Chris Little won the pole vault this weekend at the Boise State Invitational. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
BOISE -- BYU’s track teams continued to show progress as they sent athletes to different meets at the Boise State Invitational and Washington Invite to showcase their talents.
The pole vault ended up being one of the Cougars strongest events, with four athletes finishing in the top six. Senior Chris Little won the event, clearing 5.30m (17-04.50) while sophomore Victor Weirich and senior Tanner Emrich matching each other with a mark of 5.20m (17-00.75). Sophomore Tyler Brown finished in the six spot, going for 4.85m (15-11.00).
“I was pleased, I thought we had some good performances,” men’s coach Mark Robison said. “For the most part things went pretty well.”
Senior Phillip Bettis competed in his first full heptathlon of the season and finished second overall, scoring 5418 points. Freshman Josh Weirich took fourth place in the event with a score of 4851 in just his second collegiate heptathlon.
Junior Miles Batty impressed again in the mile, coming in first with a time of 4:00.91. Junior Justin Hedin finished fifth in the 800-meter in 1:49.59.
BYU’s jumpers faired well with senior Aaron Powell jumping 7.26m (23-10.00) for second place and freshman Drew Tingey adding a mark of 6.88m (22-07.00). In the triple jump junior Kyle Mills went for 14.12m (47-11.75) and junior Anse Myller DeAraujo jumped 14.40m (47-03.00).
In the sprints, the Cougars had sophomore Cade Lindahl run a personal best 47.63 in the 400-meter for second place. Sophomore James Derek McAllister finished fourth in the 200-meter with a time of 22.19 and junior James Ghormley picked up a fifth place finish in the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.06.
Several throwers did not compete for BYU this week, however freshman Zach Stetler had another strong performance with a mark of 16.26m (53-04.25) in the shot put.
Senior Porshe Giddings led the sprinters in Idaho by winning the 60m dash in 7.64 and taking the 200m in 24.23. This marks the third consecutive meet that Giddings has won both the 60m and 200m.
"We keep getting better every week," BYU women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "I think this was a good weekend for us and we continue to improve as a team."
Three other BYU sprinters also competed in the finals of the 60m, with Aubrey Hale taking fifth in 7.85, Arlene Gowar sixth in 7.85 and Fatima Makakala seventh in 7.88.
Senior Mindy Robins competed in the pentathlon for the first time in the 2011 season and finished first with 3573 points. Robins had previously competed in the 60m hurdles and long jump this season.
The pole vault was another strong event for the Cougars with sophomore Rachel Fisher winning with a vault of 4.05m (13-3.50). Freshman Elizabeth Portanova took fourth by clearing 3.50m (11-5.75).
In the triple jump sophomore Melissa Keltner won with a leap of 11.54m (37-10.50). Also winning in the field was junior Ada Robinson who cleared 1.75m (5-8.75) in the high jump for the victory. Diana Blauer took second in the event with a jump of 1.70m (5-7.00).
In Washington junior All-American Lacey Bleazard competed in the 800m for the first time this season. Bleazard finished second in 2:05.55 and was trailed closely by teammate Katie Palmer who finished third in 2:05.91.
"I think the 800m was our best event of the meet," Shane said. "Lacy (Bleazard) ran very well and Katie Palmer right there too. This will be a strong event for us moving forward."
Bleazard and Palmer also both competed on the distance medley relay team along with Nicole Clark and Natalie Stewart. The team finished second in 11:15.24, just behind an automatic-qualifying Oregon team.
Stewart also took third in the 400m dash with a season-best time of 55.58. Clark also competed alongside teammates Bleazard and Palmer in the 800m run and placed sixth in 2:08.38.
Both Cougar track and field teams will head to New York City to compete in the prestigious New Balance Invitational next Friday and Saturday.