Women Open the Championships with Solid Performance

Senior Michaela Mannova anchors the Distance Medley Relay to take the team from 11th place to 6th place at the first day of the 2004 NCAA Indoor Championships.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The Cougar women held steady in the first day of competition at the 2004 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships to place five All-Americans. The women began their event with Laura Turner running the 5,000-meters and finished up with the women's distance medley relay who placed fifth after senior Michaela Mannova's PR mile.

Laura Turner represented the Cougars first in the meet with a strong finish in the 5,000-meters in 16:13.80 placing her ninth overall.

"This is her second best time of her life," women's distance Coach Patrick Shane said. "She has been sick for the past week and her immune system just has not bounced back from that. Considering how she was feeling, she ran a good race and gave everything she had. It was everything she could give us today."

Turner certainly did well enough to add a second track All-American honor to her name.

"It was exciting and I truly gave it my all," Turner said. "I am happy and feel privileged to add another All-American to my name."

After the DMR, the BYU team added four more All-American citations to their fleet with their finish in 11:12.60.

Junior Kassi Andersen lead off the DMR in the 1200-meters followed by junior Jennifer Rockwell-Grossarth, freshman Julie Cameron in the 800-meters and was anchored by senior Michaela Mannova in the mile.

"They ran about six seconds off their qualifying time," women's distance coach Patrick Shane said. "This is where we predicted them to be. We wouldn't have been able to do it without Michaela's mile time."

Mannova ran her mile in 4:37, her fastest time of the season to take the team from 11th place to finish sixth overall.

"Truly her time was probably the second best mile time of any of them out there," Shane said.

In addition, freshman Cameron opened her collegiate career with this race.

"I was kind crazy to open my collegiate career and become an All-American," Cameron said. "It was a lot faster and the girls all run in a bunch, but it was definitely exciting."

Overall, the women's team ends the day with three points and looks forward to tomorrows competition in the 3,000-meters, high jump and triple jump.

Tags: Results