Distance runner Brandon Garnica leads the way for BYU in the men's 3,000m. (BYU Photo)

BYU track & field showcases speed and strength at Cougar Indoor Invitational

BYU track and field finished an impressive Cougar Indoor Invitational Saturday in Provo after rewriting the record books and achieving several personal bests.

Sophomore thrower Gretchen Hoekstre kicked things off on day one with the shot put event, marking a personal best of 17.10m/56-1.25 while also moving into second all-time in BYU history.

Four other women’s athletes: Sable Lohmeier, Jayda Lee, Lia Pili, and Halley Folsom Walker, also set personal bests in their events. Walker finished third overall in the pentathlon with 3,000 points.

Moving into day two, Dallin Vorkink concluded his final events of the heptathlon to place first with a personal best of 5,500 points. Vorkink jumped to fifth all-time in the BYU record books, surpassing his previous No. 10 spot.

Conner Kennedy won the men’s long jump with a mark of 7.04m/23-1.25 while Taye Raymond claimed the women’s (5.64m/18-6), and Cierra Tidwell-Allphin and Mayci Torgerson took first and second, respectively, in the women’s high jump.

The Cougars came ready to run for a day three that featured all of the track finals, placing first in nine of the 12 running events they competed in.

Freshmen Josh Taylor and Spencer Carlile kickstarted the team’s success as they finished top two in the 400m with times of 48.52 and 48.81.

Continuing with the sprints, Dallin Draper crushed the men’s 60m with a personal best 6.81 and Taye Raymond, Brinn Jensen and Layne Bolli swept the top three for the women.

Pole vaulter Rebekah Ross appeared in the only field event on the day, clearing an astounding 4.11m/13-5.75 to secure both first place on the day and a spot at No. 7 all-time in BYU history.

Distance runner Kenneth Rooks was the lone performer in the mile for the Cougs, finishing in third with a brisk 4:15.03, his personal best. Brandon Garnica won the men’s 3,000m in just 8:09.44, with five other Cougars trailing behind him and finishing in the top seven.

The men’s and women’s 4×400 relay teams both finished off the day victorious, wrapping up a successful BYU meet in winning fashion.

BYU continues its indoor season Jan. 20-22, competing in the Air Force Invitational in Colorado.

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