LOS ANGELES – After competing in two meets in Southern California, the BYU track and field team had strong performances across the board. Korey Smith highlighted the Occidental Invitational with a career-best time in the 400m hurdles.
“Korey Smith had a great performance in the 400m hurdles. His time will set him up well in the regional meet and probably put him in the top-20,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Overall it was a great weekend between the two meets with qualifying marks coming from a lot of our athletes.”
Smith ran a time of 50.78 seconds in the 400m hurdles to take third overall. His time is seven one-hundredths faster than his previous personal record of 50.85.
The Oxy Invitational was also highlighted by the various field and mid-distance events the BYU athletes participated in.
In the men’s shot put, Zachary Stetler placed fifth with a mark of 60’ 10.75” (18.56m) and Dennis Christensen came in right behind at sixth with a regional mark of 57’ 11.25” (17.66m). Stetler also took fourth in the discus with a throw that measured 164’ 00” (49.99m).
Senior Sadie Nielsen placed third and Freeland placed eighth in the women’s discus throw. Nielsen had a mark of 166’ 10” (50.85m) and Freeland had a mark of 126’ 02” (38.45m).
The athletes also had strong performances in the men’s and women’s pole vault with senior Nicole Naatjes coming in third and junior Kylee Trageser in sixth for the women. Sophomore Raul Rios had a mark of 15’ 11” (4.85m) to take first overall in the men’s pole vault.
Senior Chloe Hadley jumped a career-best mark in the triple jump to take first place overall. Hadley’s mark of 40’ 6.75” (12.36m) beat her previous career-best of 40’ 1.5” (12.23m).
In the women’s 1500m run, freshman Heidi Fuhriman placed third (4:22.21), senior Kristi Rush in fourth (4:22.60) and freshman Anna Camp came in fifth (4:23.01). Eyestone said those times should secure spots for each athlete at the regional meet.
Tatenda Tsumba continued to compete strongly in the sprints taking second in men’s 100m and second in 200m.
Clayton Shumway now leads the team with the fastest 3000m steeplechase time of 8:47.18. Shumway’s time placed him second overall at the Oxy Invitational.
Laura Young placed second in women’s 5000m with a career-best time of 16:10.51 and the potential to qualify for regionals.
At the Payton Jordan meet in Palo Alta, California., the track and field team had competitive performances in the distance and mid-distance races with Clayton Young and Rory Linkletter taking fourth and eighth in the men’s 5000m run.
Eyestone said the times from Young and Linkletter should hold them in the top to make it to the regional meet.
In the men’s 1500m run at the Payton Jordan meet, Chase Horrocks took third overall with a time of 3:34.60.
Senior Shea Collinsworth placed fourth in the women’s 800m and teammate Whittni Orton took eighth in the women’s 1500m run. Collinsworth still holds the No. 3 time nationally in the women’s 800m run. She also holds the No. 20 time in the 1500m run and Orton holds the No. 30 time.
The team will host their second meet of the season, the BYU Last Chance Meet, on Friday, May 12 and Saturday, May 13.
This will be the final meet before regionals and allow some of the athletes to run times or place marks within the regional qualifying numbers.
PROVO, Utah – As the outdoor track and field regular season begins to wind down, BYU will leave town this weekend to compete in the Occidental Invite in Los Angeles, the Payton Jordan Invitational in Palo Alto, California, and the Weber State Twilight meet in Ogden, Utah. The meets begin on Wednesday, May 3, and continue through Saturday, May 6.
“Our athletes continue to chip away and improve their marks,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “In many cases, they have improved to regional level or even towards the top of the competition. This weekend is for them to continue doing that.”
The majority of track and field athletes will be in Los Angeles this weekend at the Occidental Invitational on Saturday.
“The Occidental meet is where the majority of the team will go,” Eyestone said. “In most cases, our athletes are just looking to improve upon the marks they have set already and find some confidence going into regionals in three weeks.”
The Oxy Invite will include Tatenda Tsumba who currently claims the No. 18 spot nationally and ninth place in the West in the 100 meters, and he sits in 32nd place nationally and 16th place in the West in the 200 meters.
Seven Cougar distance athletes will be competing in the Payton Jordan Invitational on Friday, May 5. With a larger post-collegiate presence, Eyestone anticipates the competition will motivate his athletes to push themselves to faster times.
“The level of talent will be a bit higher,” he said. “It is going to push them to new record-setting performances or at least personal best performances, hopefully. The depth of talent will also be more international, so, as a result, they may not be in the fastest heat, but they will be pushed by people who are out of college running really fast times. We are hoping for them to go there, compete, set some PRs and find some confidence going into the regional and national meets.”
Shea Collinsworth, who currently sits in third place nationally in the 800 meters with a time of 2:01.51, will be running at the Payton Jordan Invitational and teammate Whittni Orton will run in the 1500 meters. The women will be accompanied by several athletes from the men's team, including Clayton Young and Rory Linkletter and Jonathan Harper in the 5000 meters, Chase Horrocks – who is in 14th place nationally – in the 1500 meters and Daniel Carney in the 3000-meter steeplechase.
Finally, BYU field athletes and a few sprinters will be participating in the Weber State Twilight Meet on Wednesday, May 3, and Thursday, May 4. Sprinters Remarco Thompson, Derek Lord and Blake Ellis will accompany the throwers and jumpers to Ogden to compete.
Follow BYU Track and Field on Twitter at @BYUTFXC for meet updates and additional information.