PROVO -- Eight schools and more than 400 athletes are scheduled to compete at the 2005 Cougar Invitational this Friday at Clarence F. Robison Track in Provo.
Athletes from BYU, Boise State, Dine College, Wyoming, Utah State, Utah, Utah Valley State and Weber State will compete in the one-day event that begins at 11 a.m. with the women's hammer throw and concludes with men's 4x400 relay at 5 p.m.
The Cougars are excited to host the first of three meets during the outdoor season.
"We don't get many chances to compete at home," BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said. "The athletes are more confident when they're in front of their family and friends."
Robison also said the teams should get some more qualifying marks because the facilities are as good if not better than any other in the nation. He said he hoped to some better marks in the throws, jumps and relays.
BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said the home meet gives Cougar fans an opportunity to watch the highly successful BYU track teams.
"We hope people will come out and watch the winningest teams at BYU right now," Poole said.
Coming off a great weekend at meets in California and Arizona, the Cougars are looking to add some more regional qualifying marks during the meet.
The men's team has received 16 regional qualifying marks so far this season, including four athletes with qualifying marks in the 400-meter hurdles. Jake Garlick, Ben Gardner, Nate Rencher and Kansas Whitear have four of the top-5 marks of those competing in the meet. Only Utah State's Dustin Vetica has a comparable mark.
The women's team will look to add to its seven regional qualifying marks this season. The distance squad has been especially strong this season, led by All-American Heidi Magill and Chelsea Smith. Maret Komarova has also been strong in the throw events so far this season with qualifying marks in the javelin and shot put.
Several of the Cougar indoor All-Americans will be competing for the first time outdoors after getting rested up for the outdoor season.
Notables competing for the first time this season include Amy Menlove (sprints, hurdles, long jump), Lindsey Metcalf (high jump), Kamila Rywelska (triple jump) and Rodrigo Mendes (jumps).
"The girls who competed at indoor nationals should hit their regional qualifying marks this week," Poole said. "But it all depends on the weather."
The public is invited to attend the meet at Clarence F. Robison Track on BYU campus. Tickets are available for a small fee, with discounts for students and seniors. Those with All-Sport passes will be admitted free.
A complete schedule of events can be found on www.byutrack.com.