BYU Women Finish Second, Men Third in Weekend Action | The Official Site of BYU Athletics

BYU Women Finish Second, Men Third in Weekend Action

PROVO, Utah (Jan. 26, 2002) In this weekend's track action, the No. 19 BYU women's team finished second with 135 points behind No. 7 Illinois (141) at the Illinois Invitational, which pitted the Cougars and the Illini, as well as No. 5 UCLA, who finished third with 124 points and No. 16 Miami (fourth, 103) against each other.

"We are really pleased about the results and we are happy to beat UCLA and Miami," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "We would have liked to beat Illinois but they did well and managed to get by us."

The Cougar women brought home four event titles from the Illinois meet and earned a provisional qualifying mark for nationals in the distance medley relay in the first competition of the season for the team in that event.

Senior Nikki Hughes brought home an event win for the third consecutive week by leaping a distance of 19-06.75 (5.96) to win her second long jump title on the year. The rest of the BYU wins came on the track, with Jaime Cottle winning the 800 meter in 2:13.16, Michaela Manova finishing in 4:53.90 to win the mile and Devra Vierkant running her way to victory in the 3000 meter with atime of 9:44.84.

"It is always great to come here, especially when you go up against such good competition," Poole said. "The meet was very competitive but we did some good things and performed well for the most part."

Despite running without their distance squad, who competed in Minnesota this weekend, the No. 23 BYU men managed to score 96.5 points for a third-place finish behind Colorado with 103 and Air Force with 98 at the Air Force Invitational.

Matt Nielsen was the lone Cougar to bring home an individual title, winning the 400-meter dash in a time of 47.53. Teammates Kish Beverley (47.85) and Greg Flint (47.91) finished third and fourth, respectively, in the 400. The team also claimed a victory in the 4x440 relay, finishing in only 3:13.72 to defeat the second-place team by nearly three seconds.

"The guys who competed in the 400 ran very well and I thought our relay team had a good performance," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "The results were good but we did not do quite as well as I hoped we would."

All-American Jeff Hansen was vaulting well on Friday before catching a crossbar across the face, causing his nose to bleed. Hansen was able to complete the pole vault despite the incident and finished third, clearing a height of 17-00.75 (5.20).

David Pendergrass cleared 6-08.75 (2.05) to finish second in the high jump, just ahead of fellow Cougar Ammon Dahl, who jumped 6-06.75 (2.00) and was third. Aron Szmuda had a third-place finish in the long jump, leaping a distance of 22-11.00 (6.98) and Daniel Arrhenius threw the shot put a distance of 53-01.75 (16.20) to finish third.

The BYU men's distance squad, competing in Minnesota at the Gold Country Classic, brought back two individual wins. All-American Mao Tjiroze won the 800 in 1:52.62 and Andy Carman won the 3000-meter title in 8:20.15 for the Cougars.

The Cougar women also sent a small contingent of athletes to Logan, Utah to compete in the Wilson Motor Invitational. Freshman Ember Smith brought home the only win for the team, in the 3000-meter run with a time of 10:48.3

For complete results from the Illinois Invitational, go to

For results from the Air Force Invitational go to

Results from the Wilson Motor Invitational can be found at