Cougars Heading to Mess with Texas at Relays

Greg Flint and 20 other BYU athletes get ready to compete at the Texas Relays this weekend.

PROVO -- Twenty-one BYU track and field athletes are heading to one of the largest and most widely acclaimed track meets this weekend at the Texas Relays in Austin.

The competition begins Wednesday and Thursday with the men's decathlon and continues Friday and Saturday with the field and running events.

"At this meet our athletes have the opportunity to compete with the best kids in the nation," women's head coach Mark Robison said.

Essentially, this meet is the closest BYU athletes will get to top national competition before the National Championships return to the same site in Austin for the 2004 NCAA National Championships in June.

"We are excited for a couple of reasons," men's head coach Mark Robison said. "First, we don't get to do very many decathlons and so this is a good opportunity for us. Hopefully our men will earn qualifying marks. Second, this is great competition and third it is the site of the NCAA competition in June."

BYU will be sending Jennifer Rockwell-Grossarth, Annalee Walcott, Mariam Fisher, Lindsey Metcalf, Amy Menlove, Kamila Rywelska and Liis Berendsen on the women's side.

The men will be taking a much larger squad entering several relays in the meet including the 4x400m, 4x800m and the 4000m DMR.

"We are going to be taking a 4x800m team," men's distance coach Ed Eyestone said. "We think we can go for the title with a tough 800 squad. Hopefully we can bring back the trophy."

The men will face tough competition for LSU, the Indoor NCAA Champions, University of Arkansas and University of Kentucky.

Also competing on the men's side will be the Arrhenius brothers, hurdlers Ben Gardner and Greg Flint, jumper Rodrigo Mendes in his first outdoor competition, vaulters Trent Powell and Robison Pratt and decathletes Devin Scoresbee and All-American Curtis Pugsley.

All the athletes are looking to improve on their best marks and qualify for regionals or NCAA competition.

"The competition will be windy so it will be great for us to experience that," Robison said. "The oval race are not as fast, but otherwise it will be faster than lightening."