Track and field participates in NCAA championships, captures 10k national title

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Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo
Clayson Shumway competes in the steeplechase at the NCAA track and field championships. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU men’s and women’s track and field participated in the 2019 NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships from June 5 to June 8 in Austin, Texas. Multiple top finishes led the men to an eighth-place team finish, while the women’s team finished 25th.

The men’s team entered the final day in a tie for second most entries with eight, just three behind the leader, Texas Tech. Four of the Cougars’ eight entries came away with top-10 finishes on the final day of the men’s competition — Matt Owens and Clayson Shumway took eight and tenth, respectively, in the steeplechase, while Clayton Young and Conner Mantz finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the 5k. These top finishes, in addition to a trio of top finishes in the 10k on June 5, helped BYU to its eight place finish.

Clayton Young captured a national title for BYU, winning the 10,000-meter in the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The American Fork native outpaced Alabama’s Gilbert Kigen in the final lap of the race, finishing with a time of 29:16.60. Kigen would finish just under two seconds behind Young with a time of 29:18.10.

BYU also saw two other runners among the top finishers in the 10,000-meter event. Connor McMillan placed third and crossed the finish line with a time of 29:19.85, while Conner Mantz finished fourth with a time of 29:19.93.

BYU Photo
Conner Mantz, Clayton Young and Connor McMillan stop for a picture after the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships on Mar. 9. The trio of runners finished first, third and fourth at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 10,000 meter event. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

It’s been exactly ten years since BYU won a national title in track and field on the men’s side, with Kyle Perry capturing the championship title in the steeplechase event in 2009. BYU track and field coach Ed Eyestone was the last member of BYU men’s track and field to capture the 10,000-meter national title, winning it in 1985.

Young is no stranger to the NCAA championships as he also made appearances in 2017 and 2018. The senior took 23rd in the 10,000-meter in 2018, taking 12th in the 5000-meter that same year. In 2017, Young placed 17th in the 10,000-meter and 15th in the 5000-meter.

Prior to the 2019 season, Young had received U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors three times in addition to being named to four All-American second teams at nationals.

By the numbers, this is the 24th time BYU men’s track and field has finished in the top 10 in the national rankings. The Cougars have received top-25 finished 40 times at the national championships, winning 33 national championships in individual events for the outdoor season.

The women’s team entered the final day of the national championships with five athletes competing in the finals of their respective events. All five of the women competing had top-ten finishes — Andrea Stapleton-Johnson finished eighth in the high jump with Whittni Orton finishing eighth in the 1500-meter. Anna Camp-Bennett finished eighth place in her event, the 800-meter while Brenna Porter and Erica Birk-Jarvis both finished fifth; Birk-Jarvis in the steeplechase and Porter in the 400-meter. Birk-Jarvis battled with the top runners for most of the race but stumbled on the final two barriers.

By the numbers, this is the 27th time the women’s team has finished in the top 25 at nationals and the 14th time in the last 25 years. The 2019 national championships marked the fourth time BYU women’s track and field has finished with four athletes in the top eight at nationals for the outdoor season.

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