Michael Bluth runs for the Cougars. Bluth broke his own school record in the 400-meter at the NCAA West prelims en route to three bids to nationals. (BYU Photo)

BYU earns 24 bids to NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championship

The BYU Track and Field teams earned 24 bids to the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships with impressive performances at the NCAA West Preliminaries in College Station, Texas last week.

The athletes had to finish in the top 12 in their respective events to secure the 24 bids to the National Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

Michael Bluth led the way with three bids in the 400-meter, 4×100-meter and 4×400-meter races. Along with his team-leading three bids, Bluth broke his own school record in the 400-meter with a 45.13 time.

Bluth wasn’t the only one to break a school record as the women’s 4×400 relay team, consisting of Meghan Hunter, Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes, Claire Seymour and Alena Ellsworth smashed the previous record by three seconds with a 3:33.30 time.

Men’s Track and Field

The No. 3-ranked men’s team from BYU finished with 14 of the entries, led by Bluth with three.

Landon Maxfield (4×100, 4×400), Dallin Draper (4×100, 4×400) and Colten Yardley (400-meter hurdles, 4×400) each finished with a pair of bids.

Two Cougars qualified in throwing events: Cameron Bates in the javelin and Dallin Shurts in the discus.

Cross country national champion Conner Mantz finished in third at the 10,000-meter race to qualify for nationals, and Zach McWhorter qualified in pole vault.

Women’s Track and Field

The No. 7-ranked women’s team finished with 10 of the BYU entries.

The Cougars’ distance runners displayed strong performances as they secured seven of the 10 bids.

Three distance runners: Whittni Orton, Anna Camp-Bennett and Kate Hunter qualified for the NCAA Championship in the 1,500-meter race. Orton finished first in the event, the lone Cougar to take the top spot in any event at the West prelims.

Orton (1,500-meter, 5,000-meter), Camp-Bennett (800-meter, 1,500-meter) and Claire Seymour (800-meter, 4×400) each finished at prelims with multiple national-championship bids.

The Cougars now prepare for the national championships, set to take place at Hayward Field in Eugene on June 9-12.

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