NCAA track and field: 6-time All-American Allphin leads BYU women at championships

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EUGENE, Ore. — With the final jump of her collegiate career, Cierra Tidwell Allphin went to a place few BYU track and field athletes have been before.

Allphin cleared a season-high mark of 1.87 meters (6 feet, 1 1/2 inches) to earn seventh-place honors in the women's high jump to lead the Cougars on the final day of the NCAA women's championships Saturday in Eugene, Oregon.

It's the sixth time Allphin has earned All-American status in her career — including four first-team honors, and one of just four BYU women's track athletes all-time with the distinction. The senior from Mesa, Arizona, holds the No. 2 mark in program history in the outdoor high jump, a 1.88-meter leap that was just above her final clearance Saturday.

"All offseason I've been struggling to get back up to those higher heights," said Allphin, who also holds the school record in the indoor high jump with a leap of 1.89 meters achieved at the BYU December Invitational in 2023. "I'm really happy that I could get a season-best today."

Illinois' Rose Yeboah and Georgia's Elena Kulichenko both cleared a meet-record mark of 1.97 meters (6-5 1/2) in the high jump final.

Sadie Sargent laid down a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 30.63 seconds in the 5,000-meter final, topping her previous top mark by nearly 4 seconds. That was good for eighth place and first-team All-American status for the senior from Coalville who was a member of the distance medley relay national championship squad from the indoor season.

Sargent is one of two first-team All-Americans from BYU's distance ranks, joining teammate Jenna Hutchins' nod with her sixth-place finish in Thursday's 10,000-meter final.

"I'm very grateful for the journey and for coach (Diljeet) Taylor believing in me through all of these years," Sargent said. "I'm also grateful for my teammates. I trained with some of the best women in the nation, and they pushed me to get to this point."

Florida's Parker Valby won the event in a collegiate-record time of 14:52.18, her sixth individual national championship and fourth in the 2024 season. The Gators finished second in the team tally by 4 points to Arkansas' ninth team title in program history. Texas was third, followed by Oregon and Ole Miss. BYU collected 7 points, tied for 40th nationally.

Taylor Lovell finished the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:48.39, good for ninth place as the freshman totaled the sixth-fastest time in program history. The youngster from Gilbert, Arizona, added second-team All-American honors, finishing 33 seconds behind NCAA champion and Alabama freshman Doris Lemngole.

BYU junior Gretchen Hoekstre finished 22nd in the women's discus with a throw of 50.83 meters (166 feet, 7 inches).

"I'm so proud of the way my women competed this weekend," said Diljeet Taylor, the BYU associate director of track and field and women's distance coach. "To come in with four women at this caliber of meet and walk away with two All Americans and four personal bests is something I am very proud of. These women represent this program with the utmost class and I am honored to be their coach."


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