Trevor Jones | Posted: 13 Apr 2023 | Updated: 30 Apr 2023

Cougars record four new 10,000-meter top-10 marks at Bryan Clay Invitational

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Casey Clinger and Brandon Garnica

PROVO, Utah — No. 2 BYU men’s track and field began a busy week of competition at four meets throughout southern California as the distance runners at the Bryan Clay Invitational highlighted Thursday’s events, earning four new top-10 program marks.

The four Cougars to register new top-10 marks were all in the 10,000-meters: Casey Clinger at No. 5 all-time (28.01.67), Creed Thompson at No. 6 (28:04.15), Brandon Garnica at No. 7 (28:04.62) and Joey Nokes at No. 8 (28:37.97). The four were among the top seven finishers in the race with little separation as Clinger led the pack at second, just 0.14 seconds behind Tennessee’s Dylan Jacob’s for first overall.

“It was an amazing night of racing from the men’s distance corps, highlighted by the new No. 5, 6, 7 and 8 all-time marks in BYU history in the 10,000-meters,” BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone said. “When the pace lagged after the 4k, Clinger, Garnica and Nokes took turns leading which led to the fast times. What was incredible was how controlled the efforts were on their part. It was an excellent team effort.”

Kenneth Rooks led all 132 runners in the 3,000-meter steeplechase after blazing across the line at 8:31.83. The runner-up was nearly nine seconds behind. Rooks’ time would have been No. 4 all-time at BYU if he didn’t already hold BYU’s No. 2 all-time finish at 8:22.56. Entering today ranked No. 2 in the nation, he beat out four top-25 competitors, including No. 6 Joel Mendez of Utah Valley.

“Rooks’ season-best in winning the steeplechase showed why he is one of the best in the NCAA,” said Eyestone.

Three more Cougars raced in the steeplechase as James Corrigan improved on his personal record by over 10 seconds (8:52.54) to finish 19th, while Zach Erikson finished 20th (8:52.69) and Garrett Stanford at 8:59.47 for a PR.

Entering today at No. 4 among all NCAA DI discus throwers in the nation, Dallin Shurts placed fourth in the discus throw with a heave of 59.64m/195-8 to beat out fifth-ranked Zorawar Otal of Duke, who finished fifth with a 59.35m/194-8 mark. The senior also placed ahead of Washington’s No. 7 Elijah Mason. Harrison Gould placed 23rd to set a new personal best by a foot, posting a throw of 51.65m/169-5.

Caleb Witsken, currently No. 7 among pole vaulters in the country, finished fourth with a clearance of 5.36m/17-7. Nathan Burnett came in at 10th to tie Arkansas State’s No. 15 Bradley Jelmert while freshman Dallin Thornton set a new personal record after earning a 5.01m/16-5.25 mark.

Brinton Paulson, a freshman from Orem, Utah, placed fourth in the javelin throw among a field of 24. His 63.80m/209-4 toss fell just over eight feet away from a new BYU top-10 mark in the event.

Danny Bryant took seventh in the shot put (17.96m/58-11.25) in a group that included two top-25 ranked athletes in the event.

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