Women’s DMR team sets new school record at UW Invite
SEATTLE – BYU track and field’s women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team broke BYU’s all-time record as the Cougars wrapped up competition at the UW Invite and Dr. Sander Invitational on Saturday.
“We had an amazing weekend,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Our athletes at the Dr. Sander Invitational in New York did amazing. The men’s team there took first place and we had some great individual performances. We also had great performances here in Washington at the UW Invite and had athletes put themselves in contention to qualify for the NCAA Championships.”
On Friday, All-American Erica Birk-Jarvis, Alena Ellsworth, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes and All-American Whittni Orton clocked a 10:56.51 to set a school record in the DMR. The previous record of 10:56.73 was set by All-Americans Lacey Cramer, Katie Palmer, Nachelle Stewart and Angela Wagner on their way to taking third place at the 2009 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.
“The women’s DMR team was the highlight of the weekend,” BYU associate head coach Diljeet Taylor said. “It was an amazing performance to break the school record and they put themselves in position to qualify for the NCAA Championship meet. It’s exciting to have this type of race early on in the season and it shows that we’re a lot further along than where we were last year.”
Cougars continued to earn spots on the school record board with Olivia Hoj running 9:11.75 in the women’s 3000m for the No. 2 time in BYU history. All-American Connor McMillan finished with a time of 7:51.55 in the men’s 3000m for the eighth-fastest time in school history. All-American Clayton Young and Conner Mantz finished close behind McMillan with a time of 7:51.91 and 7:53.32, respectively.
“Hopefully we get some guys to the NCAA Championships in the men’s 3000m,” Eyestone said. “I think they raced with confidence. They moved well and responded well. Those three guys hopefully have marks that will get them through to Nationals.”
After racing on the DMR team on Friday, Birk-Jarvis and Orton both had strong performances on Saturday in the women’s mile. Birk-Jarvis earned a career-best 4:36.95 while Orton finished with a time of 4:38.46.
Four men’s team athletes set personal-best times in the mile with all four finishing under four minutes and five seconds. Talem Franco led the way with a 4:02.38 mile followed by All-American Rory Linkletter at 4:02.41, Patrick Parker at 4:03.41 and Marcus Dickson at 4:03.67.
Dr. Sander Invitational
The No. 9 BYU men’s team won the Dr. Sander Invitational scoring a total of 89 points. The Cougars edged out Ohio State and UCLA for the win while BYU women’s team finished 10th overall with 20 points.
Jacob Foutz moved up to No. 5 all-time at BYU in the men’s weight throw with a distance of 19.86/65-1.75. This marks the third time the senior has climbed the record boards this season after previously sitting at the No. 8 and No. 10 positions.
Michael Bluth earned a pair of second-place finishes clocking 47.88 in the men’s 400m and 21.63 in the men’s 200m. Clark Brown ran a 21.66 and Derek Sorensen ran a 21.67 to finish within four-hundredths of a second of Bluth in the 200m.
Brown advanced to the men’s 60m finals where he clocked a 6.83 to take fourth overall. Jefferson Jarvis placed fifth in the shot put with a toss of 17.05m/55-11.25 while teammate Austin Carter threw 16.88m/55-4.5 beat his personal record by more than a meter to take seventh.
All-American Brenna Porter finished with a time of 2:08.58 to take second place in the women’s 800m. Elise Romney matched her season best of 4.05m/13-3.5 to finish fourth in the women’s pole vault.
The Cougars had four athletes compete in the men’s heptathlon that started on Thursday before finishing on Friday at the Armory Track. All four Cougars finished in the top 8 with Ben Barton leading the way taking third place with 4981 points. Brian Matthews (4951) and Dallin Vorkink (4925) finished fourth and fifth with Caleb Witsken (4611) placed eighth.
BYU will compete next at the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa and the Texas Tech Shootout in Lubbock, Texas. Both meets will start on Friday, Feb. 8, and finish Saturday, Feb. 9.
Cougars to compete in Washington and New York this weekend
PROVO, Utah – Following a strong performance at the Air Force Team Challenge last weekend, the BYU track and field teams will travel to New York City and Seattle to compete in the Dr. Sander Invitational and University of Washington Invite. Events will begin Friday Jan. 25 and go through Saturday, Feb. 26.
“After USA Track & Field posted rankings for the week, the men moved up to No. 9 and the women jumped up a few spots as well,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “This is an indication of the good execution that occurred last weekend. We hope to continue that consistency this week at our meets. We hope to come away from the weekend with some personal bests and are looking forward to the opportunity to get closer to qualifying marks for the NCAA Championships."
Eyestone is excited to see some of the top middle distance and distance runners compete at the University of Washington Invite—one of the country’s premier distance meets.
Most of the men will be competing in the mile and the 3000m. Among these athletes are Conner Mantz, Connor McMillan and Clayton Young making their 2019 season debuts. Eyestone anticipates they will run qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Mantz ended the 2018 outdoor season earning honorable mention All-America honors after finishing 22nd overall in the 10,000m at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. McMillan earned second-team All-America honors in the 2018 indoor season for his 13th-place finish in the 5000m at Indoor Championships. Young received second-team All-America honors for the 2018 outdoor season after taking 12th overall in the 5000m.
On the women’s side, Eyestone noted that several athletes will make their season debuts, including Erica Birk-Jarvis and Whittni Orton in the distance medley relay (DMR) and mile, and Courtney Wayment in the 3000m. Birk-Jarvis will be running in her first indoor season since 2017, where she finished fourth with the DMR team at NCAA Indoor Championships. In the 2018 indoor season, Orton set a BYU school record in the mile (4:34.88) and finished seventh overall in the mile at nationals. Wayment ended the 2018 indoor season finishing seventh overall in the 3000m at the MPSF Championships.
The rest of the event groups will travel to New York to compete at the Dr. Sander Invitational/Columbia Challenge at the Armory Track and Field Center. Eyestone is glad that the athletes have the opportunity to compete on a 200m banked track—the same type of track the NCAA Indoor Championships meet is contested on.
Eyestone expects Andrea Stapleton-Johnson to excel in her performance this weekend after reaching a career-best and NCAA-leading mark of 1.87m/6-1.5 in the high jump at the Air Force Team Challenge.
In continuation of the hot start to her freshman season, Eyestone says to keep an eye out for Jaslyn Gardner. Previously this season, Gardner clocked the fifth-fastest 60m in BYU history (7.51) at the BYU Indoor Invite and finished first in the 60m at the Air Force Team Challenge.
Eyestone also has big expectations this weekend for All-American Brenna Porter. Porter claimed the No. 2 spot on the BYU all-time list for her career-best time in the 400m (53.90) at the Air Force Indoor Challenge, along with breaking the school record in the 500m (1:11.58) at the BYU Indoor Invite earlier this season.
Eyestone anticipates strong performances from Jefferson Jarvis, Jacob Foutz and Michael Bluth this weekend in New York. Jarvis earned first-place in the shot put with a mark of 17.99m/59-0.25 and Bluth took second place in the 200m with a time of 21.52 last weekend at the Air Force Team Challenge. Foutz's performances so far have placed him on the BYU all-time list with the eighth-best mark in school history (19.52m/64-0.5) in the weight throw.
A group of athletes from both the men’s and women’s team not traveling to Seattle or New York will head to Ogden, Utah, to compete in the Wildcat Open at Weber State on Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26. This meet will give athletes an opportunity to compete unattached and improve performance with the goal to earn a spot on the traveling team for future meets.
Follow @BYUTFXC on Twitter for team updates from the meet. Live results can be found on the BYU track and field schedule page on the day of the meet. The schedule of events and meet information can be found on gohuskies.com and armorytrack.com.