EUGENE, Ore. (ABC4 Sports) – For the second time in as many days, BYU has won a track and field national title.
Courtney Wayment set an NCAA record in the 3000-meter steeplechase title match, with a time of 9:16.00, breaking her own school record, the collegiate record and meet record, while also running the fifth-fastest time in U.S. history. She is the fourth BYU women’s athlete to win a steeplechase championship.
“The plan was to rely on my fitness and all the things that I have done to get to this moment,” Wayment said. “If anyone was going to come with me, then I planned to put my foot on the gas a little bit more.”
The senior ran ahead early, trading stints in first with Auburn’s Joyce Kimeli, before seizing the position for good during the fourth lap, where should we begin to break away. As the rain fell harder at Hayward, Wayment ran faster, going on to win the third individual title of her career by 9.08 seconds.
Wayment joins javelin thrower Ashton Riner as the two BYU women’s athletes to capture individual titles this week, marking the first time that two BYU athletes have won individual titles at a single Nationals since 2005, when Robison Pratt and Rodrigo Mendes took home championships in the pole vault and triple jump, respectively.
When asked about which of her championships is the best, Wayment said, “Winning is the best one of all of them. As a freshman in 2017, I didn’t do very well at regionals, so my parents and I drove out to Eugene for Nationals and sat over there in the stands. I remember during the final, I sat there and sobbed because I wanted so badly to be on that track. Today was to inspire all of the people, all of the young women out there who are where I was in 2017. You can do it. You just have to give yourself a shot.”
Halley Folsom Walker placed 21st in the heptathlon long jump before setting a personal best and taking seventh in the javelin to put her in 15th place with the 800m remaining. The senior heptathlete closed out competition strong, winning the 800m by over four seconds at 2:08.59 to jump into eighth place in the heptathlon with 5,692 points.
In the high jump, Cierra Tidwell-Allphin finished tied for ninth with a clearance of 1.80m/5-10.75. The junior cleared 1.72m/5-7.75, 1.77m/5-9.75 and 1.80m/5-10.75 on her first attempts, before faltering out at 1.83m/6-0.
Sable Lohmeier El-Bakri closed out the Cougar’s competition in Eugene, placing 19th in the discus throw with a mark of 50.07m/164-3.
As a team, the BYU women finished tied with Colorado for ninth overall with 21 points. It is the second-straight year that the Cougars have recorded a top-10 finish, 13th top-10 finish all-time and first time that BYU has done so in consecutive years since 1999 and 2000.
It is the first time that two BYU women’s athletes have won individual titles at a single Nationals since 2000, when Tara Rohatinsky Northcutt won the 10,000-meter and Susan Taylor took first in the 1500-meters. Wayment and Riner mark the third time that two BYU women’s athletes have won individual titles at a single Nationals. The feat was also completed in 1992.