Cougars Cruise to Invitational Titles
PROVO -- If the BYU Invitational is any indication, the BYU men's and women's track and field teams are gearing up well for the upcoming Mountain West Conference Championship.
The Cougars ran away with both the men's and women's team titles, with the men winning 13 of the 17 events while the women claimed 12 of 17. The men scored 172.50 points compared to second-place Utah State at 98.50 and third-place Utah Valley State College at 67. The BYU women totaled 231 points, followed by Utah with 139, Utah State with 119 and UVSC with 64.
"We had a great meet -- I was very pleased," BYU men's coach Mark Robison said. "It's good to score. We have done the things we need to do to get ready for the conference and regional meets."
The Cougar men entered Saturday's competition with a commanding advantage and continued to excel as a BYU athlete won seven of the nine events during the final day. Among the highlights for the men included a strong showing in the 4x100-meter relay. Cody Fonnesbeck, Matt Nielsen, Paul Smith and Nate Soelberg completed the race with a season-best time of 40.33.
"Having that performance in the 4x100 was important to us," Robison said. "That will help us in case we don't do as well at regionals."
The Cougars also won the 4x400-meter relay and Fonnesbeck and Smith had the top-two times in the 100 meters. Other BYU event winners on the men's team included David Chesser in the 400-meter dash (47.45), Matt Anderson in the triple jump (14.83m), Dan Arrhenius in the shot put (17.26m) and Kip Kangogo in the 1,500-meter run (3:45.80).
Utah State claimed the other two men's events Saturday, with Justin Wickard winning the 110-meter hurdles (14.27) as the Aggies claimed the top three spots in the race. Aggie senior Robert Crockett took the high jump with a height of 2.07 meters with UVSC's Clifton Palmer finishing second (1.97m).
Cougar coach Craig Poole's women's team also won seven of nine events Saturday to coast to the team title. Poole gave high marks to Cougar performances in the high jump, 1,500-meter run, 400-meter dash and 4x100-meter relay.
"Lindsey (Metcalf) was impressive with her season best on high jump," Poole said. "Our 4x100 recorded its second-best time of the year, Aneta (Lemiesz) had her best time in the 400 meters and we had a great showing in the 1,500 meters."
BYU claimed the top-two finishers in the 1,500-meter run with Jamie Cottle (4:28.71) coming in ahead of teammate Kristen Ogden (4:30.67). Additional event winners for the women included Miriam Fisher in the 100-meter hurdles (14.20), Jennifer Rockwell in the 100-meter dash (12.07) and Lindsey Sommer in the triple jump (11.86m). Utah State recorded wins in the 200-meter dash and shot put as Kathleen Hobbs ran a 200-meter time of 26.03 while Kelli Burton achieved a distance of 15.20 meters.
"This has helped us get ready for the conference meet, which will be very challenging this year with San Diego State considered a favorite." Poole said. "We improved this week and our health is better now. We'll work hard next week and we'll be ready for what will be a very tough conference meet."
The MWC Championships will be conducted May 14-17 in Albuquerque, N.M.
PROVO -- Coming off solid performances at last week's Robison Invitational, the BYU men's and women's track and field teams will host the annual BYU Wells Fargo Invitational beginning Thursday evening and running through Saturday at the BYU Track and Field Complex. Admission to the meet is $4 per person.
Joining BYU in the scored meet will be the University of Utah, Utah State University and Utah Valley State College. Since the meet will be scored to determine a team winner, unattached athletes are not participating. The meet also features an expansive high school competition as one of the largest high school meets in the intermountain area.
The collegiate meet begins Thursday at 5 p.m. with the javelin and hammer events. Running events start the meet Friday and Saturday at 7:30 a.m., with field events beginning each morning at 8 a.m. Each day's events will conclude in the late afternoon.
In addition to seeking the team victory in the scored meet, Cougar athletes will look to post regional qualifying times in preparation for nationals in Sacramento, Calif., June 11-14.
The men's team has already regionally qualified athletes in 16 of 21 events. The men have excelled in several field events with freshman Robison Pratt and sophomore Trent Powell ranked nationally at No. 2 and No. 7, respectively, in the poll vault, while junior Aron Szmuda is rated seventh in the triple jump. In running events, junior Greg Flint has the 10th best time nationally in the 400-meter hurdles, Kip Kangogo is No. 11 in the 5,000-meter run and sophomore Nathan Robison is rated 12th in the 1,500 meters.
The women's team has already regionally qualified athletes in 10 events and nationally qualified three athletes, with another provisional qualifier, in the 10,000-meter run, where Cougar senior Lindsey Thompsen is rated sixth nationally. The women's team boasts three of the top-10 steeplechase athletes in the country, including the event's top-rated Kassi Andersen. A sophomore who prepped at Provo High School, Andersen is also ranked nationally in the 1,500-meter run (No. 15) and the 800 meters (No. 25).