Three Event Wins Have the Cougars in First

Morgan Haws won the 5000m MWC championship.

ALBUQUERQUE -- On the first full day of competition at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships, the BYU women’s track and field team had several top performances, including the sweep of the top three spots in the 5000m run and the pole vault.

"We had a great day today," head coach Patrick Shane said. "There were so many great individual performances that its hard to single out one. We scored some great points in the pole vault and 5000m and overall I am very pleased."

The 5000m run was one of the first events completed on the day and it gave the Cougars an early team lead. Morgan Haws led the way for BYU and won the event in 16:45.34, over 24 seconds faster than her nearest competitor. Senior Kate Bowen took second in the race in 17:09.93 and junior Katy Andrews nabbed third in 17:10.94.

Sophomore Rachel Fisher cleared a MWC season-best 4.22m (13-10.00) to take the championship in the pole vault. Fisher was followed by teammate Christen Botteron, who also cleared 4.22m (13-10.00) but took one more attempt than Fisher. Completing the top three sweep for BYU was Kelli Ehardt who took third by clearing 4.02m (13-02.25).

Team captain Mindy Sagers competed in the pentathlon on Thursday and scored six points for the Cougars with a third place finish. Sophomore Elizabeth Wilson also scored two points for BYU in the pentathlon with a seventh place finish.

The distance medley relay was the last finals heat to take place on Friday. BYU took first place in the event in a time of 11:39.46. Lacey Bleazard, Katie Palmer, Nicole Clark and Kari Hardt all contributed to the victory.

Several preliminary races also took place on Friday. The most successful for the Cougars was the 800m, an event that saw four BYU runners advance, including Palmer, who broke the MWC meet record in a time of 2:04.72. Also moving to the finals were Bleazard, Clark and Sarah Edwards.

"Katie (Palmer) ran one of the top five times in the 800m this season today," Shane said. "She needed this race to qualify for Nationals and came out with what could be the best performance of the meet."

Porshe Giddings led BYU in the sprints, qualifying for the finals in both the 60m and the 200m. Natalie Stewart put on a great performance in the 400m preliminaries, qualifying in second (53.90) and breaking the BYU indoor record in the process.

Also qualifying in the sprints were Sagers and Fatima Makakala, who both will compete in the final heat of the 60m hurdles Saturday.

"We are looking forward to the final day of competition," Shane said. "We are a very deep team and should score some points in just about every event Saturday."

Heading into the final day of competition BYU holds a 31-point lead over second place New Mexico. The meet will begin tomorrow at 9:45 a.m. MT and is scheduled to conclude at 1:40 p.m.

For results from today's action and results for tommorrow's events CLICK HERE.

To see video from Friday’s competition CLICK HERE.