We had a lot of people qualified for this meet and I thought the athletes came through and did really well. Rory (Linkletter) looked super confident in his race and had an incredible sprint finish. It was an amazing performance and we're very excited for him. —BYU coach Ed Eyestone

Strong performances by Rory Linkletter and Jacob Heslington highlighted the first day of competition at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships at Hayward Field on Wednesday.

"It was a great day all around and no one seemed intimidated or scared," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "We had a lot of people qualified for this meet and I thought the athletes came through and did really well. Rory (Linkletter) looked super confident in his race and had an incredible sprint finish. It was an amazing performance and we're very excited for him."

Linkletter fought hard to move up during the last lap of the 10,000m final and it paid off as he took second with a time of 29:02.96. Clayton Young finished in 29:39.80 for 17th place.

In the 3,000m steeplechase, Heslington finished seventh overall with a mark of 8:43.23, a personal best by just more than eight seconds. Though he didn’t finish top five in his heat, he recorded one of the next two best times to secure his spot in the final heat on Friday.

"Having Jacob (Heslington) advance was a nice little addition," Eyestone said. "He wasn't someone favored to advance, but he put himself in it, finished strong and got the last qualifying spot."

Daniel Carney and Mitchell Briggs also competed in the steeplechase but did not qualify for the final round as they finished 17th and 18th overall, respectively. Carney recorded 8:56.39, while Briggs crossed the finish line at 8:57.24.

Chase Horrocks ran the 1,500m in 3:45.92 and finished 20th overall. Tatenda Tsumba posted a time of 10.29 in the 100m and 20.62 in the 200m, but neither time qualified him for the final round.

Korey Smith and Max Scheible competed in the 400m hurdles with times of 51.48 and 51.92, respectively. Smith finished 16th overall, while Scheible came in 17th place.

Zachary Stetler threw a mark of 18.49m in the shot put final and finished 20th overall.

After the first five events of the decathlon, Jackson Walker sits at No. 23 overall with 3,446 points. He will compete in the final five events on Thursday.

Also competing Thursday are BYU female distance runners Whittni Orton in the 1,500m, Kristi Rush-Briggs in the steeplechase and Shea Collinsworth in the 800m.

Sydney Jorgensen is the men's tennis SID at Brigham Young University. Contact her at tennis_sid@byu.edu