Amy Fowler was the only BYU freshman to qualify for finals Wednesday. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
SACRAMENTO -- BYU athletes made their debut in the first day of the NCAA Track and Field Championships with five Cougars qualifying for finals in their events.
Women's 800 Meters (First Round)
Sophomore Michelle Lindsay ran against a tough field in the 800 meters. Lindsay improved upon her personal best by more than a second with a time of 2:07.06 in her first national's appearance. She led her heat for most of the final lap, but could not hang on down the final stretch and narrowly missed qualifying for tomorrow's semi finals. California's Alysia Johnson has the fastest time going into the semi finals with her time of 2:05.10.
Men's 200 Meters (First Round)
Junior Paul Smith took his first turn around the national track, finishing seventh in his heat with a time of 21.93. The time did not qualify Smith for the semi finals, but Smith will also compete in the 400-meter relay Thursday. Walter Dix of Florida State has the fastest time going into the prelims with 20.62.
Men's High Jump (Qualifying)
Senior Dave Pendergrass was one of 16 qualifiers for final competition in the high jump. Pendergrass cleared every height on his first attempt on his way to a final height of 7 feet 1.5 inches to qualify. His teammate, freshman Trevor Heiner, made the primary height of 6 feet 10.75 inches but did not make the next and will not compete in the finals. Pendergrass will vie for All-America status Friday.
Men's Pole Vault (Qualifying)
One of two BYU pole vaulters qualified for finals in the event Wednesday. Reigning outdoor national champion, Robbie Pratt, was one of 16 to make the final height and will continue his quest for a title repeat Friday. Mountain West Conference Champion Whitney Neves concluded his standout freshman year in the prelims, clearing the first height of 16 feet 4.75 but missing his next three attempts.
Women's 3,000-meter Steeplechase (Semifinal)
Amy Fowler became the first BYU freshman to qualify for finals, finishing fourth in her heat with a personal-best time of 10:12.78. Fowler entered the meet as the top freshman steeplechaser in the nation. Rena Chesser, who finished third at these championships last year, qualified among the top 12 with a season-best time of 10:17. 40 and will join Fowler in the finals Friday.
Men's 3,000-meter Steeplechase (Semifinal)
West Region champion Josh McAdams qualified for finals in the steeplechase with a time of 8:40.71. McAdams will enter Friday's finals with the fourth-fastest time of the pack. Teammate Chandler Goodwin, who finished second at the MWC Championships in the event, ran a time of 8:56.04 but did not qualify for the finals.