Conference Championships Officially Begin

Freshman JennaBree Tollestrup is currently fifth in the decathlon with three events to go. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The 2006 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Championships have begun and the Cougar track and field athletes are set to compete against several of the nation's best.

That competition began with the men's and women's multi-events Wednesday. BYU senior Devin Howe is in third place after competing in the first half of the decathlon events. He won the 400 meters with a time of 49.74 and took second in the high jump with a height of 6 feet 6.25 inches to earn his position. Teammate Kevin Keys is in sixth place and took an individual title in the shot put with a throw of 43 feet 9 inches.

The women's heptathlon competition is led by Kristin Olafsdottir of San Diego State University, who is ranked 12th nationally in the multi-events. BYU's JennaBree Tollestrup finished fifth in the opening day of her first outdoor conference competition. She took second in the 200 meters with a time of 25.21. Veteran Cougar Liis Berendsen followed with an eighth-place finish for the day.

The decathlon and heptathlon final events begin Thursday at 12 p.m. The weekend will then be packed with athletes giving it their all with the hopes of a MWC title. Friday begins at 11 a.m. with several qualifying races and various finals. The events will continue into Saturday and will conclude with an award's presentation at 3:30 p.m.

The Championships is an opportunity for track and field teams from each of the nine schools in the conference to show the talent of their athletes. Nine women's teams and six men's teams are competing for the MWC title during the four days of competition. The Cougar men are looking for their seventh consecutive MWC Outdoor Championships title, and the women for their sixth in seven years.

For results, visit www.themwc.com and www.byutrack.com. The Clarence F. Robison Track will also be home to the NCAA Regionals May 26-27. For ticket information visit www.byucougars.com.