SACRAMENTO — BYU track and field totaled 21 national qualifiers as the Cougars wrapped up competition at the NCAA West Preliminaries on Saturday.
"Perfect ending to what was really a perfect meet," BYU head coach Ed Eyestone said. "Rickey Fantroy Jr. coming through in the triple jump really shows that people rise up when given the opportunity. The coaches did a great job getting the athletes ready for this meet. It's the best first round that we've come to and it bodes well for the NCAA Championships."
Rickey Fantroy Jr. jumped a career-best 15.55m/51-0.25 to obtain the final qualifying spot in the triple jump. The junior's mark moves him onto the school record board to No. 8 all-time at BYU.
Whittni Orton will make her third-straight trip to the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the 1500m. The All-American earned an automatic qualifying bid as well as a career-best 4:13.58 after taking second in her heat. Orton's new personal record improves her hold on the fourth-best 1500m time in BYU history. Kate Hunter ran a personal-best 4:18.14 and Olivia Hoj finished in 4:21.64 in the same heat as Orton.
A year after missing the 2018 NCAA Championships by one qualifying spot, Talem Franco secured his spot to the 2019 NCAA Championships with a personal-record 3:42.15 in the 1500m quarterfinal. The junior also improved his position as No. 9 all-time at BYU in the 1500m.
Two days after qualifying for the 10,000m, Conner Mantz and Clayton Young both qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 5000m. Mantz (13:48.69) and Young (14:07.98) both automatically qualified after finishing in the top five in their respective heats.
The BYU men's 4x400m relay team were the last Cougars to punch tickets to Nationals. The squad clocked a season-best 3:06.67 to earn the bid to the NCAA Championships. The squad consisted of Abram Schaap, Blake Ellis, Colten Yardley and Michael Bluth.3 comments on this story
Jefferson Jarvis finished up his BYU career with a solid performance in the shot put. The senior's first toss of the day ended up being his best with a mark of 18.22m/59-9.
The women's 4x100m relay team matched its season best with a time of 44.95. The team consisted of Haley Rogers, Ellie Heiden-Quackenbush, Lauren Rawlinson and Jaslyn Gardner.
The Cougars that qualified will travel to Austin, Texas, for the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 5-8. General information for that meet can be found on ncaa.org. Final results from the NCAA West Prelims can be found here. Recaps for the first and second days of competition can be found here.