BYU Indoor Invitational
The women dominated the competition at the opening indoor meet, finishing at or near the top in every event. Senior Mindy McClurkin led the way in the long jump, with three other Cougars rounding out the top four. The pole vault was another top event for BYU, as they took the top six spots in the event. Tiana Illi and Cassandra Woodall took the top two spots in the shot put.
“We have done a very good job today,” said BYU women’s coach Craig Poole. “It’s the first meet, and I think we got some technical things worked out. We aren’t ready to set records just yet, but this was a solid start to the season.
Junior Ashleigh Jameson won the 200-meters in 24.99 seconds while competing in her first career collegiate track and field meet. All-American Lacey Cramer saw the track for the first time as a sophomore and won the mile in 4:59.49. The top two spots in the pole vault were held down by Cougar teammates Kari Clark (4.10m) and freshmen standout Rachel Fisher (4.00m).
“This meet brought us a lot of pleasant surprises,” coach Craig Poole said. “Jameson really stepped up in the 200, and is really getting her season off to a fast start.”
Cherry and Silver Invitational
Mindy McClurkin competed in three events for the first time of the 2010 season, and set personal indoor records in the 60m, 200m and long jump, while provisionally qualifying in the 200m (23.77). Natalie and Nachelle Stewart both had excellent meets, with Natalie taking second in the 400m in 54.72 and Nachelle finishing second in the 800m in a provisional qualifying time of 2:06.63.
“This was a very good meet for us, and we achieved some great marks,” head coach Craig Poole said. “Today was highlighted especially by Mindy McClurkin, the Stewart sisters and Kari Clark, but everyone did very well.”
The spectacular start to the season by senior Mindy McClurkin continued in Boise, with the senior winning the 60m (7.55) and 200m (23.81). Porshe Giddings finished in second to McClurkin in both sprint events, finishing the 60m in 7.66 and the 200m in 24.81. Senior Amy Otis won the 60m hurdles in 8.60 and was closely followed by Mindy Robins in 8.68. Ada Robinson took the victory in the high jump at 5-08.00 and Diana Blauer placed third by clearing 5-06.00.
“We had a great meet here in Boise, to go along with the great meet we had in Washington,” coach Craig Poole said. “Everyone here did really well, and it went as well as we could have hoped. It was a tough week of practice leading up to this weekend, and everyone did really well and there were a few pleasant surprises.”
Several distance runners competed at the UW Invitational and had success. Three athletes provisionally qualified in the 800m, with Lacey Cramer leading the way in 2:05.19, Nachelle Stewart close behind in 2:05.27 and Angela Wagner finishing in 2:06.48. The three 800m runners also competed in the distance medley, along with Natalie Stewart, and finished in a provisional qualifying time of 11:17.12.
“I was really excited to get an eight-hundred under me,” said Cramer. “But I was a little bit nervous for the DMR because I had never run a 1200-meter race before. But it was a really nice track and I am exited for the rest of the season.”
New Balance Invitational
At one of the premiere meets in the country, the Cougars rose to the occasion and finished second as a team. Mindy McClurkin again led the team, this time with a third place 200m finish (23.80), a victory in the long jump (6.44m) and an anchor leg to remember in the victorious 4x200m relay (1:38.64). McClurkin earned Athlete of the Meet honors for her accomplishments. Other Cougar victories came from Lacey Cramer in the 800m (2:05.33) and the 4x800m relay team of Michaelanne Laurent, Ashlee Thomas, Nicole Clark and Lisa Drury.
“This was an outstanding meet for our team,” women’s head coach Craig Poole said. “Our entire coaching staff is very pleased with our overall performance. Every part of our team contributed this weekend, and it was one of the best meets of the year.”
Mountain States Games
Top performances at the Mountain States Games came from a variety of places, starting with Ashley Nichols second place 800m performance (2:23.63). Junior Alyssa Christensen grabbed fourth in the 60m hurdles in 8.95 and Chelsea Taylor won the 400m in 58.70. Shanie Bushman snagged third place in the pole vault with a clearance height of 3.65m and Carly Allen finished fourth in the triple jump.
Air Force Open
The women entered this meet as the number two-ranked team in the country, its highest ranking in school history. Ada Robinson was the top finisher on the day, taking first in the high jump by clearing 5-10.75. Amy Otis also finished atop the medal stand, winning the 60m hurdles in 8.40. Natalie Stewart ran well in the 400m, finishing second in 55.44, and only losing to a professional track athlete. Otis and Stewart then teamed up with Mindy Robins and Chelsea Taylor to win the 4x400m relay in 3:52.30.
“We had a pretty good meet here at Air Force, and quite a few girls improved their marks heading into conference,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We will rest and recover this coming week, and will work on refining everything before we head to conference.”
Two 800m runners set personal bests at the meet, with Angela Wagner provisionally qualifying in 2:05.72 and Nicole Clark finishing in 2:09.27. Three BYU runners competed in the mile against tough competition and finished in the top-30 while running season-best times. Michaelanne Laurent (4:49.23), Sarah Yingling (4:52.12) and Lisa Drury (5:01.35) all improved on marks set earlier in the season.
“We had a wonderful meet, and almost all the girls achieved new personal records,” distance coach Patrick Shane said. “It was a great meet, especially since we were here two weeks ago, then at New York and now back in Washington. Its not easy on the athletes going coast-to-coast like that.”
MWC Indoor Championships
On their way to capturing a second-consecutive indoor MWC Championship, the Cougars saw four athletes win individual MWC Championships. Mindy McClurkin won the 200m, second in the long jump and third in the 60m. Ada Robinson won the high jump crown by clearing 1.81m on her final jump. All-American Lacey Cramer defended her 800m crown, winning the event in a MWC Championship-record time of 2:05.55. The fourth victorious BYU runner was senior Angela Wagner, who won the mile in 4:55.87.
“We did well in a number of events,” said BYU head coach Craig Poole. “The girls competed well, it was fun.”
NCAA Indoor Championships
Looking to improve on their third-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships in 2009, the Cougars came into the meet ready to compete. Lacey Cramer was under one-tenth of a second from repeating as the indoor 800m champion, taking second in 2:03.89. Senior Mindy McClurkin finished her final indoor season at BYU with a great performance, taking second in the long jump with a BYU-record leap of 6.69m. Cramer and McClurkin were joined on the All-American list by teammate Amy Otis, who finished 13th in the pentathlon but eighth among American competitors. As a team the Cougars finished 14th with 16 points.
“We had a good finish to the meet today,” head coach Craig Poole said. “Lacey, Rachel and Amy all did really well and competed to the best of their ability, and we are definitely proud of all of them.”OUTDOOR
UC Irvine Invitational
Sophomore Sarah Edwards led the way in the first outdoor meet, winning the 800m race in 2:10.11, a time that ranked third in the West Region at the time. Alyssa Christensen won the 400m hurdles in 1:01.38 and managed second in the 100m hurdles in 14.51. In the field events, senior Ashley Dziendziel dominated the high jump by clearing 1.73m (5-08.00) while Tipaleli Fotu won the hammer throw with a toss of 49.98m (164-00).
“This was a very good meet that was well attended and provided very good competition,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We had some good performances. The 800 run was a great race.”
Returning for their first meet since the NCAA Indoor Championships, All-Americans Mindy McClurkin and Lacey Cramer led the Cougars with great performances. McClurkin neared career bests in the sprints, taking first in the 200m (23.58) and second in the 100m (11.70). Cramer won the 800m in 2:06.57, with Nachelle Stewart taking a close second in 2:06.84. Natalie Stewart competed well in her events as well, taking second in the 400m in 54.56 and fifth in the 200m in 24.37.
“Everything went really well this weekend,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “It was the first outdoor meet for a lot of girls, and we put up a lot of good marks that are encouraging for the rest of the season.”
Mindy McClurkin leapt a MWC-best 6.43m (21-01.25) and placed second in the long jump, and also ran a personal best and MWC-leading 11.60 in the 100m. Senior Kari Clark took third in the pole vault, clearing 4.21m (13-09.25) while freshman Rachel Fisher grabbed sixth, clearing 4.11m (13-05.75). In the high jump, Diana Blauer won the B division with a leap of 1.71m (5-07.25) and Ashley Dziendziel took second at 1.66m (5-05.25).
“Mindy ran and jumped really well today,” head coach Craig Poole said. “She got a lifetime best in the 100-meters, and that is a really great accomplishment, but all the kids here really competed hard today.”
BYU Cougar Invitational
In competition for the first time since her 2009 All-American campaign, Katie Palmer-Cox won the 1500m steeplechase in 5:01.53, and was followed by five other Cougars in places two through six. Mille Rapp won her first meet of the season, taking the 5000m race in 17:52.11. Alyssa Christensen competed in both hurdle events, taking third in the 100m hurdles (14.42) and second in the 400m hurdles (1:00.85). In her first career outdoor meet, soccer turned sprinter Ashleigh Jameson won the 200m (24.47) and took second in the 100m (12.29).
“We are right where we need to be right now,” head coach Craig Poole said. “Our athletes are right on schedule, and we will start to see some really good marks in the coming weeks.”
Sun Angel Classic
At the annual Classic meet at Arizona State, sophomore Nachelle Stewart ran a personal-best 800m (2:06.19) to win the premiere division race. Competing for the first time during her senior outdoor season, Angela Wagner won the 1500m race in 4:30.18. Natalie Stewart again ran well in the quarter-mile race, finishing second among collegians in 54.26. Also putting forth a strong performance was the 4x100m relay team of Porshe Giddings, Natalie Stewart, Amy Otis and Ashleigh Jameson, as they ran a season-best time of 46.01.
“We had a very, very good meet today,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We are exactly where we want to be right now, and I expect some great marks by the time the Robison Invitational comes around.”
Utah Spring classic
The Cougars saw two athletes garner first place victories in Salt Lake City, the first coming from Cassandra Woodall. Woodall won the shot put with a toss of 13.84m (45-05.00) and also placed fourth in the hammer throw at 46.27m (151-09.75). Shanie Bushman brought home the second victory, hers coming by way of a 3.65m (11-11.75) pole vault height. The 100m dash was also a strong event for BYU, with three Cougars (Emily Page, Katie Eddington and Jasmine Bingham) placing in the top eight spots.
“Our team is just doing very well right now,” head coach Craig Poole said. “We are progressing with each week, and will continue to improve.”
Mt. SAC Relays
Continuing her record-setting outdoor season, senior Mindy McClurkin won three events in Sacramento. She finished the 100m in 11.60 (3rd in BYU history), the 200m in 23.43 (BYU record) and leapt 6.61m (BYU record) in the long jump. Meanwhile, All-American Lacey Cramer beat all collegians in the 800m run, finishing in an NCAA West Region-leading 2:03.91.
“It was a fun day,” McClurkin said. “My family was able to come and watch, which was great. I had been preparing for this meet since the Texas Relays, so I am really pleased with my results.”
Mark Faldmo Invitational
The top performance at the Utah State came from sophomore pole vaulter Kelli Ehardt, who cleared 3.86m (12-08.00) on her way to the victory. Sarah Lancaster was another Cougar that earned first place honors, winning the javelin in 40.42m (132-07). Tiana Illi managed to finish in the top three in two events, taking second in the discus (45.53m) and third in the shot put (13.96m).
BYU Robison Invitational
Several Cougars managed dominant performances at the annual home Invitational, despite schedule changes due to stormy weather. Senior Mindy McClurkin had a typical day at the track, winning the 100m (11.65) and 200m (23.30 – BYU record) by large margins. Natalie Stewart finished second behind McClurkin in the 200m in a personal best 23.85, and saved energy for the 400m as well, running the second best MWC time of the year at 53.91. In the field, Ashley Dziendziel (1.78m) and Ada Robinson (1.78m) finished first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Rachel Lange won the 1500m race in 4:39.24, despite being nicked by an errant hammer throw early in the race. BYU also swept the top two spots in the 400m hurdles, with Alyssa Christensen taking first in 1:00.99 and Chelsea Taylor placing second in 1:01.53.
“I saw lots of good things happen today,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We had a lot of personal records and even a few school records.”
Weber State Twilight
Battling chilly weather conditions at the final regular season meet of 2010, BYU won eight events at the meet in Ogden, Utah. First place finishes included Mindy McClurkin in the 100m (12.09), Michaelanne Laurent in the 1500m (4:37.92), Nachelle Stewart in the 400m (56.19), Angela Wagner in the 800m (2:08.98), Diana Blauer in the high jump (1.71m) and Sarah Lancaster in the javelin (43.45m). Other victories in the field events came from Melissa Keltner in the triple jump (11.52m) and Shanie Bushman in the pole vault (3.50m).
MWC Outdoor Championships
The final day of the MWC Outdoor Championships was one for the record books. After entering the last day of competition in third place, the Cougars pulled together to put on a dominant performance, eventually winning by 83 points. Mindy McClurkin earned the High Point Award due to victories in the 100m (11.66), 200m (23.32), long jump (6.63m) and 4x100m relay (44.76). All-American Lacey Cramer successfully defended her outdoor 800m crown, winning the race in 2:04.67, narrowly edging teammate Angela Wagner, who finished second in 2:04.94. In the high jump, Ada Robinson cleared a season-best 1.82m (5-11.50) to win the event, and senior Ashley Dziendziel took second by clearing 1.79m (5-10.50). In one of the more surprising events of the day, junior Alyssa Christensen ran a personal-best time in the 400m hurdles, winning the event in 59.34. Senior Kari Clark won her first MWC title in the pole vault, leaping near a season best at 4.20m. Defending 1500m champion Katie Palmer-Cox was unable to defend her title, but still scored eight team points by finishing second in 4:31.80.
“We really came out today and did what we needed to do,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We had great performances all around, from Mindy (McClurkin) taking both the sprints to our two high jumpers (Ada Robinson and Ashley Dziendziel) finishing one – two. It was just a great day.”
NCAA West Preliminary
Ten athletes competed in seven events at the NCAA West Preliminary, with six athletes moving on to the National Championships. The 800m was the most successful event for the Cougars, with three athletes moving on. Nachelle Stewart finished first in 2:04.26, Lacey Cramer fifth in 2:05.32 and Angela Wagner 11th in 2:05.52. Mindy McClurkin qualified in two events, taking second in the long jump (6.54m) and eighth in the 200m (23.60). Also moving on were Kari Clark in the pole vault (4.20m) and Ada Robinson in the high jump (1.78m).
“We did some very good things today,” women’s head coach Craig Poole said. “Mindy ran a fine race and we’re proud of Ada for qualifying. Leli (Fotu) did a great job in the hammer and improved on her ranking. All in all we’re pleased with our efforts this weekend and look forward to nationals.”
NCAA Outdoor Championships
Rainy weather dampened the atmosphere in Eugene, Oregon for the National Championships, and dampened the performances of the Cougars as well. Despite qualifying six athletes for seven events, BYU managed just one All-American honor. Mindy McClurkin finished third in the long jump at 6.53m to earn her final honor as a collegiate athlete, and scored the only team points for BYU on the day. The biggest disappointment came in the 800m run. Three Cougars, Angela Wagner, Nachelle Stewart, and Lacey Cramer, struggled to run in the rain and did not get past the semi-final heat. The six team points scored by McClurkin in the long jump gave the Cougars a 36th place overall finish.