PROVO -- Despite struggling in two of the five events on Thursday, BYU senior Devin Scoresby recorded a personal-best 7,167 points to win the decathlon at the 2004 Robison Invitational. After posting over 4,000 points on Wednesday, Scoresby racked up another 3,164 points today to set an NCAA provisional qualifying mark.
"My second day is my weakest day," Scoresby said. "I had a PR in the pole vault, but I was a little disappointed with my score in the discus. I'm working on it, my second day is getting better. I want to get to 7,300 points to be safe for qualifying. It's very doable."
Teammate Curtis Pugsley finished second with 6,974 points, while Devin Howe finished fourth with a personal-best 6,878 points in the event.
Idaho State's Adam Matthews finished 10 points ahead of Howe for third place, while New Mexico's Mark Johnson finished fifth with 6,799 points. Johnson entered this week's competition as the MWC's top-ranked decathlete.
Competing in his first-ever decathlon, freshman Chris Weirich finished seventh in a field of 18 athletes. Weirich, a native of Fredericksburg, Texas, finished the competition with 6,209 points.
"I'm ecstatic," BYU head men's coach Mark Robison said. "Considering the weather conditions, those guys had a terrific meet."
Former BYU All-American Marsha Mark-Baird won the women's heptathlon competition with a personal-best of 5,862, just 38 points shy of qualifying for the Olympic Games as a representative of Trinidad and Tobago.
Entering the final event, Mark-Baird needed 809 points to reach the required 5,900 points to qualify under the Olympic "B" standard. To earn the points needed, Mark-Baird needed to run the 800-meters in 2:21.00. Due to wind gusts that reached over 30 miles per hour during the race, Mark-Baird finished the event in 2:23.91--just 2.91 seconds shy of qualifying.
"Despite the wind and overall poor weather conditions, Marsha had a great competition," BYU head women's track coach Craig Poole said. "She'll have at least two more chances to qualify. She'll get there. We have every confidence that she'll qualify."
Both the men's and women's track & field teams will begin preliminary competition at the Robison Invitation on Friday. While there will be some finals, the majority of the day's competition will be qualifying rounds for Saturday's finals.
"This meet isn't like our conference championships or the NCAA's," Robison said. "We're not going to run well enough to advance. We're looking at this as two opportunities to reach the qualifying standards for regionals, not just one. In some cases, there will be better times in some of the events on Friday then there will be on Saturday. In these meets, the prelims can be just as exciting as the finals."