BYU men tie for 13th, women finish 14th at NCAA Championships
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The BYU men’s track and field team tied for 13th and the women’s team finished 14th as the Cougars wrapped up competition at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The BYU men’s team scored a total of 16 points to tie for 13th with Texas and Arkansas. The men’s program earned its best team-finish since 2011. The BYU women’s team took 14th with a total score of 13 points to have its best team-finish since 2012.
“We certainly surpassed our goal of a top-20 finish,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “It’s a testament of the hard work of everyone who competed in the meet. To have both teams finish in the top 15 is a really cool experience and shows the strength of both teams.”
Andrea Stapleton-Johnson started the day off for the Cougars in the women’s high jump. The senior performed a clutch jump to clear 1.81m/5-11.25 on her third attempt which was good enough to place eighth overall and score one point. The two-time indoor second-team All-American was named an indoor first-team All-American for the first time in her career.
“The fact that Andrea had a clearance after two misses to secure eighth place showed a lot of determination on her part,” Eyestone said. “I thought it was a clutch performance to get that clearance on the third attempt.”
Erica Birk-Jarvis placed fifth overall in the women’s 3000m with a time of 9:05.62 to earn first-team All-America honors and score four points for the Cougars. The junior also received first-team honors the first day of the NCAA Championships competing on BYU’s distance medley relay (DMR) team that took second place.
“Erica had a solid race, especially considering she also ran the anchor on our women’s DMR team,” Eyestone said. “She doubled back tonight and ran a very strong 3000m.”
The BYU men’s team trio of dual-event runners capped off competition for the Cougars in the 3000m. Clayton Young ran a 7:55.86 for a sixth-place finish with teammate Conner Mantz taking seventh with a time of 7:56.72 to earn five points for BYU. Young received first-team All-America honors for the second time this weekend while Mantz earned the award for the first time in his indoor career. Connor McMillan rounded out the trio with second-team All-America honors after finishing 11th overall (8:03.04).
“Conner was a little disappointed with how he ran in the 5000m yesterday, so we saw him go out and lead the pack for the first mile of the 3000m,” Eyestone said. “Clayton ran really well too and handled a lot of the strong surges that took place the last half of the race to hold on for sixth place.”
The three men’s runners competed in the 5000m at the Championship meet on Friday night. Young (13:45.35) and McMillan (13:46.88) finished 3-4 scoring 11 points for the Cougars and being named first-team All-Americans. Mantz crossed the line 10th (13:51.45) and was named a second-team All-American.
The BYU women’s DMR team scored eight points for the Cougars on Friday after crossing the finish line as the National Runner-ups. The DMR team ran a 10:54.14 to take second place and break the school record for the second time this season. The team consisted of Birk-Jarvis, Anna Camp-Bennett, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes and Brenna Porter. Whittni Orton was named a second-team All-American after finishing 12th overall in the women’s mile.
Full results from both days of the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships can be found on ncaa.com. A full recap of the first day of competition can be found on the BYU track and field online homepage. The Cougars will open the outdoor track and field season March 15-16 at the Willie Williams Invite and UNLV Invitational. Details for those two meets can be found on the teams’ schedule pages.
Ten athletes head to NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships
PROVO, Utah – A squad of 10 Cougars will compete in 10 entries at the 2019 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Alabama, March 8-9.
“This is what we’ve been working for all season,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “As attested by our great performances at the MPSF Championships, with the men winning and the women tying for seventh, I think the team is in a good place right now.
There will be three athletes from the men’s team and seven athletes from the women’s team competing in events starting Friday.
Representing the men’s team in both the 3000m and the 5000m will be Conner Mantz, All-American Clayton Young and All-American Connor McMillan. Competition for the 5000m will be held on Friday. Eyestone expects Young to have a strong performance in the 5000m after breaking the school record at the Iowa State Classic with a time of 13:34.46 and earning the No. 2 spot in the 5000m in the NCAA. This season in the 5000m, teammates McMillan (13:38.63) and Mantz (13:39.27) earned spots No. 8 and 9 respectively.
Three Cougars will race in the 3000m on Saturday. Mantz clocked the eighth-fastest time in the country (7:50.90) and the No. 4 BYU all-time mark in the men’s 3000m at the MPSF Indoor Championships. McMillan and Young qualified with times of 7:51.55 and 7:51.91 respectively.
“A goal for the men would be for them to score in each event, so to finish in the top eight,” Eyestone said. “We just need the three of them to do the best that they can.”
All-American Andrea Stapleton-Johnson will represent BYU’s field athletes as she competes in the high jump on Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the third year in a row. Stapleton-Johnson’s qualifying mark of 1.87m/6-1.5 tied her for the No. 1 mark in the NCAA, as well as the No.2 all-time mark at BYU.
All-American Whittni Orton will race in the women’s mile on Friday, Mar. 8, at the NCAA Indoor Championships for the second year in a row. Last year, Orton earned first-team All-America honors for her seventh-place finish with a time of 4:35.44.
Competing on Friday, the women’s distance medley relay (DMR) team will consist of Erica Birk-Jarvis, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Brenna Porter and either Anna Camp-Bennett or Kate Hunter, depending on coaching staff decisions. The team ran a 10:56.51 at the University of Washington Invite to qualify with the fourth-fastest time in the country while also breaking the school record. This is BYU’s third-straight year of qualifying in the women’s DMR. Porter previously competed on last year’s DMR team that took eighth place.
Erica Birk-Jarvis will compete for the Cougars in the women’s 3000m on Saturday. She clocked a qualifying time of 9:00.69 at the Iowa State Classic to earn a new school record and the No. 10 mark in the NCAA.
“With our women’s current rankings, they have a chance of eclipsing 10 points and hopefully pushing towards 14 or 15 points which could put us in the top 15,” Eyestone said.
Eyestone stated that the overall goals for the Cougars are for both the men’s and women’s teams to finish in the top 20 and for each athlete to earn first-team All-America honors. Athletes score points for the team based on their finishes and qualify to for All-America honors by ranking in the top eight in their respective events.
The 2019 NCAA Indoor Championships will be hosted at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, Alabama. Orton will be the first BYU athlete to compete on Friday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. CST. Both days of the NCAA Indoor Championships will be streamed online via ESPN3. A schedule and live stats for the meet can be found on ncaa.com. Follow @BYUTFXC on Twitter for team updates from the meet.