SALT LAKE CITY — Brigham Young University qualified four men in the steeplechase finals, matching the most in NCAA track and field history.
And that wasn’t even the best thing to happen to the Cougars on the first day of the NCAA track and field championships in Austin, Texas on Wednesday.
The best? Allow us to turn your attention to the 10,000-meter final.
BYU senior Clayton Young ran away from the field in the final lap to win the national championship with a time of 29 minutes, 16.60 seconds. But the Cougars weren’t finished there. BYU's Connor McMillan and Conner Mantz finished third and fourth to help BYU claim three of the top four spots in the race.
Young is the first BYU runner to win the 10,000 meters since BYU head coach Ed Eyestone won back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985. He is the first Cougar to win an outdoor national championship since Kyle Perry won the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 2009.
The Cougars earned 21 points in the event and those 21 points put BYU in second place in the team competition after Day 1. Mississippi leads with 24 with 15 events still to go.
The Cougars are set up to score very well on at least one more event, too.
Matt Owens, Clayson Shumway, Kenneth Rooks and Jake Heslington all qualified for the final in the steeplechase. Heslington and Owens tied for ninth in qualifying, while Rooks was 11th in and Shumway 12th.
The final will be held on Friday night.
The Cougars also had good performances from Brian Matthews, who finished the first day of the decathlon in 14th place with 3,860 points, and Talem Franco, who was third in his heat in the men’s 1,500 meters with a time of three minutes, 44 seconds to qualify for the final.
Utah State’s Sindri Gudmundsson earned All-America honors with a fourth-place finish in the men’s javelin. It’s the third straight year he has been an All-American.
Southern Utah’s Skyler Porcaro earned second-team All-American honors in the javelin with a throw of 218 feet, 9 inches to finish in 16th place.
“It was a great way for him to finish out his career here at Southern Utah, not only as a great athlete but an outstanding student as well,” SUU head coach Eric Houle said.
SUU’s Kasey Knevelbaard also advanced to the finals of the men’s 1,500 meters with a time of 3:46.47.