BYU track and field kicked off the 2018 indoor season by hosting the BYU December Invite on Thursday and Friday in the Smith Fieldhouse.
The two-day event featured teams from BYU, UVU and Westminster.
P“The main thing with this season-opener meet is that it is a great opportunity for our athletes who have been training all of fall doing conditioning and this gives us a really nice baseline going into the holidays so we can see where we’re at and take a couple weeks off,” head coach Ed Eyestone said. “It gives them more motivation as they go into the holidays to keep training because the second week of January we have another meet. Every athlete, regardless of whether or not they got personal records, got a nice baseline check at this meet. We saw good efforts out there.”
Many athletes got PRs during the meet and others made the top-10 board in their events.
Brian Matthews finished first for the Cougars in the heptathlon with 5,393 points. He came in first in many of the events within the heptathlon, including the 60 meter race, the long jump, the shot put, the high jump, the 60 meter hurdles and the pole vault.
“Very rarely does an athlete come out like that and get a personal record in event after event after event in the heptathlon so I was very happy with that,” Eyestone said. “He ended up scoring a No. 7 all-time finish in the heptathlon in BYU history and he’s just going to continue to build on that.”
Tomi Adegoke finished first in the men’s 60 meter hurdles for his heat and again in the finals with a time of 8.22.
Connor Mantz finished first in the 3,000 meter race with a time of 8:19.
“Connor was an all-star recruit in high school and went straight on his mission and just got back over the summer,” Eyestone said. “He opened up his first race running unattached and won the 3,000 in a very strong, convincing fashion.”
Dennis Christensen threw the shot put a distance of 57-9.75 finishing second, and Alex Rios went 16-8 in the pole vault to take second as well.
On the women’s side, Sierra Hansen went 12-11.5 in the pole vault to secure first, and Kyndal Stewart went 12-5.5 to follow in second.
“All of our vaulters, at least on the women’s side, were jumping at personal bests,” Eyestone said. “They didn’t necessarily hit them but they were attempting to get their personal best marks so that’s a very good sign for this time of the year.”
Siale Vaitohi threw in the weight throw for a mark of 55-6.5. This was a personal best for Vaitohi and set a No. 7 all-time mark at BYU.
Keesha Miller finished first in the 60 meter race with a time of 7.51. It was the No. 5 fastest time in BYU history and a personal best for her.
“This was a really good meet for us overall and a good start for us as we enter the season,” Eyestone said.
Eyestone explained that those running unattached competed against each other to secure one of the coveted traveling spots for later meets in the season.
The Cougars return home to the Smith Fieldhouse on Jan. 8, for the BYU Indoor Invite.
Jenessa Mann works as a Sports Information Director for BYU Athletics. Contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org