BYU track Courtney Wayment

BYU's Courtney Wayment (right) breaks the tape and wins the NCAA Indoor Track championship in the 3000 meters in Fayetteville, Ark., on Saturday, March 13, 2021.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Senior Courtney Wayment won the women’s 3000 meters national title to help BYU women’s track and field finish seventh overall in the team standings at the conclusion of the 2021 NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

The BYU women’s team scored 29 points to finish seventh in the team standings. The top-10 finish marks the best women’s team performance at the indoor championships since 2009.

“The show that Diljeet’s athletes put on was amazing,” said BYU director of track and field Ed Eyestone. “Her group accounted for all the women’s points and it was evidence of her getting her athletes prepared.”

After running the anchor leg on BYU’s championship-winning distance medley relay team on Friday, Wayment showed no signs of fatigue when racing in the 3000m on Saturday. The senior fought at the front of the lead pack for most of the race and pushed the pace toward the end. Wayment held off an Arkansas runner down the stretch to cross the line in 9:01.47 and win the first women’s 3000m individual title in BYU history.

“With 400 to go, coach Taylor said I could go for it,” Wayment said. “I know I have closing speed so it was me wanting to see if I could create a gap. I didn’t want to lead the race and not win it.”

Wayment’s first-place finish earned the BYU women 10 points and cemented her position on the All-America First Team.

Olivia Hoj Simister also doubled in the DMR and the 3000m at the championship meet. The senior fought her way into scoring position midway through the race and remained with the lead pack to secure a seventh-place finish with a time of 9:06.77. Hoj Simister earned All-America First Team honors and contributed two points to the team score.

Claire Seymour clocked a 2:02.25 to take fifth place in the women’s 800m. The junior received a spot on the All-America First Team and tallied four team points.

Senior Kate Hunter took sixth place in the women’s mile final with a time of 4:37.65, scoring three points and collecting All-America First Team honors. Junior Heather Hanson placed 10th overall in the final with a time of 4:48.97 to secure her spot on the All-America Second Team.

Men’s recap

The BYU men’s team finished tied for 16th in the final standings after ending the meet with 11 points. It marked the team’s third top-20 finish in the last four indoor championship meets.

Zach McWhorter captured a national runner-up finish and broke the school record in the men’s pole vault on the final day of competition. McWhorter cleared 5.80m/19-0.25 to clinch the second-place finish and All-America First Team honors. The sophomore broke the school record that he previously set earlier this season when he cleared 5.76m/18-10.75 at the BYU Cougar Indoor Invite II on Feb. 6.

“Even though we didn’t bring as many men’s athletes because of the cross country championships, I’m super pleased with those that participated,” Eyestone said. “Our pole vault crew was great. Caleb was on the money and performed great. Zach went toe-to-toe with the best pole vaulter in the country and was one attempt away from eliminating him.”

Caleb Witsken took sixth place in the men’s pole vault with a clearance of 5.50m/18-0.5. The junior scored three points and earned All-America First Team status in his championship meet debut. Both McWhorter and Witsken combined to score all 11 points for the men’s team.

After qualifying by one-hundredth of a second on Friday, freshman Lucas Bons finished ninth overall in the final of the men’s mile. Bons completed the race in 4:01.96 and received All-America Second Team honors in the event.

The BYU track and field team will fully transition to the outdoor season starting this weekend at the UNLV Invitational. The meet will take place March 18-20 at the Myron Partridge Track Stadium in Las Vegas.

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

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