Nate Edwards, BYU Photo
Whittni Orton (center) competes in the mile at the 2018 NCAA Indoor Championships.

The USTFCCCA ranked the BYU men’s track and field team No. 7 in the nation, while the women’s team jumped to No. 35 as the Cougars prepare to compete at the Payton Jordan Invitational and the Sacramento State Open this week.

“The Payton Jordan Invitational is a distance-oriented meet and it will be exciting to see our top distance athletes doing their thing there,” BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. “The majority of the team will then be competing Saturday in Sacramento where we’ll be looking to continue to build on the home meet we just had that gave us a bunch of new regional qualifiers.”

BYU will only be sending some of its top distance runners to compete at Stanford’s Payton Jordan Invitational on Thursday, May 3, while the rest of the team will compete at the Sacramento State Open on Saturday, May 5.

Eyestone noted his excitement for several distance runners that will compete in particular events for the first time this season. Rory Linkletter and Connor McMillan will both run their first 10,000m race of the season on Thursday. Linkletter was named a First Team All-American after taking second place in the 10,000m at the 2017 NCAA Track and Field Championships.

Clayton Young will open in the men’s 5,000m for the first time this season. Young received second-team All-American honors in the 5,000m last year after finishing 10th at the 2017 NCAA Championships. He holds BYU’s No. 10 all-time mark in the 5,000m with a time of 13:50.00.

Whittni Orton will have her season debut in the 1,500m after missing a majority of the season dealing with an injury. Orton took 20th in the 1,500m at the 2017 NCAA Championships to earn honorable mention All-America honors, and she currently ranks No. 10 all-time at BYU in the 1,500m (4:17.50).

“It’s only three weeks until the NCAA West Prelims so the distance athletes will go all out this week and then rest up for regionals,” Eyestone said. “The sprint group will go hard this week and have another shot next week at home with the Last Chance Meet."

The Payton Jordan Invitational will be streamed online on FloTrack.org. Follow BYU track and field on Twitter @BYUTFXC for live updates from both track meets. Live stats for both meets will be available on the BYU track and field team’s schedule page on the day of the event.

Braden Taylor works as a Sports Information Director for BYU Athletics. Contact him at: [email protected] or [email protected]