School record falls, conference title count grows for women's track and field
PROVO, Utah — No. 23 BYU women’s track and field recorded two conference championships and a school record in the distance medley relay at two meets on Friday.
Taylor Rohatinsky, Annalise Hart, Alena Ellsworth and Sadie Sargent started off “DMR Weekend” with a bang; clocking 10:49.24 to take third at the Arkansas Qualifier and set a school record in the event.
The Cougars entered the day ranked ninth nationally and faced some of the top DMR squads in the nation including host No. 5 Arkansas, No. 7 Oklahoma State and No. 10 Kentucky. Oregon broke out to win the relay with a Randal Tyson Track Center record 10:49.07. Arkansas and BYU followed in second and third, respectively. With Sargent at anchor, the Cougars withstood Oklahoma State down the stretch and secured the third-place finish.
BYU’s previous school record of 10:52.96 was also set at Randal Tyson Track Center. The combination of Ellsworth, Olivia Hoj Simister, Lauren Ellsworth Barnes and Courtney Wayment set that record in route to a national title in Fayetteville on March 12, 2021.
The remainder of the BYU women competed at their final Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Indoor Track and Field Championships at The Podium in Spokane, Washington on Friday. Jessica Thompson and Cailee Faulkner led the Cougars with individual conference titles on day one of the two-day event.
Thompson tossed a personal-record 19.98m/65-6.75 in the women’s weight throw, winning the hardware over Long Beach State’s Malia Talavou (18.93m/59-2).
"Jessica's last few performances showed that there's more distance in her," said BYU throws coach Niklas Arrhenius. "It was exciting for her to make a few technical adjustments from last week."
Thompson has now recorded personal records in consecutive weeks, this one a meter improved over her mark at the Jarvis Scott Open on Feb. 10. The junior from Plains, Montana also jumped to No. 2 all-time at BYU in the women’s weight throw and is now just a meter shy of tying Amy Christiansen Palmer’s school record set in 1998.
Thompson is now BYU’s first women’s thrower to win back-to-back indoor individual conference titles since Christiansen Palmer did son in 1995-96. Thompson took home the MPSF’s women’s shot put title a season ago.
Cailee Faulkner also claimed a conference crown as she cleared 3.94m/12-11 to win the women’s pole vault. The sophomore from Mesa, Arizona successfully defended her 2022 league pole vault title and in so doing became the first BYU women’s athlete to ever win a conference pole vault championship in back-to-back seasons. Faulkner also owns the program record clearance of 4.36m/14-3.75. Rebekah Ross and Maren Garnett followed Faulkner onto the podium, taking second and tying for third, respectively.
Adaobi Tabugbo continued her sprints success on Friday as she qualified for Saturday’s MPSF finals in both the women’s 60-meters and 60-meter hurdles. Emma Johnson joined Tabugbo in advancing to Saturday’s 60 final. Tabugbo will look to repeat as MPSF champion in both events when she returns to the track beginning tomorrow at 10:10 a.m. PST.
Despite finishing short of a conference championship, Marianne Barber wowed once again in the 200-meters. The freshman from Farmington, Utah clocked a personal best for the second straight week, this time to 24.10. With Friday’s performance, Barber surpassed Kirsten Bolm (2000) to stand at No. 5 all-time at BYU in the women’s 200.
The Cougars are back in action in Spokane on Saturday with entries in the women’s mile, shot put and 800-meters among others.
Track and field bound for MPSF Championship meet
PROVO, Utah — With just three weeks to go before indoor nationals, BYU men's and women's track and field will compete in its final Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships Feb. 17-18 at The Podium in Spokane, Washington.
The women's distance medley relay team will compete at the Arkansas Qualifier at the Randal Tyson Track Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas Feb. 17 at 2:13 p.m. CST on SEC Network+. Meanwhile, men's distance medley relay will race at Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational at the Loftus Sports Center in South Bend, Indiana on Feb. 18 at 12 p.m. EST.
- 2023 MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships
- Feb. 17-18
- Friday events begin at 10 a.m. PST with the heptathlon 60-meters and conclude at 5:50 p.m. with women's distance medley relay.
- Saturday events begin at 10 a.m. with the men's 60-meter hurdles final and conclude with the women's 4x400-meter relay at 1:15 p.m.
- Spokane, Washington | The Podium
- Live Results
- Live Stream ($)
- Women's DMR Live Results
- Women's DMR Live Stream
- Men's DMR Live Results
|MPSF Indoor Track and Field | Men's Teams|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach State|
|MPSF Indoor Track and Field | Women's Teams|
|Cal State Fullerton|
|Long Beach State|
Indoor Conference Championship History
BYU men's and women's track and field owns a proud tradition of indoor conference title dominance. In 2022, both programs swept their team conference crowns for the 18th time and first since 2011.
This season the No. 23-ranked BYU women seek their first back-to-back team conference titles since 2010-2011. Women's track and field won a record 11-consecutive team championships between 1995 and 2005. The women took home nine individual or squad titles last season; their most since 2009. Women's track and field has claimed 157 all-time individual conference titles dating back to 1991.
A season ago, the BYU men won nine individual indoor titles for just the second time in program history and first since 2005. The Cougars have totaled 220 individual indoor titles since 1969. Men's track and field has also won 30 team indoor titles since 1970 and are seeking their fourth consecutive in 2023. The Cougars won a record 12 straight between 1990 and 2001.
|2022 MPSF Individual Champions (BYU)|
|Halley Folsom Walker, Brilee Pontius, Annalise Hart & Brinn Jensen||W 4x400m|
|Megan Hunter||W 800m|
|Jessica Thompson||W SP|
|Adaobi Tabugbo||W 60m & 60m Hurdles|
|Taye Raymond||W LJ|
|Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri||W WT|
|Halley Folsom Walker||Pentathlon|
|Cailee Faulkner||W PV|
|Cortez Ruiz, Colten Yardley, Spencer Carlile & Jace Jensen||M 4x400m|
|Joey Nokes||M 3000m|
|Danny Bryant||M SP|
|Dallin Draper||M 60m & 200m|
|Brandon Garnica, Kenneth Rooks, Cortez Ruiz & Joey Nokes||M DMR|
|Zach McWhorter||M PV|
|Zach Erikson||M 5000m|
Several BYU athletes improved their national qualifying position at meets in Boston and Lubbock, Texas Feb. 10-11.
Aubrey Frentheway set a women's 5,000-meters personal best at 15:32.82 in Boston and is now ranked sixth nationally having eclipsed runners from Colorado, Northern Arizona and Arkansas.
Cierra Tidwell-Allphin's personal-best tying clearance in the women's high jump on Saturday was enough to set her at No. 8 nationally, surpassing Nyalaam Jok of Minnesota and Daniella Anglin of South Dakota.
Eli Hazlett, Trey Jackson, Spencer Carlile and Joshua Taylor combined to set a school record in the men's 4x400-meter relay at Texas Tech's Jarvis Scott Open on Saturday. At 3:05.73, the Cougars jumped to 16th nationally and now rank ahead of squads from Florida State, Texas and LSU.