(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
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PROVO -- In preparation for conference, the BYU women’s track team broke records and earned qualifying marks at the BYU Tri-Meet against Weber State and Utah State on Friday.
Kari McAllister Clark got the No. 12 nationally ranked Cougars off to a quick and commanding start. The junior pole vaulter finished with an NCAA regional qualifying jump of 13-09.75, breaking a school record and placing her in the top 10 in the country.
“Overall we did really well today,” said BYU women’s head track and field coach Craig Poole. “Kari and the rest of the pole vaulter’s did a great job. This was a very encouraging meet to have right before conference.”
Other members of the pole vault squad earning qualifying marks were Kelli Ehardt and Shanie Bushman. Ehardt took second with a jump of 13-01.50 and Bushman placed third with a jump of 12-07.50.
Continuing BYU’s success was All-American junior Mindy Neeley McClurkin, who pulled in two NCAA regional qualifying marks on the afternoon.
Her first-place performance in the 100-meter event (11.71) ranks seventh in school history and her first-place performance in the 200-meter event (23.80) ranks fourth in school history.
Bringing in another qualifying mark for BYU was throwing sensation Ilze Gribule. Gribule placed first in the javelin throw (169-05.75), propelling her to sixth on the BYU All-Time record list.
Also earning an NCAA regional qualifying mark was All-American steeplechase runner Amy Layne. Layne took first in the steeplechase with an altitude adjusted time of 10:32.95.
“We had exceptional performances in the 800-meter event and 1,500-meter event,” Poole said. “There were several regional qualifying marks and personal bests which is really exciting.”
The Cougars swept one through five in the 800-meter event with three athletes qualifying for regionals.
Lacey Cramer the 800-meter National Champion won the event in an altitude adjusted time of 2:04.54. Nachelle Stewart finished right behind Cramer in an altitude adjusted time of 2:07.56 and Sarah Yingling wrapped up the top three with a personal best time of 2:09.66.
Katie Palmer, who earlier in the season ran the fifth fastest time in the nation, recorded another solid time in the 1,500-meter with an altitude adjusted time of 4:18.14. She was followed by 10,000-meter specialist Cecily Lemmon, who regionally qualified in an altitude adjusted time of 4:27.53.
Freshman Natalie Stewart brought in one more regional qualifying mark for BYU. Stewart ran the top time in the 400-meter event (53.85), placing her second in school history.
Next up for the Cougars will be the Utah Twilight Meet on Wednesday in Salt Lake City.