Robbie Pratt set a new personal best with his win at the Pole Vault Summit on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
SEATTLE -- Season bests were broken in nearly every event as BYU track and field athletes made their mark at the University of Washington Invitational over the weekend.
The Cougar men had a big weekend in Washington and the Pole Vault Summit in Nevada.
"We had a very good two days of competition this weekend," Coach Mark Robison said. "Our men performed well and I was also very pleased with the competitors."
National Champion, Robbie Pratt won at the Pole Vault Summit in Reno, breaking his own personal best and setting a new school record and Mexico indoor national record with his vault of 18 feet 8 inches.
Sprinter Paul Smith started off the competition in Washington by taking sixth in the 60-meter dash. He then won the 200-meter dash for a team season best time of 21.31. The 60-meter hurdles found Chris Carter ready to perform, the freshman finished fourth in the event with a time of 8.18.
Distance runners fought well at the meet and best marks were dropping all day long Saturday. The mile turned out to be a fast-paced race with Kyle Perry putting in a new personal best and team season best of 4:06.52, 10 seconds faster than the previous team best. Teammates Josh McAdams and Tyrel Jensen were just behind him with times of 4:06.62 and 4:06.97. Jason Dorais crossed the 800-meter finish line in sixth place with another team season best of 1:51.08.
The field events allowed for Cougar success as well. David Pendergrass found his mark in the high jump, finishing first with a jump of 7 feet .5 inches. In the multi events, newcomer Meelis Kosk continued his impact in the heptathlon, taking third in the event and scoring 5,204 points for a provisional qualification for nationals.
The women rivaled the men with their success in Washington. Cross Country All-American Chelsea McKell finished second in her first race of the indoor season, the 5,000 meters. McKell earned a provisional qualification for nationals with her performance of 16:22.73.
"We had some bright spots and it was very good competition overall," Coach Craig Poole said. "We're going in the right direction and I'm looking forward to some good marks in the next couple of weeks."
Competition in the mile was stiff but members of the women's distance squad found a way cut time off the previous team season best. Ann Marie Thomas led the team with a finish of 4:55.33, also a new personal best for Thomas. Distance runner Michelle Lindsay ran the 800 meters for another team season best of 2:12.47. Anne Heiner earned a sixth place finish and a spot at the top of the team's season bests for her performance of 9:45.63 in the 3000 meters.
Other members of the women's team traveled to the University of Illinois where several athletes performed among many strong competitors. Mallory Minster and JennaBree Tollestrup highlighted the team, going two and three in the long jump. Nicole Nevitt ran the 400 meters with another team season best of 1:00.07. Suzy Taylor finished fourth (2:19.78) in the 800 meters.
The next home meet for the Cougars will not be until the outdoor season, when they will host five meets, including the Mountain West Conference Championships and NCAA Regional Championships. For more information about the team or for full results of the meet, see their web sites at www.byucougars.com or www.byutrack.com.