KEARNS -- The Utah Olympic Oval not only houses world-record ice, but the track is pretty fast too. Tonight more than eight track and field athletes qualified for the NCAA Track and Field Indoor Championships at the Olympic Oval Invitational hosted by BYU and the University of Utah.
In the women's 60-meter hurdles and the women's 60-meter dash, the fastest times in the nation so far this season were ran at the invitational in Kearns, Utah. Perdita Filicien, the defending NCAA Champion from the University of Illinois, ran a blazing 7.95 in the 60-meter hurdles. She was closely followed by Tiffany Hogan, a former BYU star who ran unattached. Philomena Mensah (7.18) and Chequetta Bearfield (7.30) led in the 60-meter dash, Mensah running unattached and Bearfield running for the University of Illinois.
BYU led the meet with 12 first-places finishes for the men and seven for the women. Sophomore Kip Kangogo was named the Male Athlete of the Meet for his first-place finish in the mile, with a time of 4:05.78. Kangogo's altitutde adjusted time of 4:01.09 makes him a provisional qualifier for nationals. Also in the mile, Nathan Robison ran an altitude adjusted time of 4:01.38 to qualify for nationals.
Men's head coach Mark Robison said, "This is a much faster facilility than Boise. It even exceeded our expectations. As a team it may have been the best meet of our lives, but I don't know how much of that is the facility."
Nikki Hughes jumped 20-07.25 in the long jump, good enough to provisionally qualify for NCAA Indoor Nationals. Also posting provisional qualifying times for BYU were Scott Adams, with his 800-meter time of 1:49.96, and Nate Soelberg, who ran the 60-meter dash in 6.68.
Women's head coach Craig Poole said he feels his team greatly improved since last week's meet at Boise State.
"This facility runs very fast," he said. "It's chilly, which I don't know if that makes them run faster or not. The temperature is about 60 degrees, but it is also humid and I think that helps the sprinters run better."