Qualifying at the Mountain State Games

Senior Chad Simkins will open his season this weekend at the Mountain State Games in Pocatello, Idaho. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- The BYU men and women's track team heads to Pocatello, Idaho for the Mountain State Games this weekend to prove their strength and speed.

For many athletes this weekend will be the last chance they have to qualify for nationals before the Mountain West Conference Championships at the end of February.

"After this weekend we only have an away meet at Washington and then the conference championships," men's head coach Mark Robison said. "We can't take the entire team with us when we travel so for some of these guys this is their last chance to prove themselves."

The meet will kick off Friday, Feb. 6 and continue through Saturday, Feb. 7. Idaho State will host the meet at Hold Arena with athletes from Montana State, Montana, Utah State, University of Utah, Weber State, Utah Valley State, Southern Utah and Sacramento State competing in the meet. 

"We are excited to take almost the entire team to these games," women's head coach Craig Poole said.

The meet will be held in two rounds with a trial round and a final round so athletes will plan to post their best marks and get good placement in each event.

"We have the Mountain West Conference Championships in two weeks," Robison said. "This is crunch time for us. We have to perform."

The women's team said although they are not peaking yet, they are starting to perform at the levels excepted for this season. On the men's side they continue to perform well and are looking for some more NCAA qualifications.

"We are finally starting to get back some guys who have been injured for a long time," Robison said. "This weekend we will open up Chad Simkins and look forward to see Josh Rohatinsky in action again after his mission."

The Cougars will take their sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers and pole vaulters this weekend, leaving the distance squads home to train for University of Washington in two-weeks.