Tracksters Gear Up for Conference

PROVO -- After a successful showing last weekend at the Robison Invitational, members of the BYU men's and women's track teams will compete again locally at the BYU Wells Fargo Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

Both teams will also send a few distance athletes to compete in the Cardinal Invitational at Stanford.

"The majority of our team will stay here and compete in the BYU Wells Fargo Invitational like the sprinters, hurdlers and all the field events," women's head coach Craig Poole said. "But we will also send about 13 distance runners to Stanford."

The BYU men's coaches have a similar strategy this weekend. They will also send a handful of athletes to the Cardinal Invitational to face some fierce competition.

The experience at Stanford will prepare the Cougars to compete at their highest level as they prepare for the Mountain West Conference Championships on May 12-15 in Las Vegas.

"We want our steeple chasers and distance guys to have one more shot at getting a good mark in order to qualify for regionals," men's head coach Mark Robison said. "The Cardinal Invitational will be loaded with tough competition from all over the country."

The BYU men's distance squad will be led by junior distant standout Nathan Robison. Last weekend, Robinson won the Robinson Invitational 1,500-meter run with a time of 3:46.10. Earlier this season, he ran a 3:40.49, which is currently the fastest time in the nation.

Coach Robison also said he wants to see more regional qualifiers in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the 1,500-meter run and 10,000-meter run.

Distance isn't the only area the men's team wants to improve in this Friday and Saturday.

"I think our field events could improve this next week," Robison said. "Because our athletes were busy with finals last week, our practice time was cut short. So I think our timing will definitely improve in our field events this week."

The women's team will look to high jumper Lindsey Metcalf and long jumper Amy Menlove to continue excelling this outdoor season. Last weekend Metcalf and Menlove both clinched first-place performances and improved their NCAA regional qualifying marks.

Metcalf jumped 5-11.25, a season best that's only one-half inch below her career best jump. Freshman Menlove set a high standard last weekend with her season- and career-best jump of 20-03.75.

Because local high school wills also be competing at the BYU Wells Fargo Invitational, BYU will face only a handful of competition this Friday and Saturday including Utah, UVSC and SUU.

"We won't have a lot of schools here this weekend," coach Robison said. "But we'll have some good competition, even among ourselves. It should be a great meet."