Cougars show little rust to start indoor season
PROVO, Utah – BYU track and field kicked off its 2019 indoor season hosting the two-day BYU December Invite at the Smith Fieldhouse Thursday and Friday.
“It was a great meet because we saw the work that the coaches and athletes have been putting in all fall come to fruition,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “There were great performances by some and rust-busters for the rest. We accomplished what we wanted to by getting a solid meet in before the Christmas break.”
Jacob Foutz started the meet strong for the Cougars matching his career best and taking first place in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 19.36m/63-6.25. Eyestone noted that the senior likely had the best performance of the meet as Foutz’s mark is the 10th-best weight throw in BYU history.
All-American Andrea Stapleton-Johnson started her season off strong on in the women’s high jump clearing 1.82m/5-11.75 to take first in the event. Last season, Stapleton-Johnson jumped 1.83m/6-0 during the indoor season to qualify for the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships.
"Andrea’s mark today probably won’t get her into the NCAA Indoor Championships, but it’s impressive considering it’s the first meet of the year,” Eyestone said. “It can be hard mentally to perform well at home with some of the extra attention, but she focused well and won the mental game.”
Rickey Fantroy Jr. and Tomi Adegoke both had strong performances in the jumping events. Adegoke won the men’s long jump (7.11m/23-6.25) and beat his best performance from last season in the men’s triple jump (14.11m/46-3.5). Fantroy Jr. matched his career best in the triple jump (14.93/48-11.75) on his way to a first-place finish while also taking second place in the men’s 60m final (6.91).
The BYU men’s middle-distance runners started the season strong with Marcus Dickson winning the mile (4:12.39) and teammate Matt Owens placing second (4:12.85). Talem Franco took first in the 800m (1:52.64) and finished within two-tenths of a second from beating his personal record. All-American Rory Linkletter finished just behind Franco in second (1:53.82) with Dickson taking third (1:56.12).
Elise Romney capped the meet off winning the women’s pole vault after clearing 3.95m/12-11.5. The junior nearly vaulted for a personal-best 4.15m/13-7.25 on the next height.
“Jumping for your personal best on a short-approach in the first meet of the season is amazing,” Eyestone said. “Coach Weirich has been working hard with the vaulters and it shows.”
Eyestone also noted how impressed he was with the BYU athletes that competed unattached this meet. Their stats can be found with the full meet results on runnercard.com.
The Cougars will stay home and host the BYU Indoor Invitational at the Smith Fieldhouse on Thursday, Jan. 10, through Saturday, Jan. 12, before competing on the road for the remainder of the indoor season.
BYU track and field look to kick off the 2019 season with home opener
PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s and women’s track and field teams will kick off the 2019 indoor season with their home opener on Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Smith Fieldhouse. Events will go through Friday, Dec. 14.
The two-day December Invite will feature athletes from BYU, Westminster, Utah Valley University and Weber State.
Following a successful cross country season, the BYU track and field team is hoping for a strong start to the upcoming indoor season. BYU coach Ed Eyestone is looking forward to the opportunity to see the athletes in action after fall conditioning. The Cougars will be competing both in uniform and unattached.
“I’m very excited for this week because it’s our first indoor meet of the season,” Eyestone said. “We have all of our very talented track and field athletes who have been working hard throughout fall conditioning. They are excited to see what results will come from all their training.”
Junior Talem Franco is one athlete that Eyestone feels will excel in this week’s competition. In last year’s outdoor season, he clocked a personal record of 3:44.90 in the 1500m quarterfinal at the NCAA West Preliminaries, finishing just one spot out from qualifying for Nationals.
Following a good outing earlier this month, senior Jacob Foutz is an athlete that Eyestone anticipates will have another strong performance in the weight throw. Foutz ranks No. 10 on BYU’s indoor record board in the weight throw after a new personal record of 19.36m/63-6.25.
Eyestone looks forward to seeing senior Andrea Stapleton-Johnson compete in the high jump after a successful 2018 season. Stapleton-Johnson received second-team All-America honors for the 2018 indoor season after placing 15th overall in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships (1.76m/5-9.25). She was named a first-team All-American following her eighth-place finish overall in the high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Championships (1.78m/5-10).
Freshmen Jaslyn Gardner is an athlete to watch in her collegiate career debut. Gardner was a 10-time UHSAA 2A state champion in the 100m, 200m and long jump and holds the 2A long jump record (19-2.25).
This meet gives all the athletes the chance to compete in their respected events while hopefully working towards earning one of the spots on the traveling teams.
“This is a great opportunity for us as coaches to see where they’re at in a low-key setting here at home,” Eyestone said. “These first home meets that we have set the tone for them in terms of traveling and potential opportunities to compete, so they want to do their best.”