Palmer's time in the 1,500-meter event ranks first in the nation. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
TEMPE -- Three separate meets in two different states didn’t slow down the BYU women's track team who competed in the Mesa Classic, Wildcat Invitational and Sun Angel Classic on Friday and Saturday.
BYU started the weekend off with a first-place finish (169 points) in the Mesa Classic on Friday. The Cougars finished ahead of several national ranked teams including LSU, Minnesota and Arizona.
“I thought we did really well today,” said BYU women’s track and field head coach Craig Poole. “We had a number of season bests, which is very encouraging.”
The Cougars had dominating performances in many of the events including the 800-meter where they took first through third.
Sarah Yingling finished on top in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:12.42. Teammates Ashlee Thomas and Nicole Clark rounded out the top three with Thomas placing second (2:14.41) and Clark taking third (2:14.66).
BYU had similar success in the 5,000-meter event where Millie Rapp took first (18:02.49) and Jocelyn McCauley took second in a time of 18:12.79.
Another BYU first-place finish came in the high jump event where Ashley Payne cleared 5-5.25.
The Cougars continued to roll with several top national marks on Saturday in the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
Katie Palmer and Lacey Cramer added to their 2009 brilliance. The duo both had top-ten national performances in the 1,500-meter event.
Palmer’s time of 4:16.44 is currently the best time in the nation and Cramer’s time of 4:17.10 ranks third in the national rankings.
“Lacey and Katie continue to perform at an incredibly high level,” said BYU coach Dick Legas. “We are really excited with how things are going.”
Both Palmer and Cramer’s time rank in the top ten on BYU’s All-Time record list.
Also making a national statement was Ilze Gribule who took first in the javelin event with a throw of 169-1.00. Gribule’s throw is an NCAA Regional qualifying mark, ranking sixth in the nation.
“Ilze had another great meet,” Legas said. “She only threw once today and won the competition, which is incredible.”
Gribule’s javelin performance is the sixth best in school history.
Sandra Mazan brought BYU another NCAA Regional qualifying mark. Mazan’s time of 2:09.45 in the 800-meter event ranks fifth in the MWC and is her season’s best time.
Payne saw action for the second time this weekend at the Sun Angel Classic where she recorded a season best in the high jump. Payne’s jump of 5-7.00 ties her for the second best jump in the MWC.
Diane Stewart also ran a season best in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 1:02.00 taking third in the event.
The women’s team wrapped up the weekend at the Wildcat Invitational in Ogden, Utah.
Ada Robinson the MWC’s top high jumper placed first with a jump of 5-10.75. Her NCAA Regional qualifying mark ranks seventh best on BYU’s All-Time record list and is a personal best height.
Kelly Marcroft added another personal best to the Cougar success. Marcroft jumped 37-01.00, placing her second in the competition.
Next up for BYU will be the Mt. Sac Relays in Walnut, Calif. and the Utah State Invitational in Logan, Utah. Both meets begin April 17th and conclude April 18th.