Women Place Sixth at Nationals; Men Get Ten All-Americans
FAYETTEVILLE -- Through a balanced scoring effort, the BYU women's track team made their strongest showing in five years by scoring 26 points at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships and placing sixth overall, while the men earned ten All-American citations.
Combined, the Cougars earned 15 All-American citations during the two-day competition, including five by the women's team.
Five of the six women that qualified for nationals scored points for the Cougars. The 26 points are the second most scored at NCAA Indoor Championships in school history. They also scored 26 points in 1981. At the 2000 NCAAs, the Cougars scored a school-record 28 points.
BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said he was proud of the way his team competed, barely missing out on an even higher finish.
"I'm very happy for our girls," Poole said. "They did a fantastic and outstanding job. They made a lot of personal best marks."
The men's team finished the competition with only 14.5 points to finish 15th, but BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said he was pleased anyway.
"We got a lot of All-Americans," he said. "It's probably a school record. We put in a lot of great efforts this season."
The highest scorer for the men was senior Rodrigo Mendes. The native of Brazil tied his highest finish at a national competition by placing second in the triple jump. He also finished second at last year's outdoor championships. He cleared a season-best 54 feet 6 inches, adding eight points to the men's total. His jump is the second best jump in school history.
The high scorer for the women was multi-event star Amy Menlove. She scored 14 points between the open long jump and the pentathlon.
Just like yesterday's open long jump, Menlove started off the pentathlon long jump with her best mark. Menlove set a school and Mountain West Conference record with a jump of 21 feet 10.75 inches. The mark is the ninth best American mark, trailing Olympic super star Marion Jones by less than two inches. She passed on her final two attempts.
With her giant leap in the long jump, Menlove took a lead into the final event of the pentathlon, the 800 meters. But Ashley Selig of Nebraska trailed Menlove by 139 points, going into Selig's strongest event, the 800 meters.
Menlove couldn't quite keep up with Selig, finishing just more than 11 seconds behind Selig. The strong run by Selig propelled her to a 15 point victory over Menlove.
Menlove tossed the shot put 36 feet 7 inches, just an inch-and-a-half short of her personal best. The throw kept her within striking distance of the leaders, with her strongest event, the long jump, still to come. The throw was worth 605 points.
Junior Liis Berendsen also competed in the pentathlon. She set a season-best mark in the shot put. Her mark was more than two feet better than her previous best. She earned 604 points for the throw.
Berendsen cleared 5 feet 7 inches during the high jump portion of the pentathlon, to earn 855 points. Menlove cleared 5 feet 5.75 inches, which is her second best jump ever. She earned 818 points for her jump.
Menlove started strong in the pentathlon by winning the 60-meter hurdles in a personal best 8.28. The time earned her 1,066 points. Berendsen meanwhile crossed the finish line at 9.14, to earn 881 points. Berendsen finished the entire pentathlon in 12th.
By crossing the finish line in sixth place, freshman sensation Heidi Magill earned three points for the Cougars, giving them their final points of the championships.
Triple jumper Kamila Rywelska added to the Cougar point total, placing fifth in the event. The native of Poland, like the other Cougar jumpers, started with her best jump of the day. She cleared 44 feet 2.5 inches on her first jump to collect four more points for the women's team.
Josh Rohatinsky and Bryan Lindsay competed in the finals of the men's 3,000 meters, but failed to earn any points for the team. Rohatinsky finished with a time of 8:05.67 and was named an All-American, while Lindsay crossed the line at 8:15.71.
The Cougars will almost immediately begin the outdoor season when they head to Arizona for the Willie Williams Invitational this weekend.
BYU All-American Citations at the 2005 NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships:
Josh Rohatinsky-3,000 meters
Trent Powell-Pole Vault
Robison Pratt- Pole Vault
Rodrigo Mendes-Triple Jump
Amy Menlove-Long Jump, Pentathlon
Lindsey Metcalf-High Jump
Kamila Rywelska-Triple Jump
Menlove, Lindsay Lead Track Team Into Nationals
PROVO -- Sophomore Amy Menlove and senior Bryan Lindsay headline a contingency of 17 track athletes from BYU to compete in the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Fayetteville, Ark. this weekend.
Menlove and Lindsay are the only two Cougars to qualify in more than one event.
Menlove will compete in both the long jump and the pentathlon during the championships, while Lindsay will run the mile and 3,000-meter races. Lindsay also helped the Cougars qualify in the distance medley relay, but will not compete in the DMR, focusing on his other two events instead.
The Cougars are excited for the chance to compete on the national stage.
"There's no reason everybody we're taking can't or shouldn't be an All-American," BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said. "Our goal is to be top-10."
Robison said this is the most athletes he's taken to nationals since he's been the coach. He also said most the athletes have been to the NCAAs before, giving the Cougars a solid chance to improve on last year's 27th-place finish.
Also scheduled to compete for the men during nationals include: Nathan Robison (mile), Josh Rohatinsky (3,000m), Lars Kjerengtroen, Jason Dorais, David Chesser and Josh McAdams (distance medley relay), Robison Pratt and Trent Powell (pole vault), Rodrigo Mendes (triple jump), and Leif Arrhenius (weight throw).
The women qualifiers, not counting Menlove, include: Heidi Magill (mile), Laura Turner (5,000m), Lindsey Metcalf (high jump), Kamila Rywelska (triple jump) and Liis Berendsen (pentathlon).
Turner, Metcalf and Rywelska will bring NCAA championship experience with them to Fayetteville. Those three were named All-Americans last year. Turner in the outdoor 10,000 meters, Metcalf in the indoor and outdoor high jump and Rywelska in the indoor triple jump.
BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said the team is looking forward to competing.
"Everybody we wanted to qualify got in," Poole said. "We're going to have lots of fun and just do our best."
Poole also added the increased quality of competition at nationals will challenge his team, but will also bring great results.
The women's team finished 15th at last year's NCAA Indoor Championship. Currently, Trackwire.com ranks the women No. 7, with the United States Track Coaches Association gives them a No. 8 power ranking.
The men meanwhile are ranked No. 15 by Trackwire.com, but have earned a No. 4 power ranking from the USTCA, trailing only Indiana, Florida and Wisconsin.
With a little bit of luck and a lot of hard work, the Cougars are poised to improve on last year's finishes as they look forward to competing in the outdoor season.
Results will be available on www.byucougars.com at the conclusion of competition each day.