BYU Gains Big Meet Experience in Arkansas

PROVO -- Running against several of the top teams in the country, BYU recorded 12 top-ten finishes in eight different events at the Tyson Invitational, held Friday and Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark. on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Cougar tracksters also recorded five first-place finishes at the Wildcat Invitational in Ogden, Utah Saturday.

The Arkansas meet featured many of the top collegiate athletes from around the country as seven of the top ten women's teams and six of the top ten men's teams were represetnte. The meet also hosted some of the top runners in the United States as the second stop on the USA Track and Field's Golden Spike Tour.

Senior All-American Jim Roberts was the lone event winner for the BYU men's team, recording a first-place finish with a toss of 65'06.25" (19.97m) in the shot put. Senior All-American Kenneth Andam finished second in the finals of the 60-meters with a time of 6.71 seconds. The men's distance medley team, which had hoped to qualify for the NCAA Championships, finished fifth in 9:50.54.

The talented distance squad paced the BYU women's team, taking four of the top five places in the mile run. Senior All-American Melanie Steere won the race with a time of 4:48.37, just edging out teammate , who crossed the line in 4:48.86 for second place. Both times meet the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA meet. Sharolyn Shields-Thayer (4:50.19) and Jolee Gillespie (4:54.26) finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively, for the Cougars. Redshirt freshman Katie Martin won the 3,000-meters in 9:59.83 to record the only other event win for BYU. Other top-five finishers were Jeana Bingham (2nd, 5'09.75") and Analee Carter (5th, 5'06") in the high jump, Kirsten Bolm (4th, 8.38) in the 60-meter hurdles, and Sarah Ellett (4th, 17:00.01) in the 5,000-meters.

On Saturday the BYU teams sent several athletes to compete in the Wildcat Invitational. The Cougars combined to record five first-place finishes at the meet. The sprinters started strong for BYU, with freshman Rod Wilkerson picking up the win in the men's 55-meters with a time of 6.52 seconds and sophomore Misty Jorgensen taking the women's 55-meters in 7.12. The Cougar distance squads made impressive showings as well, taking many of the top places in both sections of the 3,000-meters. On the men's side, freshman Brett Andrus took first place with a time of 8:51.89, and teammates Ammon Larsen (8:54.86), Tyler Bushnell (8:55.16), and Andy Carman (8:58.23) finished in the 3rd through 5th spots. BYU finished seven runners in the top ten of the men's race, taking the 7th, 8th and 10th positions as well. In the women's race, Sarah Ellis recorded a first-place finish in 10:22.50 to lead three Cougars in the top five. Melody Sheppard finished third in 10:32.57, and Amy Bair ran 10:38.89 for fifth place. The other BYU victory came in the field events, where freshman Maret Komarova turned in a first-place with a leap of 18'08.25" in the long jump.

For complete results of the Wildcat Invitational, go to

For results from the Arkansas competition, go to