Niklas Arrhenius Qualified Provisionally in the Shot Put (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's teams competed in New York and Pocatello Friday and Saturday. Two more Cougars qualified for the national meet in Arkansas.
"I am pleased with their performance," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "They were competitive and we had some good improvements. Some athletes hit their season bests."
Laura Taylor was one of those that beat her season best. She crushed her mile time of 5:30.25 and ran a first place time of 5:07.61. Mindy Neeley and Kindy Longmore were hundredths of a second off their season best, with Neeley taking third place. Neeley came back and won the 200 meters by half a second with her time of 25.05 seconds. Nicole Nevitt caught the vision and won the 400 meters in 57.59 sec. That was the fastest time this season for a Cougar in the 400 meters. Heidi Houle won the 800 meters in a season best 2:12.48. Tipaleli Fotu had a good night in the weight throw. She took first with her throw of 56-08.50
When the Cougars combined in the 4x400-meter relay, they turned in a first place time of 3:53.53. Sarah Lacey and Kristin Hirst combined to finish first and second, respectively, in the high jump. Lacey and Hirst cleared 5 feet 4.50 inches.
The bulk of the men's team was in the Big Apple taking on most of the top programs in the nation. The competition must have inspired Niklas Arrhenius and David Pendergrass to rise to the occasion because both provisionally qualified for nationals.
"We had a pretty good meet," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "The competition was phenomenal. I was pleased. We had some pretty good performances and after next week we should be ready for conference."
Arrhenius threw the shot put 60 feet 5.75 inches, almost three feet farther than his previous best. Pendergrass cleared seven feet one inch which is the provisional mark for nationals and his best jump of the season.
Ryan Jones ran a strong 800 that was good enough for fifth place and Jared Rohatinsky rana solid 3000 meters in a time of 8:36.52. Both got important experience running with the best in the country. John Conner also ran hard in Pocatello and come out victorious in the 3000 meters.
All-American Kyle Perry won the first section of the mile, but ended up with the fourth fastest time. His 4:04.53 was four second faster than his previous season best and just shy of the provisionally qualifying mark of 4:04.00.