4x4 squad school record highlights success at Razorback Invitational
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — No. 20 BYU women's track and field totaled eight personal bests, four program top-10 marks, and a school record in a successful final day of competition at the Razorback Invitational at Randal Tyson Track Center on Saturday.
Sami Oblad, Annalise Hart, Marianne Barber and Brilee Pontius combined to finish the meet with a bang for the BYU women as the 4x400-meter squad clocked a new school record 3:39.15.
"The girls were prepared to run something pretty fast," said BYU sprints coach Kyle Grossarth. "They have high expectations and they went out there, executed and competed really hard. I'm proud of their effort."
Pontius and Hart have now contributed to back-to-back school records in the event. The veteran sprinters teamed-up with Brinn Jensen and Halley Folsom Walker to set the previous record of 3:40.74 at the Texas Tech Shootout a season ago.
With Pontius at anchor, the Cougars beat "A" squads from No. 18 Oklahoma State and Oregon State. While BYU finished 14th overall, the 4x400m relay came against eight of the nation's top-15 squads, including top-ranked Arkansas.
"We saved the best for the last today with the women's 4x400 school record," said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. "Props to Sami, Annalise, Marianne and Brilee for teaming together to get the baton around in a new record-breaking time."
Barber, Hart and Pontius each set personal records while competing in a women’s 400-meter race filled with 12 of the top-25 ranked sprinters in the nation.
The freshman Barber wasted no time in appearing on the program’s top-10 board. With a 54.73 finish on Saturday, Barber surpassed Maxine Scringer (1988) for No. 6 all-time at BYU. The Farmington, Utah native is just two-hundredths of a second off surpassing Nachelle Stewart Mackie (2009) at No. 5.
Annalise Hart kept her spot at No. 8 all-time at BYU with a personal best of 54.97 on Saturday. Hart’s previous best of 55.00 came at the 2022 MPSF Championships.
Women's distance saw success on Saturday as well with podium finishes form Riley Chamberlain and Aubrey Frentheway.
"I was very pleased with the overall performance of the women's distance crew," said BYU associate director of track and field Diljeet Taylor. "A solid effort in the distance medley relay yesterday kicked off a good weekend of personal bests and gutsy performances."
Though just a freshman competing in her first collegiate indoor mile, Chamberlain led BYU with a third-place finish at 4:33.14 in the event.
Chamberlain came up just short of second place after a neck and neck battle with Oregon State’s Kaylee Mitchell but did enough to defeat two-time indoor All-American Taylor Roe of No. 18 Oklahoma State and Juliette Walker of No. 16 Stanford. The Loomis, California native also debuted on the BYU indoor women’s top-10 board with her mile No. 4 all-time, surpassing Erica Birk-Jarvis (2019).
Sadie Sargent (4:35.94) and Lexy Halladay-Lowry (4:37.34) finished eighth and ninth, respectively, each with personal bests. Sargent’s finish was good for a top-10 time of her own. The senior from Coalville, Utah jumped teammate Heather Hanson to stand at No. 7 all-time in BYU’s indoor women’s mile.
Frentheway finished runner-up in the women’s 3000-meter at 9:13.10. While she was unable to overcome Sydney Thorvaldson of No. 11 Arkansas, Frentheway outdid athletes from Florida State, Baylor and Stanford. The senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming also set a top-10 time as she surpassed Janeth Caizalatin Alder (1996) for No. 8 all-time at BYU.
BYU women's distance is back on the road for Wake Forest's Camel City Invitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina Feb. 3-4. The remainder of the Cougars' athletes now prepare for competition at Boston's David Hemery Valentine Invitational and Texas Tech's Jarvis Scott Open Feb. 10-11.