NCAA track and field: BYU women add to 'Steeplechase U' history; Hutchins 6th in 10,000M

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SALT LAKE CITY — Steeplechase U. at BYU track and field has added another line to its storied history.

Among the standouts from the first day of the NCAA women's track and field championship was BYU's Taylor Lovell, who advanced to the finals of the 3,000-meter steeplechase by finishing 10th overall in 9 minutes, 54.10 seconds at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.

The freshman from Gilbert, Arizona, finished fourth in her heat to advance automatically to Saturday's final, which will run just before 4 p.m. MDT on ESPN. It's the fifth consecutive season that a BYU athlete will compete in the women's steeplechase final, a run that includes Courtney Wayment's record-setting national title run two years ago.

"Today was a lot of fun, especially being in this stadium," Lovell said. "I just wanted to have fun and compete; and I knew that if I did that, I would make it through."

Lovell wasn't the only one who impressed.

Competing in her first NCAA championships, Jenna Hutchins ran a personal-best 32:44.05 in the 10,000-meter final to earn first-team All-American honors. Running out of the fifth position in the finals, the sophomore from Johnson City, Tennessee, who was the No. 1 recruit in the recruiting class of 2020, added to her already lasting legacy with the No. 2 mark in program history.

That goes along with Hutchins' No. 3 all-time mark of 15:30.99 in the 5,000-meter indoor race, as well as top-six marks in the 5,000-meter outdoor and 3,000-meter indoor.

"I felt great," Hutchins told after the race. "Honestly, I wanted to go into the race tonight and not worry about outcome, try my best at running within myself; and I feel like I started out really smart and at the end wanted to go. I'm super happy with All-American my first time in my first (outdoor championship)."

BYU sophomore Riley Chamberlain touted second-team All-America honors with a personal-best 4:10.24 to finish 13th overall in the 1,500-meter preliminary round. Utah's Erin Vringer added a school-record 4:16.66 for 21st in the same event.

"I was very impressed with how composed and competitive all three of my women were today," said BYU women's coach Diljeet Taylor, who specializes in the distance events. "You always want them to compete at the meet that matters the most and have them showcase their best selves, and I think they all did that today."

BYU's Jaslyn Gardner added a 15th-place finish in the 100-meter dash in 11.239 seconds, good for fourth in her heat. The senior from Enterprise earned second-team All-American status after becoming just the second 100-meter sprinter from the Cougars' women's program to compete in the national championships.

BYU's Rebekah Erikson cleared 4.30 meters (14-1 1/4) for 11th place in the pole vault, and second-team All-American honors.

Before heading to the European championships to represent her native Norway and the Summer Olympics in Paris this summer, Utah's Josefine Eriksen laid down a personal-best 2:01.66 for 11th place in the 800-meter prelims.

Utah sophomore Harley Daniel wrapped up her season with a sixth-place finish in her 400-meter hurdle heat in 57.56 seconds, good for 17th overall.

Utah's record-setting 4x400-meter team of Eriksen, Daniel, Emily Martin and Bailey Kealamakia finished seventh in the first heat, No. 19 overall with a time of 3:34.50.

"It's been a fantastic season," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "So many all-time records, top-5 and top-10 performances. Everyone ran well tonight. Josie drew the toughest heat in the 800m and just missed qualifying for the final in addition to just missing out on breaking her own school record. Harley ran her second fastest time ever in the 400m hurdles as a sophomore in her first NCAA appearance.

"Erin competed well by running within three seconds of her PR in the fastest 1500 NCAA Championship field ever in her first appearance at this meet. The relay competed well in its first appearance at this meet as well. They came up one spot short of this meet a year ago so to return this year and be the first relay in Utah history to advance to this meet is a tribute to their hard work and belief in each other."

Friday wraps up the NCAA men's track and field championships, including finals performance from 3,000-meter steeplechaser James Corrigan (7:24 p.m. MDT, ESPN2) and Aidan Troutner in the 5,000-meter final (8:55 p.m. MDT, ESPN2).

BYU's Dallin Shurts will also compete in the discus throw, beginning at 6:35 p.m. MDT on ESPN+.


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