Relay teams earn likely regional-qualifying times
PROVO, Utah – Three BYU relay teams ran potential qualifying times for the 2019 NCAA West Prelims on the final day of the Robison Invitational on Saturday.
“Getting our relay teams in position to qualify for the first round of the NCAA Championships was one of the big goals coming into the meet,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “To end the meet with our two 4x400m teams doing just that is a testament to the determination that they have. The fact we likely have three relays going to the regional meet is outstanding.”
The women’s 4x100m relay team clocked a 44.95 to put themselves on the bubble of securing a spot at regionals. The team consisting of Haley Rogers, Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush, Lauren Rawlinson and Jaslyn Gardner was seven-hundredths of a second shy of the school record.
Both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay teams are currently in regional-qualifying position after winning their races with times of 3:06.64 and 3:37.85, respectively. Abram Schaap, Colten Yardley, Blake Ellis and Michael Bluth ran on the men’s 4x400m. The women’s 4x400m team included Heiden-Quackenbush, Rawlinson, Rogers and Brenna Porter.
Four hurdlers finished with times that put them in contention to qualify for regionals. Porter ran a season-best 57.51 for first place in the 400m hurdles and Kaitlyn Gunnerson-Burrup earned a career-best 59.97. In the men’s 400m hurdles, Yardley finished in 51.39 for second place while Jesus Serrano ran a personal-best 52.36 to take fourth in the final.
After breaking BYU’s school record in the women’s 100m prelims with a time of 11.38 on Friday, Gardner took second overall in the final after clocking 11.61. Her record-breaking time puts her in a strong position to secure a spot at the NCAA West Prelims.
With a mark of 15.46m/50-8.75 in the triple jump, Rickey Fantroy Jr. broke his personal best for the second meet in a row while solidifying his regional-qualifying position. Conner Kennedy set a new personal record in the men’s long jump after jumping 7.27m/23-10.25.
Alissa Fielding took second place in the women’s mile with a time of 4:45.55. Her time converts to 4:24.48 in the 1500m, which puts her on the bubble for qualifying for regionals.
In the men’s 400m, Bluth strengthened his regional-qualifying position with a career-best 46.41 to take first overall. Teammate Blake Ellis also set a personal record with a 47.54 to finish in third.
Other notable personal-best marks included Ramarco Thompson’s 21.18 in the 200m, Kyle Strauss finishing the 110m hurdles in 14.43 and Lindsay Yetter-Shirley’s 14.02 in the 100m hurdles.
Andrea Stapleton-Johnson took first in the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.79m/5-10.50 while Cameron Bates finished off the meet with a second-place finish in the javelin with a toss of 65.28m/214-02.
The Cougars honored 20 graduating seniors at the start of the meet. Eyestone noted that the talented group of seniors are a big reason why the team won the 2019 MPSF Indoor Championships and have done well nationally.
The Cougars will compete next week at the Payton Jordan Invitational (May 2) and Weber State Twilight (May 1-2). Information for those meets can be found on the BYU track and field team schedule page two days prior to the first meet.
BYU track and field host first home meet of the season
PROVO, Utah – The BYU men’s and women’s track and field teams will compete in the BYU Robison Invitational for their first home meet of the season at the Clarence F. Robison Track and Field Complex April 25-27.
“BYU Robison Invitational is a great opportunity for us because it’s one of the few home meets we have,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “We’re hoping to improve on some of the marks we’ve already set and build confidence going into the regional meet.”
The No. 6/11 Cougars are hoping to gain more regional-qualifying marks at the Robison Invitational. The women’s team climbed from No. 19 to No. 11 in this week’s USTFCCCA rankings release after earning several potential regional-qualifying marks at the four-meet weekend.
After competing on the road for the 2019 outdoor season so far, Eyestone looks forward to the opportunity to see some of the top athletes in action here at home. The three-day meet will also feature athletes from several state schools across Utah and Idaho. Eyestone noted that most of the schools will be sending full squads, which hasn’t happened in a while.
Eyestone anticipates a solid performance from Michael Bluth in the men’s 400m. Last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays, Bluth ran a career-best time of 46.50.
All-American Andrea Stapleton-Johnson will continue to build on her performances from this season. Stapleton-Johnson matched her outdoor personal-best 1.85m/6-0.75 at the Aggie Invitational earlier this season. She nearly broke the school record in the high jump after attempting 1.89m for her final height.
The Cougars plan to assemble strong 4x400m and 4x100m relay teams to earn more qualifying marks. Last weekend at the Mt. SAC Relays, the men’s 4x400m group earned a potential regional-qualifying time with a season-best 3:09.31.
“There will be some excellent professional athletes there too,” Eyestone said.
Jeff Henderson, a gold medalist in the long jump from the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics will be competing, along with Tori Bowie, a Rio 2016 silver medalist in the 100m. Eyestone mentioned that there will be a handful of other professionals in the sprints and jumps as well.
The BYU track and field seniors will be honored around 12:45 p.m. MDT on Saturday.
Follow @BYUTFXC on Twitter for team updates. The meet will be streamed live on Saturday, April 27 from 10 a.m., to 5 p.m. MDT on TheW.tv. Live stats and streaming information will be available on the BYU track and field schedule page by the first day of competition.