BYU senior Garrett Marsing made a strong move in the final two laps and finished fourth in the men’s steeplechase in the NCAA Championships at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., on Friday.
Marsing’s first team All-American performance was the highlight for the Cougars, which scored 17 points to finish 16th in the team competition. BYU was ranked fifth heading into the NCAA meet.
“We did very well in some events, and we came up short in a couple of events,” said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. “By and large, I was very impressed by the level of competition and the way our guys rose up and competed the best they could. I'm very proud of our guys.”
LSU ran away from the competition by scoring 84 points, followed by Oregon with 35 points.
Marsing ran near the back of the pack for most of the steeplechase but pushed past a group of runners in the final 800 meters up to third on the bell lap. Marsing’s time of 8:31.54 was a personal best and the third-best mark in BYU history.
Kigen Chemadi of Middle Tennessee State won the race in 8:28.20.
Senior Michael Bluth also earned first team All-American honors, turning in a 45.91 in the 400 meters to finish eighth. Bluth was the first Cougar 400-meter runner to make the NCAA finals since 1964.
Randolph Ross of North Carolina A&T won the 400 meters in a time of 43.85.
Senior Talem Franco got clipped by another runner early in the 1,500-meter finals and almost fell but kept his feet and completed the race in 3:40.61 (ninth place) to claim second team All-American honors.
Oregon freshman Cole Hocker outkicked Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse in the final 100 meters to win the 1,500 with a personal best time of 3:35.35.
Casey Clinger was a second team All-American finisher in the 5,000 meters, clocking a time of 13:34.56 (16th) that was nearly ten seconds off his best time.
Cooper Teare of Oregon held off two other runners to finish first in the 5,000 with a meet record time of 13:12.27.
Freshman Dallin Shorts finished 15th overall in the discus competition with a throw of 178-9, which was well short of his season-best of 191-3. The event was won by Arizona State’s Turner Washington (208-1), who also won the shot put.
The BYU women will finish their competition on Saturday. Junior Courtney Wayment (steeplechase) and senior Whittni Orton (5,000 meters) were both ranked No. 1 in their events heading into the meet and will be among the favorites.
Senior Anna Camp-Bennett finished second in her heat of the 1,500 meters on Thursday in a BYU record 4:09.22 and will compete in the finals as well.
Sophomore Claire Seymour ran the second fastest time and a personal best of 2:02.68 in the 800-meter semifinals and will run in Saturday’s final.
Freshman Cierra Tidwell Allphin, ranked No. 12 in the high jump, will also compete in the finals.