FAYETTEVILLE -- Senior All-American Jeff Hansen jumped his way to a national championship in the pole vault at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.
Hansen cleared a height of 17-11.75 (5.48m), where he was joined by four others, but claimed the crown as a result of having fewer misses on his earlier attempts. Before his three misses at a height of 18-3.75, Hansen had only missed one attempt on four previous heights, putting him ahead of the competition.
"Hansen works hard and he was the class of the field out there today," BYU men's pole vault coach Larry Berryhill said. "He isn't satisfied because he feels he can go a lot higher but a win is a win. The best thing about this is that it just made him hungry for outdoors and he is ready to go."
With the win in the pole vault, Hansen scored ten points to give the Cougars a 15th-place finish overall. Six teams finished in a tie with BYU for 15th on the men's side.
The BYU women's team earned two more All-America citations on the final day of competition, pushing their team score to 14, which put them in a tie for 16th overall. Of the nine athletes who competed for the Cougar women's team, seven came home with All-American honors.
"I am very pleased with our showing at this meet," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "Everybody who competed here performed well and it was a phenomenal meet. It is incredible what people do here."
Michaela Manova earned her second All-America citation of the meet with an eighth-place finish in the 3000 meter, covering the distance in 9:19.08. Manova also earned All-America honors as part of the distance medley team that finished fourth on Friday.
In the women's high jump, freshman Lindsey Steele cleared a height of 5-09.25 (1.76) to tie for sixth and earn the first All-American citation of her BYU career. Freshman Candace Clifford jumped a height of 5-07.75 for the Cougars in the high jump.
Tara Northcutt and Lindsey Thomsen finished as All-Americans in the 5000-meter run and the distance medley relay team, consisting of Jamie Cottle, Holly Haguewood, Andrea Combs and Manova, earned All-America honors on Friday.
Both the men's and women's teams will kick off their outdoor seasons next weekend as they travel to San Luis Obispo, Calif. to compete in the Cal Poly Invitational.
For complete results from the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships, go to http://www.uark.edu/depts/wathinfo/championship/2002ncaaindoor.html.
- BYU -
PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's track teams will send a total of eight athletes to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. The meet, to be held at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark., will take place Friday and Saturday.
The BYU men will be sending two representatives to compete at the NCAA meet. The men will be led by All-American Jeff Hansen, who is the top ranked pole vaulter in the nation coming into the week with a height of 18-2.25. The other BYU representative on the men's side is Aron Szmuda in the long jump, who is ranked fifth for the long jump coming in with a leap of 25-6.25.
For the BYU women's team, the distance squad is sending four runners in two races. Senior All-American Tara Northcutt looks to end a stellar BYU career on a high note in the 5,000 meter. Northcutt's eligibility will end afterf the indoor season. Northcutt, currently ranked eighth in the nation with a time of 16:21.87, will be joined in the 5,000 by fellow All-American Lindsey Thomsen, who is ranked 10th with a time of 16:24.87, and Devra Vierkant, 12th in 16:25.25. The other member of the distance team is Michaela Manova, ranked sixth in the 3000 meter with a time of 9:18.49. BYU also has high hopes for their distance medley relay team, which is ranked seventh coming into the meet with a time of 11:19.76.
On the field, the BYU women send two freshmen to compete in the high jump at the NCAA Indoor meet. Candace Clifford andLindsey Steele are tied for the 11th-best height in the nation at 5-11.0.
The NCAA Indoor Championships begin Friday at noon, with events running through 9:00 p.m. Saturday's action kicks off at 2 p.m. and the final event is scheduled to begin at 8:10 p.m. (all times are central). For a complete schedule of events, go to http://www.ncaachampionships.com/0,5920,1_713_0_9618,00.html.