Men & Women Run Away with MWC Titles
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COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU track and field teams swept the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The BYU women's team extended its consecutive indoor conference championships to nine by scoring 179.5 points. Colorado State scored 115 to take second, and Utah placed third with 58 points.
In typical BYU fashion, the distance runners matched Friday's performance in the 5,000-meter run by claiming the first four spots in the 3,000-meter run. Senior Lindsey Thomsen won with an altitude-adjusted time of 9:46.76. Thomsen, who also won the 5,000 meter, was followed by Katie Martin, Breanne Sandberg and Lisa Antonelli. Sophomore jumper Lindsey Sommer captured a conference title in the triple jump (39-01.75) to compliment her second-place finish in the long jump.
BYU junior Michaela Mannova won the mile run and set a new Mountain West Conference Championships record with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:50.83 (altitude adjusted time of 4:40.85). The women's team also placed first in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
Sophomore Jennifer Rockwell placed fourth in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, and junior Aneta Lemiesz placed second in the 800-meter run with at time of 2:13.21.
Referring to his athletes, women's head coach Craig Poole said, "They know we own this conference, they were going to maintain ownership of it and that's the way they performed."
"It is a real difficult place to perform," added Poole, who was named MWC Female Coach of the Year. "The way it's set up is tough and the altitude is tough. There were some good marks all the way around from all teams, but our kids consistently put the marks down where they needed to have them."
The men came back from a sluggish second day and reclaimed the indoor conference title scoring by 190 points. Air Force was second with 135 and New Mexico third with 49 points.
"The athletes really stepped up because we didn't have a very good meet yesterday," said men's head coach Mark Robison. "The guys really came together and did a heck of a job. It was really fun."
Matt Rowe (48.40) and Matt Nielsen (48.84) finished one and two in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Kip Kangogo was awarded the Male Outstanding Performance Award for his victories in the mile run and the 3,000-meter run. Kangogo ran altitude-adjusted times of 4:04.55 in the mile and 8:19.39 in the 3,000-meter run.
Senior Jeremy Kemp claimed his second men's pole vault title in three years with a height of 17-07. The Cougars finished first, second and third in the event, with sophomore Trent Powell (17-07) and junior Erik Rasmussen (17-02) following Kemp. The tie for first place was broken by a flip of a coin, as neither Kemp nor Powell wished to continue to break the tie. In addition, the men's team captured titles in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
Freshman Paul Smith placed second in the 200-meter dash and Sophomore Nathan Robison placed second in the mile run.
Next week, a few BYU athletes will participate in the Last Chance Meet in Pocatello, Idaho, and the NCAA National Championships will be March 14-15 in Fayetteville, Ark.
PROVO -- BYU men's and women's track and field teams will compete at the Mountain West Conference Championships this weekend in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The women will be defending their indoor conference title, having finished first in their conference every year since the 1994-95 season. Several BYU athletes enter the conference championships with the top conference marks this season.
Aneta Lemiesz leads all times in the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.6. Jamie Cottle has the best time of 4:43.67 in the mile. BYU dominates the 3,000 and 5,000-meter run, with the top six conference times in the 3,000-meter run and the top five conference times in the 5,000-meter run. Katie Martin has the best 3,000-meter time (9:32.01), and Lindsey Thomsen has the best 5,000-meter time (16:16.37). Also seeded at the top of the conference, are Candace Clifford in the high jump, Lindsey Sommer in the triple jump and the 4x400-meter relay team.
The men's team, which has won13 out of the last 15 conference titles, will look to better last year's second-place finish.
"Everybody that was there last year knows that there is a lot of unfinished business," said men's head coach Mark Robison. "We're going in to take back what we lost."
The men are seeded first in 10 of the 17 events. Cody Fonnesbeck and Paul Smith have the top times in the 60-meter dash and the 200-meter dash, respectively. David Chesser leads the conference in the 400-meter run with a time of 47.92, and Scott Adams leads in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:49.11. Sophomore Nathan Robison has the best times in the mile (3:59.70), and Kip Kangogo has the best time in the 3,000-meter run (7:59.36). BYU also holds the best conference mark in the pole vault at 17-04.75, set by Trent Powell and Erik Rasmussen. In the shot put, Dan Arrhenius has the best conference throw this season with a distance of 56-06.75.
Robison added, "There are great teams in the conference. No one is going to give it to us, and that is the way we want it."
Competition starts Thursday with the pentathlon and continues through Saturday afternoon. The awards ceremony will take place Saturday at 4 p.m.