Joseph Hovey | Posted: 20 Jun 2023 | Updated: 17 Jul 2023

Women's Track and Field Season Review

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Claire Seymour competes at the 2023 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

PROVO, Utah — BYU women’s track and field recorded two more top-25 national finishes and totaled 24 All-American honors in a 2022-2023 season that marked end of an era for the consistently competitive program.

Four First Team All-Americans headlined a total of 14 such honors achieved by the women at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Austin, Texas June 7-10. There, BYU finished the 2023 campaign tied for 17th with Virginia and Ball State after totaling 14 points. 

BYU fielded a combined 64 men’s and women’s entries at the NCAA West Preliminary in Sacramento, California May 24-27. That mark tied the Cougars for third nationally behind only Arkansas (75) and Texas (66). BYU’s 28 women’s entries ranked sixth nationally and trailed only Texas among 2024 Big 12 teams.

BYU has now notched top-25 finishes at both indoor and outdoor nationals over four consecutive seasons.

The Cougars once again asserted conference dominance at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation’s Indoor Track and Field Championships in Spokane, Washington Feb. 17-18. The BYU women finished their 12th and final season of MPSF competition with a second straight team championship that followed seven individual titles. With 16 individual conference championships in 2022 and 2023 combined, the BYU women totaled their largest league hardware collection over a two-season stretch since 2010-11.

Claire Seymour capped a remarkable Cougar career with 800-meter First Team All-American finishes in both indoor and outdoor seasons. Seymour ran 2:00.55 to take bronze in Austin after coming in fourth at indoor nationals in Albuquerque, New Mexico March 10-11. The senior from Modesto, California also rewrote BYU record books in 2023 as she broke Julie Jenkins’ 36-year-old 800m school record with a time of 2:00.04 on April 14 at the Bryan Clay Invitational.

Seymour finishes her BYU career alongside Whittni Orton (2017-21), Shea Martinez Collinsworth (2014-17) and Maria Betoli Zanandrea (1979-82) as the only four BYU women to collect seven or more career track and field All-American honors.

Meghan Hunter joined Seymour in Austin with a first team 800m finish as she ran 2:04.05 to take eighth. Hunter and Seymour were the first duo the Cougars had ever posted in a women’s outdoor 800m final. The junior from Provo, Utah reached the final with a personal-best time of 2:01.53 in the June 8 semifinal. Hunter stands at No. 5 all-time at BYU in the event with a season of eligibility remaining in 2024.

Lexy Halladay-Lowry ran a personal-best 9:41.85 to take fourth and finish in first team position in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase title race on June 10. Halladay-Lowry now ranks second all-time at BYU in the women’s steeplechase. The junior from Boise, Idaho also recorded Second Team honors in the indoor 3,000-meters.

Cierra Tidwell Allphin finished as a First Team All-American and ascended up the program’s women’s high jump top-10 board in both indoor and outdoor seasons. With a personal-best clearance of 1.88-meters/6-2 at the Mt. SAC Relays on April 15, Tidwell Allphin is tied for No. 2 all-time at BYU with Melinda Hale (1994) and looks to break Andrea Stapleton-Johnson’s 2019 school record as a senior in 2024.

Senior long distance runner Aubrey Frentheway concluded her Cougar career with a historic 2023 campaign. The native of Cheyenne, Wyoming broke Carey May’s 39-year-old 10,000-meter school record with a time 32:34.08 at the Bryan Clay Invitational on April 13 before rewriting her own record at 32:28.85 at the NCAA West Preliminary on May 25.

Frentheway finished the season in Austin as a Second Team All-American after recording BYU’s first top-10 finish in the women’s 10,000m since Cecily Lemmon-Lew in 2009.

Despite coming up short of defending her 2022 national title, javelin thrower Ashton Riner-Lunt achieved a Second Team finish with a toss of 51-meters/167-4 to take 16th in the national final. Riner-Lunt finishes her BYU career as just the second women’s javelin thrower in program history to record three-career outdoor All-American honors (2018, 2022-23). Hui-Chen Lee did so in 1987, 1989 and 1991.

Each of BYU’s relay squads broke school records on the way to All-American citations in 2023.

The distance medley relay foursome of Taylor Rohatinsky, Annalise Hart, Alena Ellsworth and Sadie Sargent clocked a school record 10:49.24 at the Arkansas Qualifier on Feb. 17. This surpassed the previous record and national championship time of 10:52.96 set by Ellsworth, Olivia Hoj Simister, Lauren Ellsworth Barnes and Courtney Wayment in 2021.

The DMR squad went on to run 11:03.55 and take seventh at indoor nationals.

Adaobi Tabugbo, Jaslyn Gardner, Dolita Shaw, Marianne Barber and Emma Johnson each contributed to a historic season for the 4x100-meter squad. Tabugbo, Gardner, Barber and Johnson qualified for the postseason when they clocked a school record 44.57 at the Desert Heat Classic on April 29. The combination of Tabugbo, Gardner, Shaw and Barber then became the Cougars’ first-ever women’s 4x100 team to reach a national title meet when they ran yet another record time of 43.84 at the west preliminary on May 27.

The squad finished the season as honorable mention All-Americans in Austin.

Brilee Pontius combined with Hunter, Barber and Seymour to clock a 4x400-meter school record and national-qualifying 3:32.88 in Sacramento. Pontius, Barber, Shaw and Sami Oblad finished Honorable Mention All-Americans as well with a 22nd-place result at outdoor nationals.

The 2023 season also saw the rise of promising underclassmen for the Cougars.

Barber not only contributed to All-American relay squads but set program top-10 marks in both indoor and outdoor 200 and 400-meters. The Farmington, Utah native also won the MPSF women’s 400m championship, becoming the Cougars’ first freshman to win a women’s 400m conference indoor title since Brooke Stanton in 1991.

Distance runners Jenna Hutchins, Riley Chamberlain and Taylor Rohatinsky each qualified for the NCAA West Preliminary after a season filled with top-10 times and for Chamberlain, a Second Team All-American finish in the indoor mile.

When the Cougars return to the track in December 2023, they will do so as members of the Big 12 Conference: thus ending 12 seasons of indoor competition in the MPSF and as an Independent during outdoor season.

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