Men, Women Win MWC Indoor Titles

The BYU men and women won team titles at the 2007 MWC Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque.

ALBUQUERQUE -- For the seventh time in eight years the BYU men's and women's track and field teams won the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championship. The BYU men took home the title with 180 team points, outdistancing Colorado State by 37 points. On the women's side, BYU totaled 179 points to Colorado State's 122.

Women's head coach Craig Poole was named the MWC women's head coach of the year and men's head coach Mark Robison was named Co-MWC Coach of the Year with Wyoming's coach Don Yentes.

"We did what we believed we could do," Robison said. "Our athletes performed well and we had some phenomenal performances at this meet."

In the 60-meter hurdle finals, Nate Rencher had his best time of the season, finishing in third place with a time of 8.08 seconds. Jacob Garlick was fourth with a time of 8.12. David Pendergrass placed third in the triple jump with his jump of 47 feet 5 inches. Freshman Redmond Tutor placed seventh in the triple with his jump of 45 feet 10 inches.

In the mile final the Cougars took the top three spots. Dustin Bybee took the early lead, and held it for the entire competition. He finished with a time of 4:17.34. In second place Kyle Perry sprinted in for the second place finish in a time of 4:17.57. Then Tyrel Jensen took the third spot with a time of 4:18.40.

"I felt really relaxed," said Bybee after the race. "We all wanted the win today. We didn't care which one of us took first, and anyone of us could have won today. I felt relaxed and went for it."

Whitney Neves broke his personal record to win the MWC Championship in the pole vault. Matt Weirich also cleared a new season-best and improved his provisional qualifying mark. Neves cleared 17 feet 7.75 inches. Weirich cleared 17 feet 5.75 inches. Bob Low, who has already provisionally qualified for nationals in the pole vault, finished third and Victor Weirich tied his life-time best vault to finish fourth. Their performance helped BYU pull away from the field.

"I just tried to relax and have a good time," said Neves. "I think I vault better when I am having a good time.

Niklas Arrhenius threw the second longest shot put of the meet, a mark of 58 feet 8.5 inches. Freshman Colby Barber had a mark of 48 feet 6.50 inches. For ninth and Randy Patterson threw a shot of 48 feet 2 inches.

For the women's team, Diane Stewart came in sixth place in the 60-meter hurdle finals. She also broke her season and all-time best mark in the event with her time of 8.66. Mindy Neeley took fourth in the 60-meter finals.

For the women's mile final, Hiedi Magill left no doubt she deserved the MWC crown as she ran the event in a time of 4:54.04. She ran out at the head of the pack and eventually increased the lead to nearly 40 meters at the end. Julie Meads beat out last year's indoor champion to take second place with a time of 4:58.27.

The 800 meters was another convincing win for the Cougar women. Carlee Clark ran away with the first-place finish as well as the meet and facility record in the 800 meters with her time of 2:09.43. Heidi Houle finished just behind Mandy Upuu for third place with a time of 2:11.43.

"I was pretty nervous going out," said Clark. "My only strategy was to go out and run hard. I am just excited to be able to score points for the team. I believed in myself like coach (Patrick Shane) did, and it turned out great."

The Cougars continued to set new records. Sarah Lacey set a new personal best mark of 5 feet 7 inches in the high jump. She finished in third place and Kristin Hirst finished tied for sixth.

Tiffany Arrhenius threw the shot put 43 feet 5 inches to come in eighth place. Neeley and Jennifer Grossarth came in third and sixth, respectively. Neeley ran a 24.23 and Grossarth ran a time of 24.56. Kamila Rywelska finished second in the triple jump with a mark of 42 feet 8.25 inches.

Amy Fowler came out strong in the 3000 meters on her way to a MWC Championship title. She took first with her time of 9:52.86. Kassi Andersen came off a long 5000-meter race the day before to finish second with a time of 9:59.46. Teammate Amber Duffin ran hard to hold off the pack to finish third with a time of 10:00.20.

"The first mile felt really good," said Fowler. "After that, I could really feel the mile I ran yesterday (in the DMR). I am excited about the finish."

The women's 4x400-meter relay team ran a hard race and improved their season best time with a mark of 3:44.45. BYU finished third in the event.

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