Men's 2002 Season Review

The men's track and field team showed strength and improvement throughout the indoor season. After placing third at the Air Force Invitational and the Husker Invitational, the only two regular season team scoring meets, the Cougars traveled to Colorado Springs for the Mountain West Conference Championships.

MWC Indoor

BYU placed second in the conference behind Colorado State, with 182 points. The BYU men's team brought home eight individual titles, but came up just short in its quest to win a fourth consecutive indoor track title in the Mountain West Conference.

The Cougar men got off to a good start as well, with Devin Howe claiming the men's pentathlon title with a total of 3,556 points. Howe also contributed to the Cougars in the high jump with a seventh-place finish and was named freshman of the year for his performance.

The BYU men made their presence known in the high jump by finishing one-two in the event. Ammon Dahl cleared a height of 6-08.75 to win the title and David Pendergrass took second with a jump of 6-06.75 for the Cougars.

Aron Szmuda set another conference record for the Cougars with a leap of 25-06.25 (7.78m) to win the long jump crown. The mark is a Slovakian national record and earned Szmuda an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the event. Szmuda also had a personal-best jump of 50-11.50 (15.53m) on only two attempts to finish second in the triple jump.

The Cougars also claimed places one, two and three in the 400-meter dash. Matt Nielsen won in 47.51 seconds, followed by Matt Rowe in 47.97 for second and Greg Flint in third with a time of 48.01.

Other first-place finishers were Flint in the 60-meter hurdles, Mao Tjiroze in the 800m and the men's 4x440m relay team.

The final individual event title for the BYU men's track team came in the pole vault, where Jeff Hansen set a new conference record by clearing an NCAA automatic-qualifying height of 18-02.00 (5.54m) to win the event.

NCAA Indoors

Senior Jeff Hansen helped BYU to a 15th-place finish at indoor nationals by winning the national title in the pole vault. Hansen jumped 17-11.75 (5.48m), received his third All-American award and is the first pole vault champion in BYU history. Aron Szmuda also compete for BYU at nationals and placed 10th in the long jump with a distance of 24-09.75 (7.56m).

MWC Outdoor

BYU showed its depth of talent during the outdoor season by placing first at the USC Dual Meet, first at the UTEP Springtime Invitational and second at the UCLA Tri-Meet.

The Cougars defended their outdoor conference title by scoring 220 points and winning the 2002 MWC Outdoor Championships. The 2002 conference championship was BYU's fifth first-place conference finish in a row. Aron Szmuda led BYU to five first-place finishes, with his long jump championship (25-08).

Mao Tjiroze won the 800m, with a time of 1:49.70, and Kish Beverly placed first in the 400m in 46.74. Daniel Arrhenius threw the discus170-06 to win a conference title and David Pendergrass jumped 7-00.25 to win the high jump.

In addition to the first-place finishes BYU also places second nine times.

NCAA Outdoor

Szmuda once again led the strike by placing 13th in the long jump, with a leap of 24-10.5. Although the Cougars did not record a team score, Jeff Hansen placed 14th in the pole vault (16-10.75) and Mao Tjiroze placed 15th in the 800m (1:49.23).