Heading to Northridge, Hoping for Nationals

PROVO -- After winning the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships, 51 BYU regional qualifiers are heading to Cal State Northridge to claim spots for nationals at the NCAA Regional Championships.

After capturing the men's and women's conference outdoor title, the Cougars look to continue their success as they look to qualify in 21 events and add another top team finish this Friday and Saturday.

"Because the strength and depth of our team is very important to us, we should have a pretty good chance to have a number of national qualifiers," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "I expect us to finish in the top three this weekend at regionals."

Likewise, the women's team feels confident and ready for this chance to qualify for nationals, especially with many top times in the region and nation.

"This should be a good and exciting meet for us," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "We expect to qualify everyone we take. Our team is in good position to do well."

Although some teams have athletes in only a few key events, the Cougars will face tough competition from the West Region, especially from members of the Pac-10.

"Some fields will be small, but we'll face the toughest competition from Pac-10 contenders like UCLA and Oregon," Robison said. "We should have some competition in the sprints from Arizona State as well."

To qualify for regionals, athletes must finish in the top five of their individual events. The NCAA will examine the top times in each event and add the next six athletes who didn't claim a top-five spot in their region.

Competition at the NCAA West Regional Championships starts Friday at 8 a.m PST with field events and Prelims in the running events will begin at 3 p.m PST. The field events will finish on Saturday with the finals in the running events starting at 3:30 p.m PST. See the extended release for more information on event line-ups for both teams.