Frentheway, Riner-Lunt Advance to Austin
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Aubrey Frentheway and Ashton Riner-Lunt advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships while four other BYU women moved on to Saturday quarterfinals during West Preliminary action at Hornet Stadium on Thursday.
Aubrey Frentheway plotted a course to national qualifying early on in the 10,000-meters as she stormed ahead into the lead pack and stayed there to the end, finishing fourth. At 32:28.85, Frentheway broke her own school record and reached her second consecutive outdoor nationals. The senior from Cheyenne, Wyoming previously broke Carey May’s 39-year-old school record with a time of 32:34.08 at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 13.
“After watching the men’s 10,000 last night, we had a feeling that it was going to go hard from the gun,” said BYU women’s distance coach Diljeet Taylor. “Aubrey was prepared for that, it’s her style of racing. I’m really happy that she could end her last regional qualifier in that fashion.”
After two attempts, javelin thrower Ashton Riner-Lunt stood on the edge of qualifying position with a long throw of 53.43-meters/175-3.
“Today started off a little scary but I listened to my coaches and teammates and they told me to attack,” Riner-Lunt said. “I had to believe in myself and have good self-talk to get into gear.”
The defending national champion then summoned her best toss of the day when it mattered most. Riner-Lunt threw a season-best 55.57m/182-3 on her third and final attempt of the meet, qualifying her for a third-career trip to nationals.
The senior from Connell, Washington sent the javelin farther than six of the nation’s top-10 throwers, including nearly a foot farther than national-leader Rhema Otabor of Nebraska. Riner-Lunt also threw nearly 14 feet farther than cross-town rival Kelsi Oldroyd of Utah Valley. Oldroyd had beaten Riner-Lunt by eight feet at the Robison Invitational on April 22.
“Even though she really hasn’t hit too many big throws this year, she is probably one of the most consistent throwers in the west and it showed today,” said BYU throws coach Nik Arrhenius. “This is the deepest national qualifying round ever and everyone had to be on the top of their game.”
Adaobi Tabugbo moved on to the 100-meter hurdles quarterfinals with a personal-best time of 13.33. Tabugbo’s previous best of 13.44 came on April 8 at the Trojan Invitational. The senior from Laurel, Maryland finished fifth in a difficult heat yet good enough to reach advance as a time qualifier along with hurdlers such as Kaylyn Hall of Iowa State and Madison Langley-Walker of Arkansas. At 13.33, Tabugbo surpasses Amy Menlove Otis (2005) for No. 5 all-time at BYU. Tabugbo will compete in the 100m hurdles quarterfinal for the second straight season on Saturday at 6:15 p.m. PDT.
Riley Chamberlain ran 4:18.68 to finish third in her heat, 22nd overall and advance in the 1500-meters. As the bell sounded on heat four, Chamberlain pushed to the front of the pack and stayed in qualifying position to the finish while coming in just behind Sophie O’Sullivan of Washington and TCU’s Gracie Morris. Chamberlain crossed 0.19 seconds ahead of the nation’s No. 4 1,500m runner, Simone Plourde of Utah. The freshman from nearby Loomis, California will vie for a spot at nationals in the 1,500m quarterfinal on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. PDT.
Claire Seymour and Meghan Hunter each advanced to the 800-meter quarterfinal, finishing first and second, respectively in their heats. Hunter came on strong down the home stretch and pulled even with Valery Tobias of Texas before the Longhorn runner edged her by a hair at the finish. Tobias entered the meet ranked third nationally. Hunter’s 2:05.81 is a new season-best and comes just 1.5 seconds short of a personal best.
Seymour stayed near the front of the pack before surging into the lead on the bell lap and cruising ahead to win the heat at 2:05.38. Sanu Jallow of Texas A&M and Mia Moerck of Oregon came in behind Seymour and second and third, respectively. With overall finishes of seventh and 11th overall, Seymour and Hunter are a step closer to nationals and will compete for a spot in Austin in the 800m quarterfinals on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. PDT.
The NCAA West Preliminary continues for the Cougars on Friday with men’s events beginning at 1 p.m. PDT. The BYU women resume competition on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. PDT.
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