Braden Taylor | Posted: 6 Jun 2018 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Nielsen, steeplechasers highlight day one of NCAA Championships

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EUGENE, Ore. – Kevin Nielsen earned season-best marks in his first five decathlon events as BYU track and field began competition Wednesday at the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

"Kevin probably had his best first day in the decathlon ever," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "If he can follow it up with another great performance on the second day, he stands a very good chance of being a first-team All-American."

Nielsen excelled in the first day of the decathlon and ended the day positioned in ninth place with 4,103 points. He kicked off competition clocking a career-best 10.93 in the 100m and a season-best 7.42m (24’ 4.25”) long jump. Nielsen continued his impressive performances with a career-best 12.75m (41’ 10”) in the shot put, a season-best 2.01m (6’7”) in the high jump, and a 49.30 in the 400m to match his season-best. The decathlon will finish Thursday with the 110m hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1500m.

"Our steeplechasers did a great job in automatic qualifying for the steeplechase final," Eyestone said. "Shumway ran a very smart race and didn't have to do as much leading as he's done in the past."

Clayson Shumway and Matt Owens finished in the top five of their respective heats to advance to the men's 3000m steeplechase final Friday at 5:54 p.m. PDT. Shumway ran an 8:39.97 to take second in both his heat and overall. Owens finished fourth in his heat and 10th overall with a time of 8:42.35 to clinch his spot in the final.

Connor McMillan received second-team All-America honors after taking 12th-place (29:32.65) in the men's 10,000m final Wednesday night. Teammates Conner Mantz (31:37.34), Clayton Young (31:37.54) and Rory Linkletter (31:37.69) crossed the line together to place 22-24 for the Cougars. Linkletter, McMillan and Young will all compete again in the men's 5000m on Friday at 5:54 p.m. PDT.

"The 10,000m was a tough evening for our crew, but I'm very pleased with their effort," Eyestone said. "They've run extremely well all season long and that can be part of the problem because, when you run your third 10K of the season, you may just not have it. I expect that Connor, Rory and Clayton will go out and do the very best that they can on Friday in the 5000m. Sometimes you have a bad outing and you have to come back to show it was a fluke."

Whittni Orton will kick things off for the BYU women's team in the 1500m semifinal on Thursday at 4:16 p.m. PDT and will be followed by Alyssa Dalton in the 100m hurdles semifinal. Ashton Riner will compete in the javelin final with Brenna Porter in the 400m hurdles semifinal and the women's 4X400m semifinal concluding the second day of the NCAA Championship meet for the Cougars.

Links of note:
Live Stats
Schedule of Events
Live Stream
@BYUTFXC - Follow BYU track and field's Twitter for live updates and additional team information.

Wednesday's Results

Athlete Event Mark Place
Clayson Shumway

Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal)

8:39.97 2nd
Matt Owens Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Semifinal) 8:42.35


Connor McMillan

Men's 10,000m (Final)

29:32.65 12th
Conner Mantz

Men's 10,000m (Final)

31:37.34 22nd
Clayton Young

Men's 10,000m (Final)

31:37.54 23rd
Rory Linkletter

Men's 10,000m (Final)

31:37.69 24th
Kevin Nielsen

Decathlon (100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m)

4103 points 9th

Thursday, June 7

Time Athlete Event Network
10:00 a.m. Kevin Nielsen Men's 110m Hurdles (Decathlon)
10:50 a.m. Kevin Nielsen Men's Discus Throw (Decathlon)
12:00 p.m. Kevin Nielsen Men's Pole Vault (Decathlon)
2:30 p.m. Kevin Nielsen Men's Javelin Throw (Decathlon)
4:16 p.m. Whittni Orton Women's 1500m (Semifinal)
5:02 p.m.

Alyssa Dalton

Women's 100m Hurdles (Semifinal) ESPN2
5:15 p.m. Ashton Riner Women's Javelin Throw (Final)
6:00 p.m.

Brenna Porter

Women's 400m Hurdles (Semifinal) ESPN2
6:26 p.m. Kevin Neilsen Men's 1500m (Decathlon) ESPN2
7:18 p.m. Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush
Cassidy Pinnock
Brenna Porter
Lauren Rawlinson
Women's 4X400m Relay (Semifinal) ESPN2

Friday, June 8

Time Athlete Event Network
5:54 p.m. Matt Owens
Clayson Shumway
Men's 3000m Steeplechase (Final) ESPN
7:25 p.m.
Rory Linkletter
Connor McMillan
Clayton Young
Men's 5000m (Final) ESPN

Saturday, June 9

Time Athlete Event Network
3:00 p.m.
Andrea Stapleton-Johnson Women's High Jump (Final) ESPN3
3:41 p.m.

Whittni Orton*

Women's 1500m (Final) ESPN
4:15 p.m.
Alyssa Dalton* Women's 100m Hurdles (Final) ESPN
4:57 p.m.
Brenna Porter* Women's 400m Hurdles (Final) ESPN
5:51 p.m. Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush*
Cassidy Pinnock*
Brenna Porter*
Lauren Rawlinson*
Women's 4x400m Relay (Final) ESPN

* -- If qualified

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