BYU track and field continued its success on the final day of the MPSF Indoor Track and Field Championships with the men’s team taking second overall and many athletes breaking personal records.
“One of our goals going in was to have our athletes improve their indoor season marks,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “I think we ended up doing well in that aspect and finished the meet with roughly 40 season bests.”
BYU’s men’s team took second place out of 15 teams with a total team score of 75.5. The women’s team finished seventh out of 19 teams with a total score of 37 points.
The Cougars started off strong at the MPSF Championships on Friday with three athletes winning their individual events. On the men’s team, Connor McMillan won the 5,000m with a career-best 13:46.71, and Derek Sorenson finished first in the 200m with a personal-best 21.53. Sierra Hansen tied for first in the pole vault with a height of 4.20m to earn a career record.
BYU continued to run well on the second and final day of the MPSF Championships with two more Cougars winning their individual events. Abraham Alvarado ran a 4:02.70 in the mile to finish first and earn himself a personal record. Rory Linkletter won the men’s 3,000m with a career-record 7:54.29.
Linkletter and McMillan finished with times just outside the top 16 in the NCAA for their respective races. Both will likely miss out on competing in those events at the NCAA Indoor Championships unless athletes ahead of them decide not to compete. However, Linkletter is still in position to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 5,000m.
Linkletter wasn’t the only BYU athlete to do well in the men’s 3,000m. The MPSF 3,000m Champion had teammate Daniel Carney finish behind him in sixth with a career record of 7:57.55. Connor Mantz finished 10th (8:02.75) and Jacob Heslington recorded his personal-best time (8:06.51) to finish in 15th.
Marcus Dickson and Patrick Parker recorded career bests with Alvarado in the mile. Dickson ran a 4:07.18 for the 10th-best time and Parker finished just after with a time of 4:08.03 for 12th place.
Kevin Nielsen had a season-best performance for BYU in the men's heptathlon taking second with a total of 5,491 points. Nielsen ended up with the best marks out of the heptathletes in the 60m (7.19), long jump (7.01m), shot put (12.44m) and 60m hurdles (8.35).
BYU had three athletes finish in the top 10 in the women’s 3,000m. Olivia Hoj took sixth and earned a career-best time of 9:20.23. Courtney Wayment-Smith and Kristi Rush-Briggs finished in seventh (9:22.49) and eighth (9:23.67), respectively.
Whittni Orton ran a 2:08.71 in the 800m to finish seventh overall, while teammate Claire Seymour came in right behind her for eighth and clocked a personal-best time of 2:09.00. Brenna Porter competed in the 400m and ran a career time of 54.89 to finish 10th overall.
Andrea Stapleton-Johnson cleared 1.79m in the high jump to finish in third overall for the Cougars. She and three other athletes finished with 1.79m as the highest mark cleared, but Stapleton-Johnson finished in third after having a larger number of total jump attempts than two of the four.
The Cougars now wait to confirm those who have qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships along with preparing for the start of the outdoor track and field season. The NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships start Friday, March 15, at Gilliam Indoor Stadium in College Station Texas.