Cougars Send Eight To NCAA Championships

PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's track teams will send a total of eight athletes to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet, to be held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., will take place Friday and Saturday.

The BYU men will be sending two representatives to compete at the NCAA meet. The men will be led by All-American Jeff Hansen, who is the top ranked pole vaulter in the nation coming into the week with a height of 18-2.25. The other BYU representative on the men's side is Aron Szmuda in the long jump, who is ranked fifth for the long jump coming in with a leap of 25-6.25.

For the BYU women's team, the distance squad is sending four runners in two races. Senior All-American Tara Northcutt looks to end a stellar BYU career on a high note in the 5,000 meter. Northcutt's eligibility will end afterf the indoor season. Northcutt, currently ranked eighth in the nation with a time of 16:21.87, will be joined in the 5,000 by fellow All-American Lindsey Thomsen, who is ranked 10th with a time of 16:24.87, and Devra Vierkant, 12th in 16:25.25. The other member of the distance team is Michaela Manova, ranked sixth in the 3000 meter with a time of 9:18.49. BYU also has high hopes for their distance medley relay team, which is ranked seventh coming into the meet with a time of 11:19.76.

On the field, the BYU women send two freshmen to compete in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor meet. Candace Clifford andLindsey Steele are tied for the 11th-best height in the nation at 5-11.0.

The NCAA Indoor Championships begin Friday at noon, with events running through 9:00 p.m. Saturday's action kicks off at 2 p.m. and the final event is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m. (all times are central). For a complete schedule of events, go to,5920,1_713_0_9618,00.html.