Mindy Robins placed third in the heptathlon on Thursday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Mindy Robins, Phillip Bettis and Brett Birkeland scored the first points for the BYU women’s and men’s track teams at the MWC Outdoor Championships Thursday afternoon with the conclusion of the multi-events competition.
Robins entered the conference meet with no mark in the heptathlon this season, and left with 4816 points and a third place finish. Second place finishes in the 100m hurdles (14.42), 200m dash (25.20) and long jump (5.52m) put Robins in a position to score significant points for the women’s team.
“It was really an uphill battle for Mindy (Robins),” BYU women’s head coach Craig Poole said. “She fell behind a bit early, but battled back well and finished with a lifetime-best score.”
Bettis entered the meet as the reigning MWC indoor heptathlon champion. Despite struggling with injuries throughout the outdoor season, Bettis managed a fourth place finish Thursday in the decathlon with 6496 points.
“We did not do as well as we would have hoped the past two days,” BYU men’s head coach Mark Robison said. “Phil (Bettis) has been battling injuries, and this was the first decathlon he has been able to complete at BYU, so under the circumstances he did phenomenal.”
The pole vault was the strong point for Bettis, as he finished first in the event by clearing 4.50m (14-09). Bettis also finished third in the long jump (6.77m), high jump (1.94m) and javelin (50.61m).
Birkeland finished third in the 2009 MWC Outdoor Championships decathlon, but was unable to match that mark in 2010, finishing seventh 6243 points. His second place finish in the 1500m run (4:50.84) made the race Birkeland’s top event of the day.
“Brett (Birkeland) had some positives and negatives,” Robison said. “The competition this year is unbelievably strong, much better than it has been in the past. But he competed well and put forth great effort, so I have no complaints.”
The women’s team enters the second day of competition sitting in third place, just behind Colorado State (16) and New Mexico (10). BYU’s men’s team goes into day two in third place with seven points, trailing New Mexico (17) and Wyoming (8).