Track Heading to Calif. for Top Competition

Junior Nate Robison will run for the Cougars this weekend at the Mt. Sac Invitational against the top distance competition in the country.

PROVO -- While most of the BYU track and field team members will rest this weekend, the distance squads from both the men and women's teams, along with the women's valuters and jumps, will head to Calif. for some of the best competition of the season.

The distance squads will compete Friday at the Mt. Sac Invitational.

"Mt. Sac is one of our most important outdoor opportunities of the year," women's distance coach Patrick Shane said. "The meet is over 50 years old and will have the best distance runners there from all over the country."

Adding to the outstanding competition, the distance events will be held in the evening giving the runners perfect running conditions.

"You have got great competition, ideal weather and a time of year when people are fairly fit," Shane said.

Running for the Cougars in the 5,000 will be All-Americans Kassi Andersen, Laura Turner and Michaela Mannova and Katie Moon and Ruth Graham.

"In the 5,000m they will have many of the top Olympians from all over the world there trying to hit the A standard for the Olympics," Shane said. "Our athletes might break the school record and still be way back in the field.

Also running for the Cougars in the steeplechase will be All-American Lisa Antonelli and freshman Amber Harper who Coach Shane expects to qualify for regionals. In the 10,000 the Cougars will have Emily Raymond, Suzanna Larson, Whitney MacDonald and Jamie Caldwell.

On the men's side, the team will send BYU's finest to both qualify and represent BYU.

In addition to current BYU athlete several BYU alumni will run to qualify for the Olympics including Maggie Chan-Ropper and Elizabeth Jackson both All-Americans and NCAA Champions when they ran for the Cougars.

While the distance squads compete at Mt. Sac the women pole vaulters and throwers head to Long Beach for an invitational to improve on their season bests for a chance to compete at NCAA regionals at the end of May.