Natalie Lopez | Posted: 25 Jan 2020 | Updated: 8 Nov 2020

Orton breaks school record at Dr. Sander Invitational

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Zach at Air Force

NEW YORK – All-American Whittni Orton shattered BYU’s indoor all-time record in the mile by nearly five seconds, clocking a time of 4:29.76 and earning the top mark in the NCAA at the Dr. Sander Invitational on Saturday.

“We accomplished a lot of what we wanted to at this meet,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “One of the main reasons we travel to New York is to get a big meet experience. It helps to prepare us for later on in the season. We were rewarded with some outstanding performances, highlighted of course by Whittni Orton’s school record in the mile.”

Orton broke the indoor mile record (4:29.76) on her way to placing second in the women’s mile invitational. With her time, Orton currently holds the NCAA-leading mark in the women’s mile. She crossed the line right after professional Adidas runner Nikki Hiltz. Orton’s time of 4:29.76 broke the previous record of 4:34.59 set by Erica Birk-Jarvis in 2019. This is Orton’s second all-time record of the 2020 indoor season. She also holds the record in the indoor 5000m (15:22.98). 

“Whittni had a great race in the invitational section with professionals,” Eyestone said. “She ran the 13th-fastest indoor time ever by a collegiate woman runner, which is outstanding.”

Zach McWhorter won the men’s pole vault and improved his No. 2 mark on the BYU all-time record board after clearing 5.61m/18-04.75. This marks the third time the freshman has climbed the record board this season. Anna Camp-Bennett also landed a spot on the school’s indoor record board with the No. 10 all-time in the women’s 800m (2:06.71). 

“Zach won the meet  with his opening clearance,” Eyestone said. “No one else was able to beat it. By his third attempt, he was jumping for the school record.”

In his debut 800m, Michael Bluth took first overall and clocked a 1:50.63. Talem Franco finished next for the Cougars in fifth place with a time of 1:51.27. Lauren Ellsworth ran a 2:08.52 in the women’s 800m to place eighth overall. 

Several BYU athletes earned career-best marks in their events. McKenna Lee took fourth in the women’s college mile with a personal-best time of 4:51.41. Colten Yardley ran 21.77 in the men’s 200m for his third personal record of the 2020 season. Freshman Annalise Hart earned a career-best mark of 11.72m/38-5.50 in the triple jump. Talin Mortensen’s personal best in the shot put launched 15.24m/50-0. 

The women’s 4x400m ran 3:45.36 for a season-best mark, while the men’s 4x400m finished second overall with a time of 3:12.46. 

Three Cougars competed in the men’s heptathlon and finished competition on Friday, all placing in the top four. Brian Matthews took first overall with 5320 points. Dallin Vorkink finished third (5073 points) and Caleb Witsken followed in fourth (5042 points). Vokink’s performance was headlined by a career-high mark in the pole vault as he cleared 4.65m/15-3.00. Witsken finished with a personal best in the 1000m (3:00.33). 

BYU track and field will compete next at the UW Invite in Seattle, Washington. The meet will begin on Friday, Jan. 31 and conclude Saturday, Feb. 1. 

Official results from the Dr. Sander Invitational can be found here.

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