(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
FAYETTEVILLE -- Day two of the NCAA Indoor Championships got underway on Saturday, with two Cougars looking to defend their National Championships and one BYU freshman competing in this meet for the first time.
“We had a good finish to the meet today,” head coach Craig Poole said. “Lacey, Rachel and Amy all did really well and competed to the best of their ability, and we are definitely proud of all of them.”
Sophomore Lacey Cramer, the 2009 indoor 800-meter champion, entered the day with the fourth best qualifying time in the 800-meters. Cramer started the championship race in the middle of the pack, and remained there until willing her way to second with 400-meters to go. Cramer held on to finish in second, scoring BYU eight points with a time of 2:03.89.
The race was one of the best of the day, with second, third and fourth place decided by a total of .06 seconds. Cramer narrowly lost to Phoebe Wright of the University of Tennessee, the same runner Cramer edged out last year for her championship.
“Lacey did an outstanding job,” Poole said. “She ran really hard, and it was a really fast race. She bounced around in the group for awhile before getting into second, and then she did a great job holding on to that place.”
Senior Amy Otis, the defending indoor pentathlon champion, also entered the day with hopes to defend her title. The senior struggled through most of the day, unable to win her second consecutive title and finishing in 13th with 3752 points.
Otis’ highest scoring portion of the event was the 60-meter hurdles, in which she ran an 8.48 and scored 1021 points. Otis earned an All-American award for her finish, finishing eighth in the event among American contenders.
“Amy had a tough time today,” Poole said. “She had a hurt back most of the day, but needed to compete and finish the event, and she did a great job in that aspect.”
Rachel Brooke Fisher, a freshman from Allen, Texas, was one of only two freshmen to qualify for the Indoor Championships in the women’s pole vault. Fisher, who did not qualify for the national meet until the MWC Championships, put forth a good showing, finishing in 16th place with a vault of 4.20m (13-09.25).
“Rachel vaulted really well today,” Poole said. “She placed 16th, but just competing on this stage as a freshman is outstanding.”
As a team, BYU ended the meet in 14th place with 16 points. Three Cougars, senior Mindy McClurkin, Cramer and Otis, were named All-Americans.
This meet concludes the BYU women’s indoor season, but outdoor season is right around the corner. The first outdoor meet for the Cougars will be the Irving Invitational in Irving, California on March 19-20.
Mindy McClurkin long jump 6.69m 2nd All-American
200-meters 23.52 11th
Lacey Cramer 800-meters 2:03.89 2nd All-American
Nachelle Stewart 800-meters 2:06.62 11th
Angela Wagner 800-meters 2:06.65 12th
Cramer, Stewart, DMR 11:16.93 11th
Amy Otis Pentathlon 3752 pts 13th** All-American
Rachel Fisher Pole Vault 4.20m 16th
**8th among American competitors