Cougar track teams impress at Air Force Invitational finals
BYU’s men’s and women’s track teams finished up the Air Force Invitational finals on Saturday with 14 top-three finishes, nine of which were first place.
Two Cougars earned top three finishes in the men’s 400m as senior sprinter Michael Bluth and junior sprinter Cortez Ruiz placed first and third respectively. Bluth posted a 47.24 time, while Cortez ran a 48.35.
Junior sprinter Jaslyn Gardner placed first in the women’s 60m, clocking in at 7.35. Gardner broke her own BYU record of 7.39 in the 60m with a time of 7.31 at the BYU Invite on Jan. 16 and continues to out-race her opponents, earning her second first-place finish of the season.
In the men’s 60m, junior sprinter Easton Bianchi earned first place by running a 6.81, narrowly beating Cal’s Christian Catlin by .03 seconds. Senior BYU sprinter Andrew Stewart came in fourth place, running a 6.97.
Bianchi also competed in the men’s 200m, clocking in at 21.54 and earning second place. Senior sprinter Colten Yardley ran a 21.65, taking third place.
Freshman distance runner Lucas Bons placed second in the 800m with a personal record of 1:53.76. This is Bons’ first appearance in this race this season.
In the mile relay, both the men and women took first place for BYU. Colten Yardley, Michael Bluth, Eli Hazlett and Cortez Ruiz contributed to a 3:12.87 time for the men’s team. The women’s team, consisting of Annalise Hart, Kayla Perry, Chloe Taylor and Brinn Jensen, posted a 3:50.77 time.
Senior thrower Sierra Freeland won in women’s shot put, posting a 14.25m mark. Freeland continues her strong start to the season in women’s shot put as she has placed first in both of the team’s meets.
Sophomore Zach McWhorter placed first in men’s pole vault by clearing 5.56m. The All-American’s clearance of 5.56 is currently ranked third in the nation this season.
Junior Isabel Neal posted a personal record of 4.01m in the women’s pole vault, earning first in the process. Freshman Hannah Richardson came in fourth, clearing 3.65m.
Junior jumper/sprinter Conner Kennedy claimed first in the men’s long jump, marking at 7.34m.
In men’s high jump, sophomore Ty Wright placed third by clearing 2m. Wright cleared all of his successful jumps on the first attempt.
The men’s track team finished second overall in the meet with 101 points. The women’s track team finished third overall with 75 points, two points shy of second place.
The Cougars’ next meet is the UW Preview, taking place on Jan. 29 and 30 at the University of Washington.