Feb 10 | 12:00 AM

Braden Taylor | Posted: 10 Feb 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Braden Taylor

Four Cougars qualify for NCAA Championships, 3 break school records


AMES, Iowa – Rory Linkletter, Laura Young-Bluth and Whittni Orton broke school records and four Cougars qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships this weekend as the Cougars wrapped up competition on Saturday at the Iowa State Classic and the Bronco Challenge.

“You know it has been a good meet when you have four people run under three of the official school records,” said head coach Ed Eyestone. “One of the main reasons we come to the Iowa State Classic is because we know we can run fast times with the paced races.”

Linkletter set a new BYU record in the men’s 5000m on Friday at the Iowa State Classic with a time of 13:41.01. Linkletter barely edged out teammate Daniel Carney who ran a 13:41.32 to also beat the previous record held by Olympian Jared Ward. Teammate Connor McMillan also ran a career-best in the 5000m with a time of 13:48.00. Linkletter and Carney both secured spots to the NCAA Championships and Eyestone believes McMillan ran well enough to possibly qualify as well.

Young-Bluth broke the BYU women’s 5000m record on Friday in Iowa after clocking a 15:51.02. She beat Elizabeth Jackson’s record set back in 2000 by five seconds and barely sits outside the top-16 qualifiers for the NCAA Championships.

Orton continued the record-breaking performances and NCAA qualifications at the Iowa State Classic on Saturday after competing in the women’s mile. Orton ran the mile in 4:34.88 to qualify for the NCAA Championships and broke the previous BYU record set by Shea Collinsworth during the 2017 season.

Abraham Alvarado was the fourth Cougar that should qualify for the NCAA Championships in Iowa. Alvarado competed in the 800m and ran a personal-best 1:47.98. Eyestone believes that Alvarado could have finished even faster, but Alvarado was slowed down after being tripped up by another athlete.

Along with those that qualified for the NCAA Championships, Eyestone was excited about the career-bests and performances of others at the Iowa State Classic.

Lauren Rawlinson ran her career-best 55.87 in the 400m to finish seventh and teammate Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush finished 12th with a time of 56.85. Ashleigh Warner competed in the women’s mile for BYU with Orton and finished seventh with a personal-best 4:43.3.

Eyestone was impressed with the throws by Dennis Christensen and Jefferson Jarvis in the men’s shot put. Christensen won the event with a throw of 17.42m and Jarvis finished second with a mark of 17.30m.

Eyestone noted the significant progress of having Brenna Porter (2:08.29), Anna Camp (2:09.81) and Sidney Reilly-Unga (2:09.99) all finish the 800m in under 2:10. Porter’s and Unga’s times set new career-bests in the 800m.

The Cougars’ success wasn’t limited to the Iowa State Classic as BYU had personal-bests and season-bests set at the Bronco Challenge in Nampa, Idaho on Saturday.

“I thought that a lot of the kids did well. They got in some reps and got some good experience,” associate head coach Mark Robison said. “We didn’t get as many great marks, but now we have to start deciding on who is going to the MPSF Indoor Championships.”

Robison was particularly impressed with how many of the BYU jumpers competed. Rickey Fantroy set a new career record in the triple jump with a distance of 14.93m and teammate Blake Steeves jumped a season-best 7.30m in the long jump.

Haley Rogers broke her personal-best in the 60m dash with a time of 7.60 and finished third in the 200m dash (24.80). She finished just before teammate Keesha Miller who ran a 7.66 in the 60m and 24.92 in the 200m.  Teammate Nicole Laws-Lord finished in first place in the 60m hurdles for BYU with a season-best 8.67.

The Cougars will travel next to Notre Dame, Indiana to compete in the Alex Wilson Invitational on Saturday, Feb. 17. This will be the final track meet of the indoor regular season before the MPSF Championships and NCAA Championships.


Click here for a recap of day one at the Iowa State Classic.

Click here for full results from the Iowa State Classic 

Click here for the full results from the Bronco Challenge 


Jenessa Mann | Posted: 6 Feb 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020
Jenessa Mann

BYU track to compete in Iowa and Idaho this weekend


PROVO, Utah – The BYU track and field team will compete at two different meets this weekend. Part of the team will head to Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic at the Lied Recreation Athletic Center this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 9-10 and another group will head to Idaho for the Bronco Challenge at the Jacksons Indoor Track on Saturday.

“We are dividing and conquering this weekend,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “Hopefully we come away from this weekend with many of our athletes qualifying for the NCAA Championships.”

More than 55 athletes will travel to Iowa to compete in the Iowa State Classic. The meet has paced races, which means that the races will have non-collegiate runners who are paid to set fast paces. The goal is to push the collegiate athletes to run personal bests and ultimately qualify for the NCAA Championships.

Eyestone looks forward to watching his athletes compete in these races as he has many of them participating in the fastest races.

Among those athletes is Rory Linkletter, who qualified last year and finished second in the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000m. He will be running the 5,000m and Eyestone expects him to qualify. Linkletter is also working to beat Olympian and professional runner Jared Ward’s BYU record for the race.

Daniel Carney is also running the 5,000m and Eyestone expects him to qualify. Clayson Shumway and Conner Mantz will compete in the second-fastest heat and they will have a chance to qualify as well. 

Eyestone hopes to see Whittni Orton earn a qualifying spot in the mile and Laura Young-Bluth earn a spot in the 5,000m.

The throwers and long sprinters will also head to Iowa. The goal of all of the athletes is to earn a qualifying spot.

"Hopefully by the end of the weekend we'll have a number of people with a guaranteed ticket to the indoor national championships," Eyestone said. 

A group of athletes will head to Idaho to compete at the Bronco Challenge. The Cougars will send multi-event athletes, jumpers and short sprinters to participate. 

Keesha Miller will compete in the 60m and is an athlete to watch. Andrea Stapleton hopes to improve her mark in the high jump as her current mark is right on the border for qualifying. She hopes to secure her spot in the championships with her performance this weekend. 

Live results for the Iowa State Classic can be found here.