Last Chance in the books as Cougars turn attention to NCAA Prelims
PROVO, Utah - No. 8 BYU Men’s Track & Field set several personal records for a second consecutive day at the Robison Track, tallying 11 to go along with three new top-10 program records.
“Yesterday was a really good day, and everybody built off of that momentum today to keep it going,” said BYU sprints coach Kyle Grossarth. “All in all, a great weekend as we get ready for regionals over the next week. Everybody is looking great.”
Josh Taylor headlined Cougars who broke into BYU top-10 territory with a resounding 45.76 race in the 400-meters. Taylor is just the seventh athlete to ever cross into the 45-second range at BYU in the event. The performance moved him to solid qualifying position in the NCAA West region, tying with Felix Gamali (Arizona State) for 14th.
In the 100-meter dash, Dallin Draper tied Dave Reeves’ 56 year-old No. 10 time at BYU (10.25) to qualify for NCAA West Preliminaries. He currently stands at No. 26 in the region. In Easton’s Bianchi’s final home meet as a Cougar, the senior joined Draper in setting a personal best in the event as he zipped to a 10.31 qualifying time. Bianchi is now tied with three athletes for 38th in the region.
Jared Davis and Omar Aburouss also added new personal bests in the 100m at 10.60 and 10.85, respectively. Freshman Treyton Anderson’s first collegiate race in the event was a 10.60.
Ben Barton improved on his No. 6 all-time decathlon mark by 35 points, totaling 7,734 to hold his spot at 11th in the nation. Dallin Vorkink posted his best decathlon performance of the season with 7,615 points to vault ahead to 14th in the country, surpassing Alexander Jung of Kansas. The total qualifies Vorkink for a third consecutive nationals appearance. Per NCAA rules, decathletes bypass NCAA preliminaries. The senior placed first in three events Saturday, registering a 45.34m/148-09.75 in the discus throw, a 4.7m/15-5 in the pole vault, and a 4:34.68 in the 1,500-meters.
“This is the kind of last chance meet that you really want because you see people rise up in each category and do things well,” said BYU director of track & field Ed Eyestone. “I was super pleased with our sprinters and multis; getting Dallin [Vorkink] through to nationals was huge.”
Vorkink and Barton’s status as NCAA Nationals qualifiers marks the first time BYU has qualified two decathletes since Chase Dalton and Josh Weirich in 2014, and the sixth consecutive season for the program with at least one decathlete qualifying for nationals.
Freshman Brinton Paulson built upon early collegiate career success with a top-10 breakthrough, tossing the javelin for a 66.92m/219-6.75 mark en route to a No. 9 all-time BYU performance. He now moves to 21st in the region to lock in a qualifying spot.
“Our throwers are doing amazing things,” Eyestone said.
Throwers Danny Bryant and Harrison Gould both posted new personal records in the shot put: Bryant heaved for 18.82m/61-9 to move to No. 22 in the region while Gould recorded a 16.92m/55-6.25 mark.
Additional personal records on the day include Treyton Anderson (14.54) and Logan Hubler (14.62) in the 110-meter hurdles as both freshmen continue to show consistent improvement.
The Cougars will have a weekend off before the NCAA West Preliminaries begin in Sacramento, California on Wednesday, May 24.