National Championships Begin Wednesday

Josh McAdams hopes to improve on last year's ninth-place finish at nationals. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- Nineteen Cougar athletes will join the best track and field competitors in the nation in Sacramento, Calif., at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the season's four most intense days of competition beginning Wednesday.

High Hopes

With their second-place success at the NCAA West Region Championships two weeks ago, the Cougar men have high hopes for continued top performances at nationals. The Cougars finished fourth at these championships in 2005, led by national champion Robbie Pratt. Pratt, one of 14 BYU men competing at the Championships, will look for a repeat title in the pole vault competition.

Another senior, Josh McAdams, received All-America status at the 2005 championships with a ninth-place finish and returns this year determined to improve. Niklas Arrhenius finished second in the discus at Regionals, and David Pendergrass had a second-place finish in the high jump at the meet. Arrhenius will look for his third All-American nod in the discus, Pendergrass for his first.

A record amount of freshmen will join the men's team in national competition. Chris Carter, Trevor Heiner, Whitney Neves, Kyle Perry and Chris Reno will all be apart of the championships.

Happy Anniversary

This year's competition marks the 25th year that women have competed in the NCAA Championships. The women are entering the competition with the ability to make this anniversary a memorable one for BYU track and field. Five women will compete at the Championships.

Rena Chesser took third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at these Championships one year ago and is looking to improve on that performance. She will be joined in the struggle by her teammate, newly crowned regional champion Amy Fowler, the best freshman steeplechaser in the nation.

Distance runners Michelle Lindsay and Chelsea McKell will also be competing, Lindsay in the 800 meters and McKell in the 10,000 meters. Mandy Lonsway will compete in the pole vault competition as the women's lone field participant.

Live Coverage

The final day of the 2006 Division I Track and Field Outdoor Championships in Sacramento, Calif. (Saturday, June 10) will be televised by CBS from 12:30 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time. CSTV will broadcast two hours of competition (8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern) on Friday, June 9. Never before has the next-to-last day of the NCAA Championships been televised live.

This is the first time since 1982 that the NCAA Track and Field Championships have been televised live on network television. The 4 1/2 hours of live coverage mark the most live coverage in the 86-year history of the NCAA Division I Track and Field. This marks the second time that the women's portion of the meet will be televised live.

Results

A recap will be available following each day of competition on www.byucougars.com. Full results will be posted on the NCAA official web site www.ncaasports.com