Cougars to Open Competition at NCAA Championships

Ryan Waite and the Cougars will compete at the 2010 NCAA Championships in Eugene, Ore. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

EUGENE -- The BYU men’s and women’s track and field teams open competition at the 2010 NCAA Championships today in Eugene, Ore. Eight men will compete in nine events while six women will compete in seven events with hopes of claiming All-America and National Champion status.

On the men’s side Leif Arrhenius placed sixth in the West Preliminary in both the shot put and discus. He will compete in the discus final on Wednesday at 2 p.m. PT and in the shot put final finals on Saturday at 9:40 a.m. Arrhenius was the Mountain West Conference champion in the discus and took second in the shot put.

BYU qualified a trio of javelin throwers in Sean Richardson, Blaine Baker and Chris Reno. Their final is scheduled for Thursday at 5:15 p.m. Rounding out the throwers is Oliver Whaley, who will compete in the hammer throw on Friday at 3:30 p.m. Richardson, Baker and Reno finished 10th, 11th and 12th, respectively at the West Preliminary. Reno won the javelin at the MWC championships while Richardson took second. Whaley took second in the hammer at the MWC championships.

Chris Little will represent the Cougars in the pole vault final on Thursday at 4 p.m. He was seventh at the West Preliminary. Little was the 2010 MWC champion in the pole vault.

Competing in preliminaries for the men are Ryan Waite in the 800 meters and Richard Nelson in the 3000 meter steeplechase. The 800 meter preliminary will be held Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. with the top 12 advancing to the final on Friday at 5:40 p.m. The steeplechase preliminary will be on Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. with the final on Friday at 6 p.m.

Waite was one of the top runners in the West Preliminary, taking fourth in the 800 meters. Nelson established himself as a potential favorite at nationals, taking first in the steeplechase at the West Preliminary. Both were MWC champions in their respective events.

Mindy McClurkin will compete in two events to lead the women. She opens with the 200 meter preliminary on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Should she qualify for the final, she will compete within an hour after competing in the long jump, scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The 200 meter final is schedule for the 10:41 a.m. the same day.

At the West Preliminary McClurkin took second in the long jump and eight in the 200 meters. She was the MWC champion in both the long jump and the 200 meters.

Lacey Cramer, Nachelle Stewart and Angela Wagner compete in the 800 meter preliminary on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. The final is scheduled for Friday at 5:50 p.m. Stewart was the top qualifier out of the West Preliminary while Cramer was fifth and Wagner 11th. The trio swept the top three spots in the MWC championships with Cramer taking first, Wagner second and Stewart third.

Cramer is a three-time All-American and one-time national champion in the event. In 2009 she was the indoor champion and an outdoor All-American with a fourth-place finish. This season she finished second in the indoor championships to earn All-America honors.

Ada Robinson will be BYU’s first competitor in a 2010 women’s final as she is scheduled to compete in the high jump on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. She finished 12th in the West Preliminary. Kari Clark will compete in the pole vault final on Friday at 4 p.m. Clark took fourth coming out of the West Preliminary. Robinson and Clark were MWC champs in their respective events.

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Men's Event Schedule

Name Event Prelims Final

Leif Arrhenius Discus N/A Wed., 2 p.m.

Ryan Waite 800 Meters Wed., 4:30 p.m. Fri., 5:40 p.m.

Richard Nelson Steeplechase Wed., 6:15 p.m. Fri., 6 p.m.

Chris Little Pole Vault N/A Thurs., 4 p.m.

Sean Richardson Javelin N/A Thurs., 5:15 p.m.

Blaine Baker Javelin N/A Thurs., 5:15 p.m.

Chris Reno Javelin N/A Thurs., 5:15 p.m.

Oliver Whaley Hammer N/A Fri., 3:30 p.m.

Leif Arrhenius Shot Put N/A Sat., 9:40 a.m.

Women's Event Schedule

Name Event Prelims Final

Ada Robinson High Jump N/A Wed., 4:45 p.m.

Lacey Cramer 800 Meters Wed., 4:45 p.m. Fri., 5:50 p.m.

Nachelle Stewart 800 Meters Wed., 4:45 p.m. Fri., 5:50 p.m.

Angela Wagner 800 Meters Wed., 4:45 p.m. Fri., 5:50 p.m.

Mindy McClurkin 200 Meters Thurs., 4:30 p.m. Sat., 10:41 a.m.

Kari Clark Pole Vault N/A Fri., 4 p.m.

Mindy McClurkin Long Jump N/A Sat., 9:30 a.m.