Mackie, Palmer Stand Out at MPSF

SEATTLE – Junior Nachelle Mackie led the BYU women’s track team at its first Mountain Pacific Sports Federation championships on Saturday with the Cougars’ lone event win in the 800-meters.

“We got a lot done at this meet,” BYU head coach Patrick Shane said. “We were a little shorthanded because of the number of great athletes we have redshirting this indoor season but I thought we performed very well and set a number of personal records.”

Mackie crossed the line in 2:04.22 to take first in the event. The time is her second fastest of the season in the 800m. Senior Lacey Bleazard finished the race in seventh in 2:06.85.

Senior Katie Palmer nearly broke the BYU indoor mile record for the second time this season, but fell just short. Palmer finished the mile in 4:39.76, just .20 off the record pace. She finished second in the event and scored eight points for the team.

The high jump was one of the best events for BYU at the meet. Seniors Ada Robinson and Diana Blauer tied for third place by clearing 1.73m (5-8.00). Taylor Stapley also cleared the same height, but finished fifth overall because she needed more attempts to clear the bar.

Another strong field event for the Cougars was the triple jump. Junior Melissa Keltner set a new personal record with a mark of 12.02m (39-5.25), good enough for eighth place. Elizabeth Wilson also set a personal best mark by jumping 11.96m (39-3.00).

Also setting a season-and personal-best mark was Michaelanne Laurent in the 3000m. Laurent finished the race in 14th in 9:36.71.

Senior Christen Guenther, the top pole vaulter for BYU, did not pass her opening height in the event and did not place. Freshman Nicole Naatjes set a new personal best in the event by clearing 3.93m (12-10.75).

“This was a good experience for Christen because she had already automatically qualified for nationals,” Shane said. “This gave her a chance to work on coming in at a high opening height.”

The team finished seventh overall with 41 points. Stanford won the meet with 125 points, while Arizona finished second with 110 and Oregon third with 108.33.

Several BYU athletes will compete at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Nampa, Idaho beginning on March 8.

For complete results from the MPSF Championships go to gohuskies.com