Men, Women Repeat As Conference Champs

Jake Garlick helped lead the Cougar men to a sixth consecutive MWC title. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

FT. COLLINS -- The BYU men's and women's track teams repeated as Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Champions, giving the men six consecutive conference titles and the women two.

The men accumulated 280 points in the championships, while the women ended with 218 points. The Cougars totaled 19 individual titles and two relay titles and set three MWC records.

Trailing host Colorado State by 15 points when the day started, the women's team mounted a strong comeback with a nearly perfect day.

"Our girls really came through today," BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said. "Everybody did exactly what we needed them to do. We got some outstanding efforts."

While the women's team needed a comeback effort, the men's team easily cruised to a title.

"I'm so happy for our guys," BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said. "Everybody put in their best performances for us today. Things went the way I would have liked them to go."

The women's team stretched its lead with a trio of great performances in the 800 meters.

To help ensure a victory, the women's team added 24 points in the 5,000 meters. Rena Chesser added her second individual title, with teammates Michaela Mannova, Chelsea Smith, Ann Heiner and Kristy Barrus finishing fourth through seventh.

Senior Aneta Lemeisz won the event in 2:07.11 with the 1,500 meter champion Heidi Magill close behind in second at 2:08.54. Freshman Michelle Lindsay placed fourth, giving the Cougars 23 points in the event.

Rodrigo Mendes continued his amazing streak of huge jumps by leaping 55 feet 2.25 inches in the triple jump. The mark gives Mendes the MWC all-time record and the MWC Championship record.

Teammates Matt Anderson and David Pendergrass finished third and fifth in the triple jump.

Kamila Rywelska, Mendes's female counterpart in the triple jump, tied her own conference all-time record in the triple jump, leaping 43 feet 1.5 inches. She won the event with teammates Lindsey Sommer and Liis Berendsen placing fourth and fifth.

The women's team began its comeback with a dominating performance in the 1,500 meters. The Cougars scored 23 points in the event, lead by freshman Heidi Magill.

Magill won the event in 4:29.38, while teammate Ann Heiner placed second. Freshmen Ann Marie Thomas and Laura Taylor finished sixth and seventh adding to the Cougar total.

Amy Menlove did her part in helping the team by placing second in the 100-meter hurdles. She crossed the line in a season-best 13.39, giving the Cougars eight points. Adding two more points was senior Lindsey Sommer, placing seventh.

Hurdlers Jake Garlick and Ben Gardner took the top spots in the 110-meter hurdles. Garlick ran a conference-best 14.09 to win the event. Gardner crossed in the line in second place at 14.39.

In the men's 400 meter hurdles, the Cougars took the top-4 spots. Gardner won the event in a team-best 50.54, followed by Garlick (50.73), Nate Rencher (51.42), and Kansas Whitear (51.47).

On the women's side, Taylor Law finished sixth in the event.

The men added another individual title when Bryan Lindsay won the 1,500 meters. Teammate Dustin Bybee finished fifth.

Lars Kjerengtroen won the 800 meters, with Nathan Robison close behind in second. Jason Dorais finished fifth.

David Chesser picked up a MWC title when he won the 400 meters. Chesser ran a 46.69 on his was to the victory. Freshman Kevin Biesinger picked an additional six points by finishing third in the event in a season-best 47.63.

Chesser also finished second in 200 meters, trailing Travis Picou of Air Force who also won the 100 meters. Chesser ran a team-best 21.38 in the event.

Nate Soelberg finished second in the 100 meters with a team-best time of 10.56.

The pole vault squad added 11 points when Julene Kaufusi finished second and Melissa Dyer finished sixth.

The javelin duo of Maret Komarova and Tiffany Arrhenius added 13 more points, by placing second and fourth in the event. Komarova threw a season-best 148 feet 6 inches. Arrhenius also threw a season-best, 144 feet 4 inches.

Komarova added a point in the shot put, finishing eighth.

Challis Firl added two points by finishing seventh in the 400 meters.

In the 4x100 relay, the men's team of Garlick, Gardner, Chesser and Soelberg won the event, barely missing a regional qualifying time, crossing the line in 40.70. The women's relay team finished fifth.

The men's 4x400 relay team consisting of Garlick, Gardner, Whitear and Chesser won the relay, while the women's relay team finished third.

The Arrhenius brothers continued their domination of the throw events when they competed in the shot put.

Sophomore Nik Arrhenius won the event despite not having competed in the shot put yet this season. His toss of 56 feet 4.5 inches was a regional qualifying mark. Brother Leif Arrhenius finished seventh, adding two more points to the team total.

The track and field teams will now take a break before sending athletes to compete in the NCAA Regional meet in Eugene, Ore. at the end of the month. The Cougars have received over 50 regional qualifying marks this season.

Tags: Results