PROVO, Utah (March 7) - The No. 7-ranked women and No. 16-ranked men head to Fayetteville for nationals Friday and Saturday, hoping to improve on last years' sixth- and thirtieth-place finishes.
Both teams are in similar positions to those they faced in 1999. The men only qualified a handful
of athletes and are shoring up for the outdoor season. The women field a tough team with athletes
from a variety of events, headed by an always-tough distance squad.
Leading the way for the women is Kirsten Bolm, recently announced as the 2000 Mountain Region Athlete of the Year. Bolm is the only athlete who will compete in two events: the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump. She is currently ranked second in the nation in the long jump and fourth in the hurdles. Other nationally ranked BYU representatives are Jeana Bingham (4th, high jump), Elizabeth Jackson (3rd, 5000m), Sherida Rogers (12th, mile), and Laura Heiner (16th, 3000m). Rounding out the NCAA team is the ninth-ranked distance medley team: Jolee Gillespie, Holly Gibbons, Lindsay Nadauld, and Susan Taylor.
"We should have a very respectable showing, and we have a very good chance of finishing in the top 10," said women's coach Craig Poole. "Unfortunately we were cut out of about six spots where we thought we would qualify because the NCAA rearranged the number of qualifiers in several events. We should be able to do quite well, however, and should come home with four or five All-Americans."
Jim Roberts heads the national field in the shot put after his throw of 64'-10.5" put him in the top spot on the season. Roberts will be joined by pole vaulters Alan Gulledge and Jeff Hansen, ranked No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. The Cougars' team chances were hurt when Kenneth Andam, who had provisionally qualified in both the 60 meters and 200 meters, suffered an ankle injury in January.