PROVO -- After leading by just eight points entering the final day of competition at the inaugural Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track & Field Championships, BYU outdistanced the field by 134.50 points to record its thirteenth league title in the past 16 years, including its third straight. The Cougars recorded 213.50 points in the final day of competition to post a meet-best 286.50 points over the four-day competition. Air Force finished in second place with 152 points, marking the highest-ever finish for the Academy in both outdoor and indoor league championship competition. Wyoming captured third place with 148 points, while Colorado State finished in fourth with 142.50 points. New Mexico took fifth with 45 points, followed in sixth place by Utah with 31 points.
All totaled, BYU earned nine first-, second- and third-place finishes throughout the day, including the highly contested 4x100-meter relay. The foursome of Thobias Akwenye, Cody Fonnesbeck, Slade Combs and Kenneth Andam recorded a season-best, NCAA provisional mark of 39.40, followed by Colorado State (39.70), Wyoming (40.54), New Mexico (41.45) and Air Force (42.53).
In the men's discus Colorado State took the top-two spots after Casey Malone nailed an NCAA automatic qualifying mark of 201'-5" and Brian Trainor recorded a mark of 192'-5" to pick up 18 team points for the Rams. Wyoming's Jason Gervais finished in third with a provisional mark of 190'-7".
Wyoming took the lead in team scoring after the triple jump, taking the top-two spots in the event. Quincy Howe won the competition with a provisional qualifying mark of 52'-9.25", while Mervin Swaby placed second for the Cowboy's with a mark of 49'-1". Air Force recorded 15 points in the event with a third-, fourth- and fifth-place finish to move into third place.
In the 100-meter high hurdles, the Cougars swept the first six spots, earning a team, single-event meet record 36 points to take over first place from Wyoming. Combs tallied a season-best 14.18, followed by Kyle Grossarth (14.30), Russ Elggren (14.43), Hyrum Prince (14.64), Chris Kemp (14.77) and Dan Visser (14.96).
In the 1500-meters, CSU's Bryan Berryhill recorded a 3:47.42 to win the event. Utah's Chris Merkley finished second with a time of 3:48.51. Joe Lopez (3:49.90) and Brian Carpenter (3:50.44) of Air Force finished third and fourth, respectively. Berryhill also won the 800-meters, turning in a time of 1:49.03. BYU's Jeff Hopkinson finished second (1:50.85), edging CSU's Joey Alzola (1:51.87) by just over one second.
In the pole vault, Jeremy Kemp improved his lifetime best by more than 10 inches, recording a provisional qualifying mark of 17'- 4.5" to win the event. Jake Gensic recorded an outdoor, personal-best mark of 17'-00.75" to record the third best height in Air Force history to finish second in the event. BYU's Curtis Pugsley, who won the decathlon two days prior, finished third with a height of 16'-06.75".
The Academy's Kevin Griswold eclipsed his previous best (47.10), recording a time of 46.43 to win the 400 meters. Griswold's time ranks second in Air Force history, behind former Olympian Alonzo Babers who set the school record (45.36) in 1983. Wyomings Maxime Charlemagne finished second in a time of 46.99. BYU's David Chesser took third, finishing in 47.59.
In the 100-meters, pre-race favorite Kenneth Andam edged teammate Thobias Akwenye by just under two-tenths of a second. Andam picked up 10 more points for the Cougars with a 10.27 in the event. Akwenye ran 10.46, while Colorado State's Sean Ingram finished third in a time of 10.49. The 200-meters was not much different. Andam recorded a season-best, provisional time of 20.68 to win the event, while Akwenye finished second in a time of 20.74. Griswold finished third in a school record 20.96 to give the Falcons six more points and take a narrow two-point lead over Wyoming for second place in the team standings.
The Cougars eclipsed the 200-point mark after the 400-meter intermediate hurdles, capturing three of the top-four spots. Grossarth won the event in a time of 50.13, while Wyoming's Seth Billy finished second in a time of 51.21. BYU's Chris Kemp finished third (51.52), while Russ Elggren finished fourth in a time of 51.57.
The Cougars extended their lead after taking three of the top-four spots in the high jump. Senior Marc Chenn added his name to the list of athletes heading to Durham, N.C. for the NCAA National Championships at the end of the month. Chenn's winning mark of 7'- 4.5" not only marked a lifetime best, but ranks second all-time in BYU history. Pugsley finished second with a mark of 6'-7.5" and Parkinson finished fourth at a height of 6'- 5.5". CSU's Terrance Jackson finished third with an identical mark of 6'-5.5".
In the 5,000-meters, Colorado State's Mike Klass scated to a six-second victory of Utah's Teren Jameson. Klass picked up 10 points for the Rams with a time of 14:51.42 and moved CSU just one-half point in front of Wyoming for third place. Jameson ran a 14:57.34, followed in third by BYU's Trevor Pettingill (15:06.55).
In the final event of the meet, Wyoming entered the 4x400-meter relay as the team to beat and needed a strong performance to pass CSU in the team standings. The Cowboys and Cougars traded leads for three laps when just meters into the final leg, contact between BYU's Grossarth and Wyoming's Charlemagne caused Grossarth to drop the baton. Wyoming then cruised to a 3:09.48 victory in the event, while BYU dropped to third (3:15.03) behind Air Force's 3:14.68. New Mexico finished
Having announced his retirement earlier this season, BYU head coach Willard Hirschi, who has led the Cougars to 11 indoor and nine outdoor league championships was named the Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year. Hirschi, who has been affiliated with BYU since 1952, will end his 12-year head coaching career following the NCAA Championships in June. BYU's Jim Roberts was named outstanding performer of the competition, while Curtis Pugsley was named MWC Freshman of the Year as well as the top-scoring athlete at the 2000 MWC Outdoor Track & Field Championships with 24 points (1st, decathlon, 2nd high jump, 3rd pole vault).
Finals MEN'S 100 METER DASH
(w:0.2): 1. Kenneth Andam, BYU 10.27; 2. Thobias Akwenye, BYU 10.46;
3. Sean Ingram, CSU 10.49; 4. Cody Fonnesbeck, BYU 10.57; 5.Carlington
Duncan, WYO 10.63; 6. J'Sharlon Jones, CSU 10.67; 7. Eric Gray, CSU
10.71; 8. Mervin Swaby, WYO 10.83; - Drew Smith, CSU DQ.
Finals MEN'S 200 METER DASH
(w:NWI): 1. Kenneth Andam, BYU 20.68; 2. Thobias Akwenye, BYU 20.74;
3. Kevin Griswold, AFA 20.96; 4. Slade Combs, BYU 21.06;
5. Cody Fonnesbeck, BYU 21.23; 6. Drew Smith, CSU 21.24; 7. Dan Ward,
CSU 21.27; 8. Sean Ingram, CSU 21.67; 9. J'Sharlon Jones, CSU 21.74.
Finals MEN'S 400 METER DASH
1. Kevin Griswold, AFA 46.43; 2. Maxime Charlemagne, WYO 46.99;
3. David Chesser, BYU 47.59; 4. Cody Millemon, WYO 47.74; 5. Jason
Wimbley, CSU 48.19; 6. Joe Jones, UNM 48.38; 7. Karal Davis, WYO 48.68;
8. Tyler Hollingshead, CSU 48.80; 9. Daymon Visser, BYU 49.61.
Finals MEN'S 800 METER RUN
1. Bryan Berryhill, CSU 1:49.03; 2. Jeff Hopkinson, BYU 1:50.85; 3.
Joey Alzola, CSU 1:51.87; 4. Andrew Sorenson, BYU 1:52.20; 5. Joe
Lopez, AFA 1:52.53; 6. Brian Carpenter, AFA 1:53.02; 7. Lewis Jones,
BYU 1:53.14; 8. Travis Fahrney, CSU 1:54.02; 9. Ben Marvin, CSU
Finals MEN'S 1,500 METER RUN
1. Bryan Berryhill, CSU 3:47.42; 2. Chris Merkley, UTAH 3:48.51;
3. Joe Lopez, AFA 3:49.90; 4. Brian Carpenter, AFA 3:50.44; 5. Gary
Wilson, BYU 3:52.86; 6. Nathan Harrison, BYU 3:54.59; 7. Josh Lybarger,
CSU 3:57.86; 8. Torin Koos, UTAH 3:57.99; 9. Joe Lopez, UNM 4:11.49.
Finals MEN'S 5,000 METER RUN
1. Mike Klass, CSU 14:51.42; 2. Teren Jameson, UTAH 14:57.34;
3. Trevor Pettingill, BYU 15:06.55; 4. Joe Hall, WYO 15:09.91;
5. Shane Rogers, AFA 15:17.35; 6. Paul McNeely, CSU 15:18.92; 7. John
Hedengren, BYU 15:22.58; 8. Joe Monaco, AFA 15:24.73; 9. Mike Thatcher,
BYU 15:25.09; 10. Zach Richter, AFA 15:26.05; 11. David Romero, AFA
15:32.55; 12. Albert Kelly, AFA 15:36.55; 13. Jim Nelson, AFA 15:41.73;
14. Randon Richards, BYU 15:44.66; 15. Patrick Shanahan, AFA 15:45.43;
16. Bill Michel, CSU 15:50.40; 17. Louis Cuellar, UNM 15:50.66;
18. Gary Wilson, BYU 16:07.01; 19. Chris Laman, UTAH 16:12.25; 20.
Nathan Harrison, BYU 16:21.96.
Finals MEN'S 10,000 METER RUN
1. Travis Hildebrand, UTAH 31:58.11; 2. Marc Lawson, BYU 32:01.50;
3. John Hedengren, BYU 32:03.06; 4. Joe Monaco, AFA 32:05.96;
5. Joe Hall, WYO 32:08.79; 6. Jim Nelson, AFA 32:23.41; 7. Dylan
Olchin, CSU 32:28.47; 8. Randon Richards, BYU 32:33.53; 9. Patrick
Shanahan, AFA 32:57.81; 10. Zach
Richter, AFA 33:09.65; 11. Chris Jons, WYO 34:15.72; 12. Lion Gallegos,
UTAH 34:26.95; 13. Phil Stoddard, UTAH 34:37.07.
Finals MEN'S 110 METER HIGH HURDLES
(w:0.0): 1. Slade Combs, BYU 14.18; 2. Kyle Grossarth, BYU 14.30; 3.
Russ Elggren, BYU 14.43; 4. Hyrum Prince, BYU 14.64; 5. Chris Kemp,
BYU 14.77; 6. Daymon Visser, BYU 14.96; 7. Marc Fulson, AFA 15.22;
8. Kurt Duffy, AFA 15.43; - Matt Puckett, AFA DQ.
Finals MEN'S 400 METER INT HURDLES
1. Kyle Grossarth, BYU 50.13; 2. Seth Billy, WYO 51.21; 3. Chris Kemp,
BYU 51.52; 4. Russ Elggren, BYU 51.57; 5. Justin Massey, UNM 53.00;
6. Shane Rasby, WYO 53.25; 7. Kurt Duffy, AFA 54.32; 8. Marc Fulson,
AFA 54.58; 9. Tom Clark, AFA 54.72.
Finals MEN'S 3,000 METER STEEPLECHASE
1. Shane Rogers, AFA 9:04.69; 2. Trevor Pettingill, BYU 9:10.74; 3.
David Romero, AFA 9:14.70; 4. Reagan Robb, CSU 9:19.90; 5. Adam Stark,
UTAH 9:30.35; 6. Albert Kelly, AFA 9:32.00; 7. Mike Thatcher, BYU
9:38.77; 8. Pontus Osterberg, UNM 9:45.33; 9. Louis Cuellar, UNM
9:56.69; 10. Scott Connors, UNM 10:21.30.
Finals MEN'S 4X100 METER RELAY
1. BYU 39.40; 2. CSU 39.70; 3. WYO 40.54; 4. UNM 41.45; 5. AFA 42.53.
Finals MEN'S 4X400 METER RELAY
1. WYO 3:09.48; 2. AFA 3:14.68; 3. BYU 3:15.03; 4. UNM 3:16.95;
5. CSU 3:19.56.
Finals MEN'S HIGH JUMP
1. Marc Chenn, BYU 2.25m (7-04.50); 2. Curtis Pugsley, BYU 2.02m
(6-07.50); 3. Daniel Parkinson, BYU 1.97m (6-05.50); 3. Terrance
Jackson, CSU 1.97m (6-05.50); 5. Paul Golando, AFA 1.92m (6-03.50);
6. Chris Kemp, BYU 1.87m (6-01.50); 7. Hyrum Prince, BYU 1.87m
(6-01.50); 8. Matt Webber, CSU 1.82m (5-11.50); - Tom Clark, AFA NH.
Finals MEN'S POLE VAULT
Chris Kemp, BYU 5.30m (17-04.50); 1. Jeremy Kemp, BYU 5.30m (17-04.50);
2. Jake Gensic, AFA 5.20m (17-00.75); 3. Curtis Pugsley, BYU 5.05m
(16-06.75); 4. Kurt Davies, CSU 4.90m (16-00.75); 5. Ben Gensic, AFA
4.90m (16-00.75); 6. Josh Horak, CSU 4.60m (15-01); 7. Hyrum Prince,
BYU 4.45m (14-07.25); 8. Kurt Duffy, AFA 3.30m (10-10).
Finals MEN'S LONG JUMP
1. Mervin Swaby, WYO 7.62m w:4.3 (25-0); 2. Chris Kincaid, UNM 7.22m
w:2.2 (23-08.25); 3. Quincy Howe, WYO 7.21m w:1.5 (23-08); 4. Shane
Rasby, WYO 7.08m w:3.5 (23-02.75); 5. Chris Riggs, CSU 7.07m w:3.2
(23-02.50); 6. Kyle Grossarth, BYU 7.02m w:1.9 (23-00.50); 7. Rick
Madsen, BYU 6.87m w:0.3 (22-06.50); 8. Cody Millemon, WYO 6.77m w:1.5
(22-02.50); 9. Jammy Kiggundu, UNM 6.71m w:0.6 (22-00.25); 10. Doug
Alfar, AFA 6.62m w:1.0 (21-08.75); 11. Curtis Pugsley, BYU 6.60m w:2.9
(21-08); 12. Paul Golando, AFA 6.53m w:3.6 (21-05.25); 13. Anthony
Jones, AFA 6.35m w:1.4 (20-10); 14. Doug Crumb, CSU 3.97m w:1.8
Finals MEN'S TRIPLE JUMP
1. Quincy Howe, WYO 16.08m w:2.2 (52-09.25); 2. Mervin Swaby, WYO
14.96m w:-1.3 (49-01); 3. Doug Alfar, AFA 14.45m w:-0.1 (47-05);
4. Anthony Jones, AFA 14.43m w:0.7 (47-04.25); 5. Paul Golando,
AFA 14.23m w:-1.2 (46-08.25); 6. Rick Madsen, BYU 14.06m w:NWI
(46-01.50); 7. Jammy Kiggundu, UNM 13.41m w:0.8 (44-0).
Finals MEN'S SHOT PUT
1. Jim Roberts, BYU 19.89m (65-03.25); 2. Jason Gervais, WYO 19.20m
(63-0); 3. Jason Hammond, WYO 18.50m (60-08.50); 4. Shawn Johnson, AFA
17.44m (57-02.75); 5. Casey Malone, CSU 17.26m (56-07.50); 6. Henry
Stephens, UNM 16.87m (55-04.25); 7. Brian Trainor, CSU 16.86m (55-
03.75); 8. Jeremy Graff, CSU 15.95m (52-04); 9. Nick Zostautas, CSU
15.52m (50-11); 10. Justin Cavinee, WYO 15.18m (49-09.75); 11. John
Griffith, WYO 14.71m (48-03.25); 12. Hyrum Prince, BYU 13.25m
Finals MEN'S DISCUS THROW
1. Casey Malone, CSU 61.40m (201-05); 2. Brian Trainor, CSU 58.64m
(192-05); 3. Jason Gervais, WYO 58.10m (190-07); 4. Jim Roberts, BYU
56.16m (184-03); 5. Jason Hammond, WYO 53.06m (174-01); 6. Shawn
Johnson, AFA 51.88m (170-02); 7. Justin Cavinee, WYO 49.02m (160-10);
8. John Griffith, WYO 47.28m (155-01); 9. Jeremy Graff, CSU 45.94m
(150-09); 10. Thomas Fortune, UTAH 43.42m (142-05); 11. Dave Thompson,
AFA 42.62m (139-10).
Finals MEN'S HAMMER THROW
1. Jason Hammond, WYO 63.52m (208-05); 2. Jason Gervais, WYO 62.34m
(204-06); 3. Steve Dunbar, UNM 60.82m (199-06); 4. Justin Cavinee, WYO
60.26m (197-08); 5. Jim Roberts, BYU 58.18m (190-10); 6. Nick
Zostautas, CSU 57.82m (189-08); 7. Dan Macsay, AFA 52.74m (173-0); 8.
John Griffith, WYO 46.78m (153-06).
Finals MEN'S JAVELIN THROW
1. Joe Bonner, AFA 59.02m (193-08); 2. Tyler Nunn, UNM 58.50m (191-11);
3. Doug Crumb, CSU 53.14m (174-04); 4. Zack Johnson, AFA 52.54m
(172-04); 5. Brian Willis, AFA 52.34m (171-09); 6. Jared Scott, BYU
51.12m (167-08); 7. Daniel Parkinson, BYU 47.72m (156-07); 8. Justin
Cavinee, WYO 46.92m (153-11); 9. John Griffith, WYO 43.82m (143-09).
Finals MEN'S DECATHLON
1. Curtis Pugsley, BYU 7525; 2. Hyrum Prince, BYU 7109; 3. Daniel
Parkinson, BYU 6418; 4. Kurt Duffy, AFA 6304; 5. Doug Crumb, CSU 5911;
6. Matt Webber, CSU 5625; 7. Tom Clark, AFA 5591.
PROVO, Utah (May 16) - After winning both men's and women's indoor championships three months ago in Colorado Springs, the BYU track and field teams enter this weekend's meet as favorites to claim the first-ever outdoor Mountain West Conference titles.
The women's team, ranked No. 4 in the nation in the latest Power rankings, heads into the meet having won 17 consecutive conference titles dating back to 1983, as a member of the High Country Athletic Conference. The No. 12 men have won two straight outdoor conference titles after placing second in 1997 in the expanded WAC. The Mountain West Conference includes 14 teams, eight women's and six men's. Each school in the conference will field a women's team, while the men's field will be without teams from San Diego State and UNLV, who do not have men's programs.
"I never make predictions, but I think this meet will be close," said women's coach Craig Poole. "The school records we have set this season are an indication of what this team can do. If we continue to do what we've done so far, we should have a good finish both at conference and at nationals."
BYU women head the conference standings in 10 events heading into the meet, and a handful of athletes appear on the national performance rankings. Melanie Steere heads the 800-meter list and is ranked ninth nationally with the second-best time in school history (2:04.50). Susan Taylor has the best 1,500 time in the conference (4:16.58) as well as the No. 3 spot in the nation. Taylor is also ranked No. 13 in the 3,000 meters (9:24.47), behind conference-leading teammate Sharolyn Shields (No. 6, 9:17.71) and Laura Heiner (No. 8, 9:19.37). Marty Hernandez leads both the 5,000- and 10,000 meters, where she is ranked No. 7 (15:59.86) and No. 4 (33:21.52), respectively. Her time in the 5,000 is an outdoor school record. Tara Rohatinsky joins Hernandez in the 10,000 rankings, at the No. 6 spot (33:40.06).
Kirsten Bolm is the favorite in the 100-meter hurdles (No. 9, 13.05) and in the long jump (No. 7, 21-5.25), and Holly Gibbons has the best 400-meter hurdles time in the MWC at 58.25, good for 19th in the nation and second on the BYU all-time list. Jeana Bingham is the conference's best high jumper (No. 9, 6-0), and school record-holder Becky Jackson tops the pole vault list with a season-best 12-10.25 and a No. 15 ranking.
The men's side of the competition will be highlighted by a showdown between national powers in the throwing events. In the shot put, BYU's No. 3 Jim Roberts (19.69 meters) will take on Wyoming's No. 5 Jason Gervais (19.49 ) and No. 7 Jason Hammond (19.32). The discus competition features two of the top three in the NCAA in Colorado State's No. 2 Casey Malone (64.47 meters) and No. 3 Gervais (64.26), as well as No. 19 Brian Trainor of Colorado State (58.82) and No. 26 Roberts (56.74).
Fresh off a personal-best 10.13 100 meters in Salt Lake last Wednesday, Kenneth Andam holds a No. 15 national ranking in the event, as well as the top spot in the conference in the 200 meters (20.77) to lead a talented group of BYU sprinters. No. 7-ranked Kyle Grossarth will try to improve on his NCAA automatic mark (49.82) in the 400-meter hurdles after running the second-fastest time ever by a Cougar at the BYU Tri-Meet May 6. Marc Chenn is the heavy favorite in the high jump, an event in which he is ranked No. 14 with a season-best 7-2.5. Also appearing in the national rankings is freshman Curtis Pugsley, ranked No. 20 in the decathlon after racking up 7,174 points at the Robison Invitational.
"There are some really good people coming in here, so things should be very exciting," said coach Willard Hirschi. "I think we should score points in each event, and there are a few events we should score big in. When the competition is good, our kids rise to the occasion and perform extremely well."
The competition begins Wednesday, May 17, at 12:30 p.m. with the first half of the heptathlon and decathlon events. The rest of the events are scheduled for Friday, May 18, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 20, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., when an awards ceremony will take place. Wednesday and Thursday's events are free to the public. Admission is $10 for an all-session family pass, $4 for an individual single session on Friday and $5 for Saturday only. Children (high school and under) are $2 for Friday and $3 for Saturday. All events will be held at the BYU Track just south of Cougar Stadium.