Track & Field Shows Strong Start

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BOISE -- The men and women's track teams kicked of the 2003 season with a strong showing at the Bandanna Invitational in Boise, Idaho, Saturday.

BYU men's team dominated in the distance events. Kip Kangogo made his track debut, winning the mile race (4:09.58). Scott Adams placed first in the 800m (1:51.95), and Matt Adams won the 3,000m race (8:32.22). In the 4x400m relay, BYU chalked up another first-place finish. The Cougars also showed strength in the hurdles, with senior Russell Elggren's second-place finish leading the pack.

The men's team did not send a full squad to Boise, but head coach Mark Robison was still happy with the results. The pole vaulters didn't compete, along with jumping powerhouse Aron Szmuda and a few other BYU athletes.

"I thought we did pretty well," Robison said. "The distance runners ran very well. The 800m, the mile and the 3,000m were really strong. Like any sport, there is a big improvement between the first and second events, and then you just hope you continue to get better."

The women's track and field team swept the jumping events. Candace Clifford won the high jump (5-08.00), Lindsey Sommer placed first in the triple jump, with a leap of 39-09.5 and All-American Nikki Hughes jumped 20-02.5 to win the long jump. Devra Vierkant placed first overall in the mile (5:01.89), running unattached, and Kristy Barrus was the first team finisher(5:09.5). BYU women's 4x400m relay team also record a first-place finish.

Both the men's and women's teams will next compete Saturday at the Olympic Oval Invitational, the first indoor event to be hosted by BYU in over a decade.

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