Courtney Wayment, right, competing in the steeplechase. She fell just short of qualifying for Team USA. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

Olympic overview: Cougars fight to represent US in Olympic trials

BYU athletes from several sports competed to earn a spot to represent their country at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo with the games less than a month away.

Track & Field

Courtney Wayment finished fourth in the women’s steeplechase at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Eugene, Oregon, on June 24, just one place out of the Team USA qualifying spots. Wayment’s performance still stood out even though she narrowly missed an Olympic spot, as her 9:23.09 time broke her own BYU record and ranks third all-time in collegiate history.

Conner Mantz missed qualification by less than a second and one position in the men’s 10,000-meter race.

The 2021 NCAA men’s cross country national champion followed up the 10,000-meter performance by placing eighth in the 5,000-meter, three places out of an Olympic spot. Casey Clinger raced alongside Mantz in the 5,000-meter final and finished in 12th.

Whittni Orton and Anna Camp-Bennett, the 2021 NCAA women’s 1,500-meter national champion, made it to the 1,500-meter semifinals, finishing in 14th and 16th place, respectively.

Abraham Alvarado (men’s 800-meter, 14th place) and Talem Franco (men’s 1,500-meter, 21st place) also competed in their event’s semifinals but did not place high enough to advance to the finals.

Swimming & Diving

Diver Mickey Strauss placed 31st in the men’s 3-meter springboard at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials with a 244.5 score. The sophomore was unable to qualify for Team USA.

Swimmer Tyler Edlefsen competed in Wave II of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, placing 38th in the 400-meter individual medley and 45th in the 200-meter individual medley. Edlefsen did not qualify for the Olympic team.

Volleyball

Taylor Sander was named to the U.S. men’s volleyball Olympic team with Brendan Sander and Ben Patch listed as alternates. The trio played for Team USA at the Volleyball Nations League over the summer.

Former men’s volleyball player Mike Wall (1999-2002) will be an assistant coach for Team USA.

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