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POCATELLO -- With only one meet remaining before the conference championships, the men's and women's track and field teams fared well at the Mountain State Games Friday and Saturday.
Craig Poole, women's head coach said, "All in all we did good. We didn't have anyone qualify this week, but I think it was a step up from last week. I thought we competed more competitively than we have in the past."
In the women's pole vault, Alicia Thompson, Tora McMullin and Kierstin Schvaneveldt posted personal best marks of 10-06. Jennifer Rockwell placed second in the 400m invitational with a time of 55.66, and Lindsey Sommer won the triple jump. Liis Berendsen also performed well in the triple jump, with a personal best of 37-00.25.
Angela Benson and Shalice Pugmire placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the mile invitational, and Aneta Lemiesz ran the second fastest BYU 800-meter time this season, finishing in 2:12.72. The women's 4x400-meter relay team also posted a season-best time of 46.43.
The men's team had two athletes provisionally qualify for nationals. Pole vaulters Eric Rasmussen and Trent Powell both jumped 17-4.75 (5.30m) to post national qualifying marks.
Sophomore Nate Soelberg won the preliminary and finals heats of the 55-meter run, but pulled up at the end of the final race with an injury.
"Nate Soelberg was running incredible, and then pulled up at the very end," said men's head coach Mark Robison. "We hope he just cramped and didn't hurt his leg."
Robison continued, "Right now our main concern is Nate Soelberg. He is having an amazing season and is the fastest in the conference. We hope he will be okay."
The Cougars will next compete at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb., February 15.
Coach Poole Quotes:
"We had a nice meet. We did very well. "
"The pentathlon went well. For the first time competing in the pentathlon we did okay. We didn't set the world on fire. Tiffany Lott Hogan, our strength coach who competed unattached, did very well. Liis Berendsen for her first time did a good job. "
"In the 55 hurdles we had an improvement overall."
Coach Robison Quotes:
"We did better than I thought we would."
"The vaulters did very well."
"We had a very good meet. The guys in the 5,000m did very well. They ran the second and third fastest times in the conference."
"The distance medley relay didn't go nearly as well as we had hoped."
"Arrhenius threw farther in the shot put."
"Some of our kids didn't do as well as we had hoped and others were incredible."
"I was surprised we ran faster on this track than we did in Boise."
PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's track and field teams will compete this weekend at the Mountain State Games in Pocatello, Idaho.
The Cougars' first two-day meet of the season will feature a few events that BYU hasn't competed in yet this season. Inaugural events for the men's and women's teams will be the 55-meter run, 55-meter hurdles and pentathlon. In addition, the men will run the distance medley and the 5,000m for the first time.
The meet will start Friday, February 7 and will go from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. (with the exception of the pentathlon, which will start at noon). The second day of competition will again at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 8 and will end at 4 p.m.
With only two meets before the Mountain West Conference Championships, both BYU teams expect more athletes to qualify for nationals. The men's team has already had four athletes provisionally qualify for nationals, and the women's team has had three athletes and the distance medley team post provisional qualifying marks.