BYU Track Teams Impress at Mountain State Games

POCATELLO, Idaho (Feb. 2, 2002) The BYU men's and women's track teams brought home 10 event titles at the Mountain State Games in Pocatello and were able to qualify several individuals for the national meet.

The men's team brought home three event titles from the meet and had solid performances in several areas over the weekend.

"We were very competitive and nobody got hurt very badly, so we were able to accomplish our objectives at the meet," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "We had quite a bit of improvement, especially in the distance team and that is what we were looking for."

Leading the charge for the Cougar men was Matt Nielsen, who won the 200 title with a time of 21.85. Kish Beverley won the 400 for BYU in 48.12 but was pushed by teammate Matt Rowe, who finished third in 48.63.

The other Cougar victory came in the triple jump, with David Pendergrass leaping a distance of 46-05.00 to win that event. Daymon Visser had a good night in the 55-meter hurdles, finishing second in 7.74.

Other top BYU men's finishers in Pocatello were Matt Holcomb, who had a toss of 57-09.50 to finish second in the weight throw and John Hedengren, who ran a time of 8:34.33 in the 3,000-meter run to finish second.

The BYU women's distance squad had an especially impressive weekend, coming home with wins in four events along with one-two-three finishes in two of those events.

"We had a great meet and we put up some excellent times," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "Our distance medley team had a great time and we did well in every event."

Michaela Manova was the top Cougar, leading the way to a one-two-three finish in the mile with a time of 4:47.12. She was followed by Nan Evans in 5:00.19 and Anika Smith in 5:01.59. Manova also anchored the Cougars distance medley relay squad that had a national qualifying time of 11:31.34 for the win.

"Michaela Manova had a great weekend," Poole said. "She anchored our distance medley team and she had a great time in the mile."

Tara Northcutt led the way to the team's second one-two-three finish, covering the 5,000-meter run in 16:45.14, a national qualifying mark. She was followed closely by Devra Vierkant (16:46.77) and Lindsey Thomsen in 17:03.36.

For the fourth consecutive week, Nikki Hughes brought home a win for BYU, this time claiming the title in the 55-meter hurdles with a season-best time of 8.07. Lindsey Steele also performed well for the Cougars, winning the high jump with a 5-08.00 leap.

The BYU women's 4x400 relay team also won in 3:47.32. Rounding out the winners for the Cougar women was Lisa Antonelli, who had a time of 10:27.16 to win the 3,000-meter open title.