Cougars Successful at Air Force Invitational

All-American Mindy Neeley qualified for tomorrow's 200-meter final with a first place finish in Friday's preliminary competition. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men and women’s track teams got off to a solid start at the Air Force Invitational finishing strong in the preliminary rounds on Friday.

“We got off to a really good start,” said BYU men’s track and field head coach Mark Robison. “Most of our athletes made it through to the finials, so hopefully tomorrow will be really good for us.”

Clearing the field events, junior Leif Arrhenius placed first in the weight throw with a distance of 67 feet 25 inches.

In the 400-meter several of the men qualified for the finals. Kevin Biesinger placed second, followed by freshman Rhyan Atrice in third with Rob Skidmore placing sixth with his best time this season.

In the 200-meter Skidmore and Biesinger advanced to the final round, while Justin Hedin and Drew Foster will represent the Cougars going into the 800-meter finals.

The No. 18 women’s track team set themselves up well for Saturday’s competition.

“We had great performances tonight,” said BYU women’s track and field head coach Craig Poole. “If we compete like we did today we should have some really good results tomorrow.”

All-American Mindy Neeley set the tone for the Cougars taking first in the 200-meter (24.25) placing her second in the Mountain West Conference standings. Also performing well for BYU and qualifying for Saturday’s 200-meter final were MWC Player of the Week Natalie Stewart, junior All-American Amy Menlove and standout sophomore Mindy Robins.

The success continued for the Cougars in the 400-meter race when freshman Nachelle Stewart sprinted to a first place finish in a time of 55.57. Stewarts qualifying performance was more than a second faster than anyone competing in the event.

The finals of the Air Force Invitational will take place tomorrow. Also competing on Saturday for the Cougars will be the distance runners, who are competing in Seattle at the Washington Invitational. The rest of the BYU men’s and women’s track teams will be competing in Pocatello, Idaho at the Medalist’s Invitational.

For results of all three track meets visit TrackShark.com.