BYU’s distance runners led the Cougars to an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Track Meet, which concluded the men’s portion of the event on Friday.

BYU scored 27 total points while Texas Tech took the men’s team title with 60 points. Eighth place is the best Cougar men’s team finish since also earning eighth place in 2011 with 27.5 points.

Clayton Young, who won the 10,000 meter championship on Wednesday, finished sixth in the 5,000 meters on Friday with a time of 14:09.00. Teammate Conner Mantz, who was third in the 10,000 meters, was seventh in the 5,000 at 14:09.20. Wisconsin’s Morgan McDonald won the race in a time of 14:06.01, just edging out Stanford’s Grant Fisher (14:06.63).

It was a disappointing finish in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, where BYU qualified four runners for the final and had opportunities to score team points. BYU sophomore Matt Owens led the race for the first five laps but couldn’t maintain the pace and finished eighth at 8:45.40. Clayson Shumway was tenth (8:53.45), Kenneth Rooks 11th (9:00.53) and Jacob Heslington 12th (9:02.03). Stanford’s Steven Fahy won the national championship despite falling on the last hurdle in a time of 8:38.46.

Talem Franco, who is from Heber City, finished 11th in the 12-man field of the 1,500 meters with a time of 3:46.20. Notre Dame’s Yared Nuguse edged Michigan State’s Justine Kirpotich by three-1000ths of a second for the championship.

BYU’s Ricky Fantroy Jr. competed in the triple jump and finished 21st with a leap of 50 feet, 10 inches.

Brian Matthews concluded the decathlon on Thursday evening with a strong performance in the last five events to earn a career-best 7394 points. The junior took 11th place overall after entering the meet as the No. 24 decathlete. His best discipline was the javelin, where he threw a personal best of 190 feet, 3 inches. He also logged a personal best in the discus (130-10).

Saturday is the final day for the BYU women. Andrea Stapleton-Johnson, who has leaped a college-best 6-2 ¼ this season, will compete for the high jump title. Whittni Orton is in the 1500-meter finals, Erica Birk-Jarvis runs in the steeplechase final, Anna Camp-Bennett finishes out in the 800 meters and Brenna Porter will challenge for the 400-meter hurdles title.

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

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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