Sprinters shine as December home meet closes
PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s and men’s track and field teams concluded their home opening meet with several event wins at the Smith Fieldhouse on Friday afternoon.
Sprinter Adaobi Tabugbo took first and second in the 60-meter hurdles and 60-meter dash, respectively. The junior from Laurel, Maryland won the 60m hurdles in 8.44 and moments later jumped up the program’s top-10 board with a 7.44 finish in the 60m. Tabugbo now stands at No. 3 all-time at BYU, surpassing Porshe Giddings’ 7.47 set in 2011.
Emma Johnson took fourth at 7.58 and debuted on the top-10 board, tying Natalie Stewart (2009). Jaslyn Gardner won the 60m at 7.34, just 0.7 seconds off her school record time set a season ago. Dolita Shaw also set a personal record in the 60m at 7.72.
Cierra Tidwell Allphin won the women’s high jump with a clearance of 1.75m/5-9. Christina Blackmon followed with a third-place finish at 1.60m/5-3.
Mid-distance sophomore Sebastian Fernandez cemented himself in the record books Friday, finishing first in the 800m and becoming No. 5 all-time at BYU with a 1:48.84 time. The Cougars also claimed event wins in the pole vault, heptathlon pole vault and high jump.
Despite losing three-time All-American Zach McWhorter to graduation last year, the Cougars relied on returning two-time All-American Caleb Witsken in the pole vault. The senior from Logandale, Nevada took first overall after posting a clearance of 5.35m/17-6.75. Junior Nathan Burnett earned a new personal best with his 5.20m/17-00.75, second-place performance.
“Today was a solid day,” said BYU men’s track and field pole vault coach Rich McWorter. “I was happy with the performances. Nathan PR’d by a number of inches [in the pole vault], and Caleb is such a hard worker and perfectionist.”
Dallin Thornton, a freshman, finished fourth in the pole vault in his first collegiate competition.
Senior Dallin Vorkink completed the heptathlon with three more events today, finishing second overall with 5,457 points. He placed first in the pole vault at 5.00m/16.475, second in the 1,000-meter and third in the 60mH Friday.
In the high jump, Jake Grimsman placed first with a 2.10m/6-10.75 clearance in his first collegiate indoor competition.
The Cougars return to the track with a second home meet at the Smith Fieldhouse Jan. 12-14.