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Jenessa Mann | Posted: 27 Jan 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Jenessa Mann

BYU track and field finishes strong in New York


NEW YORK – BYU track and field gave a strong showing with many personal bests at the Columbia Challenge on Saturday at The Armory Track.

“We had a really amazing couple of days here,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “It was probably one of the best meets of the year for us. The team performed on all levels.”

Sierra Hansen placed first in the pole vault at 4.15m, earning her a PR and No. 4 all-time on the BYU top performers list.

Junior Andrea Stapleton-Johnson jumped 1.83m in the high jump, finishing second and most likely securing her spot at the NCAA Indoor National Championships in March.

Junior Keesha Miller placed 18th in the 200m with a PR of 24.69.

Senior Abraham Alvarado finished third in the meet and first for the college division in the 800m with a time of 1:48.7. It is currently one of the top times in the country.

Junior Rory Linkletter made his track debut for the 2018 season by finishing sixth in the 3000m at 7:55.1.

“Rory, Daniel Carney, Clayton Shumway and Connor Mantz did a very good job running,” Eyestone said. “Our middle distance women runners also did great in the 800m and the mile. Overall it was just a great showing from our team on the men’s side and the women’s side.”

Carney finished 11th in the 3000m (8:01.82). Mantz finished the race 13th (8:02.19) with Shumway behind him in 14th (8:02.8).

Whittni Orton placed 20th for the Cougars in the 800m (2:07.57) and Brenna Porter followed in 23rd (2:10.6).

Madelyn Brooks came in 12th in the mile with a time of 4:44.79.

A recap from the previous days of the meet can be found here

While almost 50 BYU athletes competed in New York, the Cougars sent a small number of athletes to compete in Ogden, Utah, at the Wildcat Open at Weber State. 

Freshman Kate Hunter (5:08.11) and Junior Maddie Cannon (5:09.32) both earned PR's in the mile. 

Freshman Colton Yardley finished fourth in the 55m with a time of 7.7.

The Cougars head to Ames, Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic on Feb. 9. 


Braden Taylor | Posted: 24 Jan 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Braden Taylor

Cougars to compete in the Big Apple


PROVO, Utah – The BYU track and field team travels to New York City to compete in the Dr. Sander Invitational and Columbia Challenge at the Armory Track. Events will begin Friday, Jan. 26, and finish on Saturday, Jan. 27.

“The Columbia Challenge will be a really fun challenge for us,” said head coach Ed Eyestone. “There are a number of very good schools competing. It is always fun to run against new competition at a venue that most of the team has not competed at before.”

The Columbia Challenge will feature 15 of the top track and field teams in the country, including top 25-ranked BYU, Oregon, Ohio State, South Carolina and Wisconsin. The Dr. Sander Invitational will feature races including professionals and a selection of some of the top collegiate athletes.

“Our goal going in is to try to get qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships,” Eyestone said. “Fast times can be ran at the Armory, especially against this type of competition.”

Eyestone expects to see both the men’s and women’s teams compete well in the distance medley relay (DMR) on Friday. The women’s team qualified for Nationals last year, while the men’s team barely missed qualifications.

All-Americans Rory Linkletter and Connor McMillan will make their season debuts at the Armory. Linkletter, a junior, and McMillan, a senior, will compete on BYU’s men’s DMR team on Friday then both have been selected to compete in the men’s 3000m on Saturday in the Dr. Sander Invitational.

Senior Marcus Dickson has also been selected to compete in the fast-paced Dr. Sander Invitational in the mile. Eyestone understands that Linkletter, McMillan and Dickson would most likely place higher in the Columbia Challenge, but still expects all three to compete well in the mixed professional and collegiate sections.

BYU's distance runners did not make the trip to the Air Force Team Challenge last week so this will be their first opportunity of the season for them to travel. Eyestone is excited for senior Laura Young Bluth to debut. Bluth was a top distance runner for BYU last season in both the women's 3000m and 5000m events.

Eyestone also expects junior Andrea Stapleton Johnson to perform well this weekend in the high jump. Johnson has improved her marks each of the meets this indoor season and jumped a season-high 1.80m last week at the Air Force Team Challenge.

BYU will have close to 50 athletes competing in New York City at the Armory Track. A group of athletes from both the men's and women's team not traveling to New York will head up I-15 to Odgen, Utah, to compete in the Wildcat Open at Weber State on Friday, Jan. 26, and Saturday, Jan. 27.

Follow BYU track and field on twitter @BYUTFXC to stay updated on the action. The schedule and live stats can be found on the Armory's website. RunnerSpace.com and USATF.tv will be streaming a live feed of the Columbia Challenge. The meet will be televised on NBCSN on tape delay starting at 5 p.m. EST.