Three BYU women’s track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA outdoor track and field championships after Thursday’s performances in the west preliminary round at John McDonnell Field in Fayetteville, Arkansas. 

Ashton Riner placed first in the javelin, highlighted by an opening throw of 57.25m/187-10. Teammate Alex McAllister qualified by finishing seventh with a throw of 52.26m/171-5. 

“There was a lot of pressure hanging on Ashton as she came in ranked No. 1 in the country,” BYU assistant coach Niklas Arrenhius said. “It’s tough when everyone is looking at you and the announcer is mentioning that you’re No. 1, but she did what she needed to, to qualify for nationals.”

It marks the first time in program history that BYU has had two qualify for nationals in the javelin. 

“Alex graduated from Southern Utah last year and transferred to BYU with the sole purpose of making it to nationals,” Arrhenius said. “She finished 13th at the preliminary meet last year. It was amazing to see her qualify for nationals on what could have been the very last throw of her collegiate career. I wanted her to be here. It means a lot to me to see her reach nationals.”  

4 Cougars qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships

Meanwhile, Aubrey Frentheway also secured a bid to nationals by finishing 11th in the 10,000 meters with a time of 33:55.84. 

In other events held Thursday, Adaobi Tabugbo advanced to the quarterfinals of the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 13.48. She captured the final quarterfinal qualifying position. 

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In the 1500-meters, Carmen Alder (4:18.235), Kate Hunter (4:21.15) and Heather Hanson (4:21.34) each finished in the top-5 of their respective heats to advance to a quarterfinal race on Saturday.

In the 800-meters, Claire Seymour (2:04.998) and Lauren Ellsworth-Barnes (2:05.99) also qualified them for a Saturday quarterfinal.

Halley Folsom Walker (57.67) advanced to the quarterfinals in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time moved her from No. 6 to No. 5 in school history. 

While the women who qualified for quarterfinal competition won’t compete again until Saturday, the BYU men will finish their preliminary competition Friday at 2 p.m. MDT, with live streak coverage beginning at 5 p.m. MDT on SEC Network+.

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