(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
ALBUQUERQUE -- Despite entering the final day of the MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships in third place, the BYU women were able to dominate on the final day to secure their second consecutive MWC title, and their eighth outdoor title this decade.
“We really came out today and did what we needed to do,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We had great performances all around, from Mindy (McClurkin) taking both the sprints to our two high jumpers (Ada Robinson and Ashley Dziendziel) finishing one – two. It was just a great day.”
Fatima Makakala, Porshe Giddings, Amy Otis and McClurkin set the tone for the Cougars in the first event of day four, the 4x100m relay. The foursome set a BYU record of 44.76 on the way to the first 4x100m title for BYU since entering the MWC in 1999.
McClurkin anchored that relay, and the Cougars sat in third when she received the baton. She was able to overcome that deficit, narrowly passing the UNLV team at the finish line. McClurkin’s day was far from over after the relay, as the 100m and 200m still to come.
In her individual events, McClurkin continued her reign of dominance, winning the 100m in 11.66 and the 200m in a BYU-record 23.32. McClurkin scored a total of 32.5 points at the meet, and was named the MWC Athlete of the Meet and received the High Point award.
“This is the best way possible to finish my MWC career,” McClurkin said. “To win four events, it is unbelievable. And to bring home a team title at the same time, it is the icing on the cake.”
Competing alongside McClurkin in the 100m and 200m was teammate Porshe Giddings. Giddings took third in the 100m in 11.82 and sixth in the 200m in 24.62.
The 800m was a strong event for BYU, with six Cougars finishing in the top eight. Sophomore All-American Lacey Cramer successfully defended her title in 2:04.67, narrowly edging teammate Angela Wagner, who finished second in 2:04.94. Nachelle Stewart rounded out the top three sweep for the Cougars, finishing third in 2:05.55. Also scoring in the event for BYU were Nicole Clark in fifth (2:08.81), Palmer-Cox in sixth (2:10.36) and Sarah Edwards in eighth (2:16.68).
Two Cougars took the top-two spots in the high jump, with Robinson clearing a season-best 1.82m (5-11.50) to grab the victory. Dziendziel finished in a close second by clearing 1.79m (5-10.50). Diana Blauer also placed in the top eight, leaping 1.68m (5-06.00) to take fifth.
Alyssa Christensen ran a season-best time of 59.34 in the 400m hurdles to take
her first ever MWC title. Sophomore Chelsea Taylor crossed the line in fourth place in 1:01.59.
Three BYU women competed in the final 1500m competition. Defending champion Katie Palmer-Cox placed second in 4:31.80, freshman Candace Eddy nabbed fourth in 4:34.63 and sophomore Sarah Edwards finished fifth in 4:35.40. The three finishes combined for 17 team points, and pushed BYU to a team lead they would refuse to relinquish the rest of the day.
Another set of three Cougars competed in the 100m hurdles, with Otis leading the way in third place in 13.94. Makakala finished sixth in the event in 14.23 and Mindy Robins, the third-place finisher in the heptathlon on Thursday, finished eighth in 14.36.
The javelin throw also featured three Cougars in the top eight, with freshman Allyson Wardell leading the way in second with a throw of 44.10m (144-08). Sarah Lancaster came in fourth with a throw of 42.66m (139-11) and freshman Amber Freeman grabbed seventh with her toss of 37.66m (123-07).
Madara Dzable was the lone Cougar to compete in the finals of the triple jump. Dzable scored five points for BYU by finishing fourth with a jump of 12.33m
The BYU women finished with 204 points, 83 points ahead of its nearest competition (TCU – 121). With the win, the Cougars have now won back – to – back MWC indoor and outdoor titles.
“It is such a great feeling to win the indoor and outdoor titles in the same season,” Poole said. “I am proud of the girls, and I know we will move on to the West Region and have some success there.”
In two weeks several Cougars will continue their seasons at the West Region meet in Austin, Texas. The meet beings on May 27 and concludes May 29, with the top 12 finishers in each event moving on to Nationals.
Final Results for the MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships can be found at: