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Clayton Young (front) leads the pack in the 5,000m at the NCAA West Prelims. Young is one of three Cougars to qualify for the NCAA Championships in the 5,000m and 10,000m.

A total of 15 BYU athletes qualified for the 2018 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in 16 entries as the three-day NCAA West Preliminary Round concluded Saturday night.

"We're very excited about the direction we're headed in," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone. "Our athletes came out and performed at a very high level. Now we're just hoping to go to the big dance and score as many points as we can."

Connor McMillan (13:48.45), Clayton Young (13:51.19) and Rory Linkletter (13:51.28) each earned their second qualifying bid of the weekend to the NCAA Championships in the 5,000m. The trio first qualified for nationals on Thursday night in the 10,000m.

Whittni Orton ran a personal-best 4:14.41 in the 1,500m on Saturday to guarantee her spot in the national meet and gave her the No. 3 all-time mark in school history. Anna Camp also broke her previous record in the 1,500m with a time of 4:18.08 but fell one spot shy of qualifying for the semifinal.

After running a 13.36 in the 100m hurdles prelims on Friday, Alyssa Dalton clocked a 13.27 in Saturday night’s quarterfinal to advance to the semifinal round at nationals. The BYU women’s 4x400 relay team ran a season-best 3:36.82 to close the track meet for the Cougars and earned the final qualifying spot for the semifinal at the NCAA Championships.

The Cougars qualified six athletes for nationals on the opening day of the NCAA West Prelims on Thursday. True freshman Ashton Riner finished in 11th place in the women’s javelin to secure her spot in the NCAA Championships. Andrea Stapleton-Johnson punched her ticket to nationals for the second year in a row after taking first place in the high jump with a clearance of 1.80m

The men’s 10,000m squad entered regionals ranked No. 1 in the nation and left with four national qualifiers after Linkletter won the race with a time of 29:14.29. McMillan took third (29:14.91), Young (29:16.08) finished ninth and Conner Mantz (29:16.78) came in 11th.

Brenna Porter earned her spot to compete at the NCAA Championships after clocking a career-best 57.18 in the 400m hurdles on Friday. The No. 1 ranked men's steeplechase team added two more qualifiers for BYU on Friday night with Matt Owens (8:36.73) taking second place and Clayson Shumway (8:36.76) taking third.

Kevin Nielsen received an automatic bid to nationals after the regular season in the decathlon, qualifying with a total of 7,475 points for the 24th seed. Decathletes do not compete in the NCAA preliminary rounds.

For a table of BYU track and field's final results, visit byucougars.com. The NCAA Championships will be in held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, on June 6-9. ESPN holds the broadcasting rights, and a schedule of its coverage can be found on ncaa.com.

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