Track Posts High Marks Close to Home and Abroad

David Pendergrass received a provisional qualification for nationals with his performance in the high jump. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

POCATELLO -- Success and disappointment both played a role for the BYU track teams this weekend as they competed at the Mountain States Games in Pocatello, Idaho and the New Balance Collegiate Invitational in New York City.

In Pocatello, the women showed their ability to perform well with first-place finishes and shattered season bests.

"The women really came to town to compete and we're extremely pleased with their performances," Coach Craig Poole said. "They competed hard and had a lot of success and it was just a really great meet."

Freshman Aubrey Cowan had a breakthrough performance in the shot put, winning the event with a personal-best throw of 44 feet 6 inches. Mindy Neeley long jumped to victory with an improved personal-best jump of 19 feet 7.5 inches. Neeley returned for a second-place finish in the 200 meters with a time of 25.06.

Kathryn Sevy competed in the pentathlon then topped off that performance with a fourth-place finish in the 60-meter hurdles, just behind teammate Sarah Lacey. Sarah Lacey recorded a personal best in the event with a time of 9.02. The pole vaulters continued their excellence with Ashley McAllister taking the lead with a vault of 12 feet 5 inches.

Half of the men's team also joined the women in Pocatello. Joe Dredge won the triple jump with a jump of 46 feet 11.75 inches and took sixth in the long jump with a jump of 20 feet 3.5 inches. Young competitors also made a good showing at the meet. Freshman Whitney Neves finished second in the pole vault with a vault of 15 feet 10.75 inches.

The remaining men's team traveled to New York City where top eastern athletes gathered for the annual New Balance Collegiate Invitational.

"It was a very competitive, tough field and we did have a few quality performances," Coach Mark Robison said. "I was a little disappointed in the overall outcome, but we're going to rest up and improve in the future."

The competition was steep in the Big Apple but there were notable performances throughout the meet. The most significant BYU moment was a 7 feet 2.75 inch high jump by David Pendergrass, putting him in second place at the meet and among the top 10 all-time performances at BYU. The mark was a personal best for Pendergrass and gave him a provisional qualification for nationals.

The mile competitors ran in a tough pack with falling runners and a fast pace taking its toll on many athletes. But BYU's steeplechase All-American Josh McAdams forced his way through, clocking a time of 4:04.16 in his fifth-place finish. Teammate Kyle Perry came in strong as well, finishing seventh with a personal-best time of 4:05.28.

The 4x400 meter relay team of Paul Smith, Jason Howard, Chris Carter and Nate Rencher took third in their race with a time of 3:14.47.

Next week a majority of the Cougars will resume competition at the Washington Invitational. Members of the women's team will also compete at the University of New Mexico.

The Cougars will host their next meet at the onset of outdoor competition. Provo will be home to five outdoor meets, including the MWC Outdoor Championships and the NCAA Regional Championships. For more information about upcoming meets or the BYU Track and field program, visit our web sites at www.byucougars.com or www.byutrack.com.

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