for BYU in Eugene were Ashton Riner, Courtney Wayment and Halley Folsom Walker.
Both Riner and Wayment held the No. 1 times and marks in their respective events for the majority of the season and headed into Hayward for Nationals. The pair were also awarded USTFCCCA Mountain Region Track & Field Athlete of the Year honors earlier this week, with Wayment sweeping this season’s Track Athlete of the Year awards for a total of three Athlete of the Year honors in her career.
On the women’s opening night and on her opening throw in the javelin, Riner went 58.24m/191-1, a mark that would stand strong throughout the night. She earned the Cougars’ first women’s field title since 1992, and became the first BYU field athlete to win a national title since her coach, Niklas Arrhenius did in 2007.
"Ashton demonstrated why she was the No. 1 ranked javelin thrower in the nation," Eyestone said. "She took the lead in dominant fashion on her very first throw and was never challenged. I'm so happy for her and Coach Arrhenius, who with his three javelin entries has become one of the top javelin coaches in the country."
Wayment locked up her third individual national title on an afternoon where not even the rain could stop her. She clocked a personal best 9:16.00 in the 3000-meters steeplechase, finishing over nine seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. Wayment’s time also broke her own school record, and an eight-year collegiate and meet record.
"I’m most proud of the growth I’ve witnessed during Courtney’s career," said BYU associate director of track and field Diljeet Taylor. "I’m grateful for the legacy she has created. The 3k steeplechase win was the perfect way to end our journey."
Folsom Walker, fueled by a first-place finish in the heptathlon’s final event, the 800-meters, moved from 15th-place to eighth overall, earning First Team All-American honors and scoring a valuable point for the Cougars.
Joining Riner, Wayment and Folsom Walker as Outdoor All-Americans were Cierra Tidwell Allphin (Second Team, high jump), Alex McAllister (Honorable Mention, javelin), Claire Seymour (Honorable Mention, 800-meters), Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri (Honorable Mention, discus), Aubrey Frentheway (Honorable Mention, 10,000-meters) and Lexy Halladay (3000-meters steeplechase).
Aside from Wayment’s steeplechase school record, the Cougars also broke five other school records during the outdoor season. Riner topped her own javelin school record at the BYU Robison Invitational, making her the nation’s leader in April with a mark of 60.36m/198-0.5.
A week later, at the Penn Relays, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Alena Ellsworth, Claire Seymour and Wayment teamed up to win the Cougars first ever Penn wheel in the distance medley relay and break a 23-year old school record by over seven seconds at 10:50.22. The following day, Meghan Hunter, Ellsworth, Ellsworth-Barnes and Seymour clocked an 8:28.24 in the 4x800-meters relay, breaking an 11-year old program record.
The 4x100-meters squad of Adaobi Tabugbo, Taye Ramyond, Dolita Awala-Shaw and Annalise Hart took down a 12-year school record twice in a two-week span, first running a 44.68 at the Desert Heat Classic, and then finishing at the BYU Cougar Invitational with a time of 44.63.
Wayment highlighted the indoor season for the Cougars, winning an individual national title in the 5000-meters at the 2022 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, the 10th indoor individual title in BYU women’s track and field history.
Adding to her win in the 3000-meters at the 2021 Indoor Championships, Wayment became just the second athlete in program history to earn a second indoor individual title and the first to do so in two different events.
As a team, the Cougars finished eighth overall at the Indoor Championships after totaling 26.2 points, marking the first top-10 indoor finish in back-to-back years since BYU last did so in three-straight seasons from 1998-2000.
Contributing points with her 3000-meter title, Wayment also doubled in the 5000-meters, placing fifth to earn First Team All-American honors in two different events. Claire Seymour narrowly missed her own individual title in the 800-meters, finishing runner-up to earn First Team honors herself.
Folsom Walker, again aided by an impressive finish in the 800-meters, placed fifth overall in the pentathlon, and Tidwell-Allphin finished tied for eighth in the high jump, rounding out the Cougars’ First Team All-Americans.
The distance medley relay team of Carmen Alder, Ellsworth-Barnes, Kate Hunter and Meghan Hunter took home Second Team honors, with pole vaulter Cailee Faulkner an Honorable Mention All-American.
Prior to the Indoor Championships, Faulkner (pole vault), Folsom Walker (pentathlon), Lohmeier El-Bakri (weight throw), Raymond (long jump), Tabugbo (60-meter hurdles, 60-meters), Jessica Thompson (shot put), Meghan Hunter (800m) and Folsom Walker, Brilee Pontius, Hart and Brinn Jensen (4x400-meters) each won MPSF titles, leading to BYU’s first ever MPSF team title on the women’s side.
Wayment kicked off the season at the BU Sharon Colyear-Danville Season Opener, breaking a school record in the 5000-meters at 15:15.46. Jaslyn Gardner followed that up a week later at the BYU December Invite, breaking her own school record in the 60-meters with a 7.27.
At the Texas Tech Shootout in February, Jensen, Hart, Folsom Walker and Pontius clocked a 3:40.74 in the 4x400-meters, setting another school record, and at the second BYU Cougar Indoor Invitational, true freshman Cailee Faulkner broke the program’s pole vault record, clearing 4.36m/14-3.75.
A Look Ahead
Despite losing Wayment to the professional ranks, the Cougars will return numerous underclassmen, and a handful of upperclassmen, with significant experience in a 2022-23 season where BYU will look for continued success as it enters its final year in the MPSF before moving into the Big 12.