Rodrigo Mendes celebrates after winning the triple jump championship at the NCAA Track & Field Championships. (Photo by Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)
LINDSAY BREAKS 24-YEAR-OLD SCHOOL RECORD; MENDES WINS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP IN TRIPLE JUMP
SACRAMENTO -- For the first time since 1991, the BYU men's track & field team finished fourth at the NCAA National Championships. Spurred by two individual titles, as well as seven All-America citations, the BYU men finished with 34 team points. The BYU women finished in 10th place, the best finish since a 10th-place showing in 2002.
For the first time since 1974, the Cougars claimed two individual titles at the NCAA National Champions. With Robison Pratt claiming the national championship in the pole vault last evening, Rodrigo Mendes won the triple jump on Saturday to claim the Cougars' second individual title in as many days.
Overall, the Cougars had 11 athletes win All-America citations in 12 different events, including seven All-Americans on the men's team and four All-Americans--in five events--on the women's team.
Arkansas won the men's competition with 60 points, followed by Florida(49) and LSU (36). The Cougars finished ahead of PAC-10 champion Oregon, as well as other perennial powerhouse programs Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC, UTEP, Georgia, Nebraska and South Carolina.
In the women's competition, Texas won the title with 55 points, followed by UCLA and South Carolina with 48 points each.
Following is an event by-event recap of the day's events:
MEN'S TRIPLE JUMP
Senior Rodrigo Mendes became the second BYU athlete in as many days to win an individual title, claiming the triple jump crown with a distance of 55'11.00". Mendes beat USC's Allen Sims by just one centemeter.
"I'm just so happy," Mendes said. "I've been training for this for so long. I wanted to win this more than anything. I'm just so happy."
With the victory, the BYU men moved into third place entering the final event.
"We have such a great team," Mendes said. "We have such great coaches and great teammates. Everyone has done an amazing job."
Rodrigo Mendes, Triple Jump Champion
MEN'S 1,500 METERS
Back in 1999, two-time Olympian and school-record holder in the 1,500 meters, Doug Padilla, told young freshman Bryan Lindsay that one day he would break his long-time school record.
Six years later, Padilla's words rang true. Now a senior, Lindsay turned in a 3:38.31 in the 1,500 meters to break Padilla's 24-year-old record by six one-hundreds of a second.
"I've been training for this day," Lindsay said. "These are the things you dream about. I came to BYU because of the great runners, and to have the opportunity to challenge their records. I'm just very pleased."
Lindsay, who ran the first 1,000 meters in his traditional place at the back of the pack, moved into fifth place with 400 meters remaining. With 150 meters to go, Lindsay made his move and held on for a second-place finish.
"I had a feeling back in 1999 that Bryan would break my record," Padilla said. "That's what records are for."
Bryan Lindsay and Doug Padilla
Padilla, who was watching the race from the infield, said he wasn't thinking about the record.
"At the time, I was thinking about Bryan's position," Padilla said. "As soon as I saw his time on the board, I knew he had broken the record. I'm so happy for him. He is such a good kid. It's been his goal for a long time, and I'm glad he was able to accomplish his goal."
With the second-place finish, the Cougars picked up eight team points and moved into a tie for fifth place in the team competition. Lindsay also became the eighth BYU athlete to earn All-America honors.
WOMEN'S 1,500 METERS
Heidi Magill finished her freshman season picking up All-America honors in the 1,500 meters with a fifth-place finish. Magill, who won the event two weeks ago at the NCAA West Regionals, turned in a personal-best time of 4:15.57.
Heidi Magill, 1,500 Meters
WOMEN'S TRIPLE JUMP
Junior Kamila Rywelska recorded a distance of 44'08.00" to finish fourth in the triple jump competition. Rywelska improved on her opening distance of 13.39 meters with her third jump in the competition, finishing 4.5" ahead of Rosalind Goodwin of Ohio State.
UCLA's Candice Baucham won the event with a mark of 46'02.00".
Kamila Rywelska, Triple Jump
WOMEN'S HIGH JUMP
In her final competition, Lindsey Metcalf, a six-time All-American, finished 11th in the high jump with a clearance of 5'09.75". Sharon Day, a sophomore from Cal-Poly SLO won the competition with a height of 6'04.00".
Lindsey Metcalf, High Jump
WOMEN'S 800 METERS - 7:40 p.m.
In her final race as a senior, Aneta Lemiesz was projected to finish among the leaders in the 800-meter competition. Lemiesz would pick up All-America honors, but it wasn't in a way she had planned.
Aneta Lemiesz, 800 Meters
Coming down the home stretch, Lemiesz was looking to move up when disaster struck. Nebraska freshman Egle Uljas stumbled and fell to the track. Unable to avoid her, Lemiesz also went down, ending her hopes of a top finish in the race.
Lemiesz was able to walk to the finish line to claim eighth place and earn All-America honors.
Niklas Arrhenius became the eighth BYU athlete to earn All-America honors with a 7th place finish in the discus. Arrhenius, a sophomore from Orem, Utah, recorded a mark of 186'04.00" on his first attempt of the competion, and was unable to improve on that throw through the final round of competition. Stanford's Michael Robertson won the discus with a distance of 202'05.00".
Niklas Arrhenius, Discus
Arrhenius, who finished seventh in the discus at last year's NCAA Championships, is a two-time NCAA Outdoor All-American in the discus.
After earning All-America honors in the long jump on Thursday, sophomore Amy Menlove came back to win All-America honors in the heptathlon on Saturday. It was only the second time Menlove has ever competed in the heptathlon. Competing in seven events over the past two days, Menlove recorded a lifetime-best 5,486 points to finish ninth overall in the competition.
"For only the second time competing in the heptathlon, she did a heck of a job," BYU women's coach Craig Poole said. "Some of these other girls have been competing since high school. This is only Amy's second time -- ever. I'm very proud of her. She did a great job."
During Saturday's competition, Menlove picked up 902 points with a 20'03.00" effort in the long jump, finishing second in the event. After fouling on her first two attempts, Menlove was forced to take a "safety jump." Despite just one attempt, Menlove moved all the way from 10th place to third place with 4,276 points in the overall competition.
Amy Menlove, Long Jump
In the javelin, Menlove was credited with a toss of 82'07.00" to pick up 386 points. With 4,662 total points, Menlove dropped back to 11th in the overall competition.
Amy Menlove, Javelin
In the final event of the afternoon, Menlove finished fourth in the second of two heats in the 800 meters with a personal-best time of 2:20.00. Her performance was good for 824 points, and moved her from 11th to ninth place in the competition.
Amy Menlove, 800 Meters