Track and Field receives multiple All-America honors

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Senior Clayton Young runs the 5000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships on March 8. (BYU Photo)

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BYU’s men’s and women’s track and field teams had six athletes receive All-America honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

The men’s team had three athletes receive All-America honors: Conner Mantz, Connor McMillan and Clayton Young.

Head coach Ed Eyestone said the team’s goal at the beginning of the season was to place in the top 25. However, that goal changed to place in the top 20 as the season progressed. Eyestone was thrilled with the way both teams competed.

Heading into the NCAA Indoor Championships, the final indoor event of the season, Eyestone was confident the athletes would perform well.

“We were optimistic going in there,” Eyestone said. “We felt like we could score enough points to get us in the top 15, and the guys really came through.”

Mantz finished in 10th place in the 5000 meter with a time of 13:51.45 at the indoor champsionships. He was awarded second-team All-American for the performance. The following day, he competed in the 3000 meter and took seventh, earning BYU five points. He ran the event in 7:56.72 and received first-team All-American.

Over his BYU career, Mantz ran a personal best 13:39.27 in the 5000 meter during the Iowa State Classic in 2019, more than 23 seconds faster than the race that garnered him All-American honors. Mantz also ran a 4:17.15 mile, along with competing in the 3000 and 10,000 meter events. The sophomore was a 2018 All-American honorable mention after finishing 22nd overall in the 10,000 meter.

McMillan ran the 5000 meter in 13:46.88 and also achieved first-team All-American in the NCAA championship event. In the 3000 meter, the senior received second-team All-America honors with an 11th place finish.

During his BYU tenure, McMillan set a personal mile time of 4:04. During his four year campaign at BYU, the senior has received All-American second team honors four times and an honorable mention once.

Young placed third in the 5000 meter, recording a time of 13:45.35, and was named a first-team All-American during the 2019 Indoor NCAA Championships. The next day, he ran a 7:55.86 in the 3000 meter and finished in sixth place. That performance also earned him first-team All-American.

This was the first time the senior has received first-team All-American honors in his career. The American Fork native previously received All-American second team honors four times and was an honorable mention twice.

“To now be able to say that I am a first-team All-American — that definitely has a ring to it,” Young said.

Junior Erica Birk-Jarvis makes her last turn in the 3000m at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Birmingham, Alabama. (BYU Photo)

The women’s team also had three athletes achieve All-American status: Erica Birk-Jarvis, Whittini Orton and Andrea Stapleton-Johnson.

Birk-Jarvis achieved first-team All-America honors in two events. She ran on BYU’s distance medley race team that took second place and also placed fifth in the 3000 meter running a 9:05.62, which scored four points for the Cougars.

Birk-Jarvis is no stranger to accolades. The Coalville native was named WCC runner of the week twice during the 2018 cross country season, along with being named a first team All-American twice. She is now a four-time All-American athlete.

Orton competed in the mile finishing 12th overall and received second-team All-American honors. In 2018, Orton was named a first team All-American during the indoor championships for her seventh place finish in the one mile event, running one mile in 4:35.44. Orton was also an honorable mention in 2018 for her 19th place finish in the 1500 meter at nationals.

During practice in the two weeks before championships, Stapleton-Johnson would dial in and focus her energy into her jumps. Her main focus was to live in the present and focus on the here and now. Stapleton-Johnson explained implementing this focus in all aspects of her life before the competition was a key factor to her success.

Stapleton-Johnson competed in the high jump with a 1.81m/5-11.25 on her third attempt at the 2019 Indoor NCAA Championships. She scored one point, received eighth place and was named a first-team All-American for the first time in her career.

“I’m proud of how I did, and it leaves me hungry for more,” Stapleton-Johnson said.

Both men’s and women’s teams have had successful season in track and field as well as cross country. Due to these strong finishes, both men’s and women’s athletics at BYU rank within the top 25 in the Capital One Cup standings. The men hold the 22nd spot while the women are ranked sixth.

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