PROVO -- On the last weekend of the winter semester, the BYU men's and women's track teams will send a small contingent of athletes to Walnut, California for the Mt. SAC Relays. The rest of those competing will travel to Logan, Utah to participate in the Mark Faldmo Open, hosted by Utah State University.
With final exams beginning Friday, many members of the Cougar track teams will be taking the weekend off of competition to concentrate on their studies. But several of BYU's top athletes are scheduled to compete in the California meet, and they are looking to record NCAA qualifying marks.
The Mt. SAC Relays will feature athletes from over 35 countries, along with many college and university competitors. This weekend's event will be the 43rd edition of the nation's largest meet. One of the world-class athletes highlighting the meet will be sprinter Marion Jones, winner of five Olympic medals and a three time Mt. SAC champion in the 400 meters.
For the BYU women's team, the meet will provide an opportunity to potentially qualify several runners for the NCAA Championships. Senior All-Americans Elizabeth Jackson, Courtney Meldrum and Tara Haynes are scheduled to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase for the first time this season. The Cougar trio took three of the top five places in last summer's US Olympic Trials, and will be looking to qualify in the event that makes its NCAA debut this season.
On the men's side, freshman Josh Rohatinsky and senior John Hedengren will look to qualify for the NCAA meet in the 5,000 meters. The pair provisionally qualified in the 10,000 meters three weeks ago at Stanford, with Rohatinsky's time falling within three seconds of the automatic standard.