Good and bad surprises for BYU women at NCAA Track and Field Championships
Anna Camp finished with the second-fastest time of the day in the 1,500-meter run, while teammate Whittni Orton had the 17th fastest time
On Day 1 of the Women’s NCAA Track and Field Championships Thursday in Eugene, Oregon, there were two big surprises for BYU — one of them good, one of them bad.
Anna Camp, a senior from Fillmore, Utah, who had only the 11th fastest time in the field, not only advanced to the finals of the 1,500-meter on Saturday, but she also produced the second fastest time of the day and set a school record of 4:09.22. She improved her personal best time by 2 ½ seconds and broke teammate Whittni Orton’s six-week-old school record of 4:09.31.
The bad news came in the second heat, which turned into a slow, tactical affair, making it more difficult for those runners to advance to the final based on time. Orton is normally aggressive, even to a fault sometimes, but on this day she was content to run in the pack rather than push the pace as she usually does. The race came down to a frenetic, late sprint and Orton finished sixth with a time of 4:14.99, the 17th fastest time of the day and some six seconds slower than her season best.
Orton, one of the finest runners ever to run for BYU, will compete in the finals of the 5,000-meter run Saturday night. She has easily the fastest time in the nation at that distance.
No one was surprised when BYU’s Courtney Wayment, the NCAA indoor 3,000-meter champion, produced the fastest time in the semifinals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase. She finished with a time of 9:32.52 — only she has run faster this season. Wayment was about two seconds faster than her nearest rival.
Weber State’s Summer Allen also produced a tremendous performance to advance to the finals of the steeplechase. Her time of 9:37.47 broke her own personal record by 10 seconds and broke a 14-year school record set by Olympian Lindsey Anderson in 2007 by 2 ½ seconds. Allen placed third in her heat and had the day’s sixth fastest time.
Claire Seymour advanced to the finals of the 800-meter run by finishing with the day’s third-fastest time, 2:02.58. Camp also competed in the 800, just 90 minutes after her second-place showing in the 1,500, but she finished 10th in 2:03.95 The top nine qualified for the final. She was only .78 of a second behind the fourth-place finisher.
The meet, mirroring the men’s schedule the previous day, consisted of semifinal heats for all races except one. Utah’s Poppy Tank, a senior from England, finished ninth in the finals of the 10,000-meter run with a time of 32:50.57, breaking her own school record by two seconds. Tank will also compete in the 5,000-meter final on Saturday. Weber State’s Lexie Thompson, a senior from American Fork, was 13th in 33.06.95.
In other news, BYU’s Kate Hunter finished 10th in the 1,500 semifinals and failed to advance despite running a season-best 4:13.45.
Sara Musselman failed to advance to the finals of the steeplechase, finishing ninth in 9:55.61.
Kate Sorensen, a junior from Weber State, failed to qualify for the finals of the 400-meter hurdles, clocking 59.42, some two seconds off her time at the West Region meet.
The BYU 4x400 relay team of Meghan Hunter, Lauren and Alena Ellsworth and Seymour finished a non-qualifying 15th out of 24 teams with a time of 3:37.05.