25 Qualify for Outdoor Nationals in Texas

Freshman Amy Menlove is the only female athlete to compete in two events, the long jump and 100-meter hurdles, at the NCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

PROVO -- After taking third and fourth place at the West Regional Championships last weekend, the BYU men's and women's track teams will be taking 16 men and 9 women to compete to the NCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships beginning Wednesday June 9 in Austin, Texas.

"This is just unbelievable to take so many to nationals," BYU men's coach Mark Robison said. "Having a big group like this is great. This is the most we've taken to nationals in a long time."

With the third fastest time in the nation, and the West Region title in the 1,500 meters, Nathan Robison will be looking to perform well along with Bryan Lindsay, who took second behind Robison at regionals. At the 2004 Indoor Championships, Robison captured the silver in the mile.

The men's distance squad will also include Matt Adams and Josh McAdams, who hold the sixth and 14th spot in the nation in the 3,000m steeplechase. After a very tight finish at regionals, Lars Kjerengtroen finished fifth in the 800 meters.

"Lars's finish was just so close at the end," Robison said. "If he wouldn't have bearly won, he wouldn't have qualified for nationals. It couldn't have been a more exciting way to qualify."

The Cougar women's distance team will also have depth, including All-Americans Kassi Andersen and Michaela Mannova in the 3,000m steeplechase, along with Lisa Antonelli-Pratt. This trio holds the first, third and sixth best times on the NCAA performance lists.

"Our distance squad was really strong this weekend," BYU women's coach Craig Poole said. "Kassi and Michaela did well, finishing second and third in the steeplechase. We'll also have Julie Cameron running the 1,500m, Suzanna Logan in the 5,000m and Laura Turner competing in the 10,000m at nationals."

In the hurdles, Greg Flint and Kansas Whitear will be competing in 400-meter hurdles after taking third and fifth place at regionals. On the women's side, freshman Amy Menlove will be running the 100-meter hurdles at nationals after taking fifth last weekend. She's also going in the long jump after finishing second at regionals and will be the only female athlete to qualify for nationals in two different events.

"Amy did very well," Poole said. "She has performed well this season and is coming on strong. As a freshman, she is developing really fast and should do well at nationals."

The field events should also be a strong area for both teams. The men's team will look to brothers Nik and Dan Arrhenius in the throwing events. Both Nik and Dan will compete in the discus with the seventh and 27th spot in the nation. After taking second at regionals in the discus, Nik will also participate in the shot put for the Cougars.

In the pole vault, Trent Powell and Robbie Pratt will look to perform well in the pole vault with the eighth and 14th spot on the NCAA performance list. Pratt also won the MWC pole vault title this season and finished second at regionals with a jump of 17-07.

The BYU triple jumpers Kamila Rywelska and Rodrigo Mendes should perform well at nationals after both claiming the MWC outdoor titles in this event. At regionals, Rywelska won the West Region title while Mendes took second. Their top jumps are currently ranked fourth and 12th in the nation.

"Kamila jumped very well, winning the triple jump," Poole said. "She also had some big jumps when she scratched, so she did do very well. Lindsey Metcalf did a great job in the high jump and should do great at nationals as well."

After placing fifth at regionals, All-American Lindsey Metcalf holds the sixth spot on the national performance list. She will look for another top finish after placing fifth at the 2004 Indoor National Championships.

In the men's decathlon, Curtis Pugsley will be competing after coming within 38 points of the NCAA automatic qualifying mark at the MWC Outdoor Championships. He is currently ranked 11th in the nation.

The only BYU relay team competing this season is the men's 4x400 relay team, comprised of Greg Flint, Matt Rowe, David Chesser and Paul Smith. Rowe will be the only male athlete competing in two events.

"I'm very excited about taking this relay team," Robison said. "This is the first time in at least 30 years that we've taken a relay team to nationals. Matt will also be competing in the 400m as well."

With 25 athletes competing in 19 events, the BYU men's and women's track teams will be looking for top finishes at the NCAA National Outdoor Track and Field Championships June 9-12 in Austin, Texas.