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Payge Cuthbertson winds up while competing in the women's javelin at the 2018 NCAA West Prelims.

Freshman Cameron Bates earned the No. 5 javelin throw in BYU history as BYU track and field opened the outdoor season at the Willie Williams Invite and UNLV Invite on Friday.

Willie Williams Invite

Bates’ first legal collegiate javelin throw earned him the fifth-best mark earned in BYU history. The true freshman threw for 68.95m/226-2 on his second throw after fouling the first throw to take second place at the meet. Teammates Matt Kitchen (59.67m/195-9), Michael Whittaker (58.48m/191-10) and Kraymer Eppich (58.37m/191-6) finished 5-7 in the men’s javelin.

Three Cougars opened up their outdoor season by each throwing marks in the women’s javelin that would have qualified for last year’s NCAA West Prelims. Payge Cuthbertson took second with a distance of 47.55m/156-0. All-American Ashton Riner and former BYU volleyball player Sydnie Martindale finished 3-4 with tosses of 46.29m/151-10 and 44.89m/147-3, respectively.

Sable Lohmeier set a personal best to take second in the women’s hammer throw with a toss of 50.24m/164-10. Jacob Foutz finished seventh in the men’s hammer throw with a mark of 56.44.

Jesus Serrano ran a career-best 53.16 to win the men’s 400m hurdles with teammate Kyle Strauss finishing in sixth with a time of 56.50. Kaitlyn Gunnerson-Burrup clocked a personal best to take first in the women’s 400m hurdles with a 1:00.26.

Derek Sorensen and Michael Bluth finished 2-3 in the men’s 200m with times of 21.13 and 21.28, respectively. Ramarco Thompson clocked 21.40 to place fifth to give the Cougars three athletes in the top five of the men’s 200m.

Four Cougars finished 5-8 in the women’s 200m with Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush clocking a 24.46 to lead the team. Finishing directly behind the junior was Hannah Nealis (24.54), Haley Rogers (24.55) and Jaslyn Garnder (24.62).

In the men’s steeplechase, All-American Matt Owens ran an 8:50.44 to take first place. Jacob Heslington (8:52.85), Kenneth Rooks (8:59.48) and Porter Reddish (9:03.34) finished 2-4.

UNLV Invite

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Brian Matthews won the decathlon with a career-best 6853 with Ben Barton taking second with a score of 6774. Matthews took first in the shot put (12.64m) while taking second in the javelin (51.67m), 100m (11.23) and 400m (51.43). Barton took first in the 100m (11.14), 110m hurdles (15.04), 400m (51.43) and high jump (2.05m) while placing second in the 1500m (4:55.07).

Lindsey Yetter-Shirley took second place in the heptathlon with a score of 4448. The junior took first place in the javelin (38.81m), high jump (1.75m) and 100m hurdles (14.12) while taking second in the long jump (5.30m).

The Cougars will continue competition at both meets on Saturday, March 16. Follow @BYUTFXC on Twitter for team updates from the Willie Williams Invite and the UNLV Invite. Live stats for both meets are available on the BYU track and field schedule page.