BYU’s Clayton Young wins national championship in 10,000 meters, two other Cougars in top four

Nine members of BYU's track team qualified for the West Preliminaries in the 10,000 meter run. From left to right: Dallin Farnsworth, Clayton Young, Rory Linkletter, Conner Mantz, Michael Ottesen, Connor Weaver, Brayden McLelland, Connor McMillan and Danny Carney. Linkletter, McMillan, Mantz, Young, Farnsworth and Weaver qualified for nationals and will compete Wednesday, June 5, in Austin, Texas. Photo courtesy of Nate Edwards, BYU Photo.

BYU’s NCAA-record six entrants into the men’s 10,000 meters at the NCAA Track and Field Championships lived up to the hype Wednesday night.

BYU senior Clayton Young is the national champion in the event after posting a time of 29 minutes, 16.60 seconds, while teammates Connor McMillan and Conner Mantz were third and fourth, respectively, at Mike A. Myers Track and Soccer Stadium in Austin, Texas.

Young becomes BYU’s first men’s outdoor national track champion since Kyle Perry won the 3,000 meter steeplechase 10 years ago. Head coach Ed Eyestone was BYU’s last 10,000 meters national champion — in 1984 and 1985.

The Cougars earned 21 points in the team standings with the performance. West Preliminaries champion Rory Linkletter was 15th, while Dallin Farnsworth placed 21st and and Connor Weaver took 23rd.

In the men’s steeplechase, BYU’s Matt Owens, Clayson Shumway, Kenneth Rooks and Jake Heslington all qualified for the finals. That equals the most qualifiers in NCAA history in that event.

Heslington and Owens tied for ninth, while Rooks was 11th in qualifying and Shumway 12th.

BYU’s Brian Matthews finished the first day of the decathlon with 3,860 points and is in 14th place overall. He went into the meet ranked 24th in the event.

BYU’s Talem Franco was third in his heat in the men’s 1,500 meters with a run of three minutes, 44 seconds and qualified for the final.

BYU’s men’s 4x400 team of Abram Schaap, Michael Bluth, Blake Ellis and Colten Yardley posted a 3:08.02 time and was 8th in their heat, 19th overall, and did not advance to the finals.

Southern Utah’s Skyler Porcaro earned second-team All-American honors with a throw of 218 feet, 9 inches in the men’s javelin, good for 16th place. SUU’s Kasey Knevelbaard advanced to the finals of the men’s 1,500 meters with a time of 3:46.47. SUU’s George Espino was 19th in the 800 meter preliminaries and did not advance to the finals.

Utah State’s Sindri Gudmundsson finished fourth in the men’s javelin, earning All-America honors for the third straight year.

Women’s events at the meet begin Thursday.