PROVO -- For the first time in over 15 years, BYU will host an indoor track and field meet, but the only catch is that the meet is not at home. The Olympic Oval Invitational will be hosted in conjunction with the University of Utah and will take place at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns, Utah, this Saturday.
Blind curves at BYU's indoor track at the Smith Field House make the facility neither spectator friendly nor safe for competition. Women's head coach Craig Poole said although BYU is hosting the meet this weekend his team is still at a disadvantage.
"Because of the logistics of the meet, and because we have to travel to Salt Lake, for us it's still an away meet," he said.
The BYU coaches said they feel it is a great opportunity to compete at the Kearns facility, but the ultimate goal would be for BYU to have their own fully functioning indoor track facility.
"For the level and the prestige of our team, it doesn't fit the bill [not to have an indoor facility]," Poole said.
The Olympic Oval boasts a 442-meter state-of-the-art Mondo Super X track that has four lanes. One of the hockey rinks inside the track will be converted into the field area for the jumping pits and the throwing events. Also competing at the invitational will be the University of Utah, Weber State, the University of Illinois women's team and Southern Utah University's distance team.
A couple of exciting events to watch will be the men's mile, with some of best milers in the state competing, and the women's hurdles. University of Illinois' Perdita Felicien, 2002 NCAA Indoor Champion and record holder in the 60mH will be competing, and former BYU star Tiffany Lott-Hogan, who holds the World Indoor Record in the 55mH, will also run.
The Cougars started their season last week in Boise, Idaho. This week they look to improve on their performance in the last meet and have some athletes qualify for nationals.
The field events will go from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., and the running events will go from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.