LINCOLN -- The BYU men's and women's track teams fared well at the Frank Sevigne Husker Invitational, finishing third in a meet that pitted both teams against top competition.
The BYU men's team claimed two event titles along with four runner-up finishes on their way to 105.50 points, behind host Nebraska who won with 138.17 points and Oregon, who finished second with 115 points.
"The competition at this meet was great," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "The facilities were spectacular and there was not one event that was easy."
Leading the charge for the Cougars was Aron Szmuda, who won the long jump with a leap of 24-00.75 (7.33m) and had a jump of 49-06.25 (15.09m) in the triple jump to finish second. Szmuda was the lone Cougar on the men's side to claim an individual event win, with the second title coming in the 4x400 relay.
Jeff Hansen bettered his provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault by clearing a height of 17-04.50 (5.30m) to finish second. Matt Nielsen ran a time of 47.66 to finish second in the 400 and Drew Ostler finished second in the 800 in a time of 1:52.49
"The meeting was frustrating because we did not have the breakout performances I hoped we would have," Robison said. "We ran well and we had some improvements but we just just did not get the marks we hoped to get coming in."
The No. 20 BYU women's team scored 107.5 points behind the strength of seven top-two event finishes, finishing third behind No. 12 Washington State, who won with 141.5 points, and No. 25 Nebraska, in second with 135 points, in a meet that had six top 25 teams in the field.
Jaime Cottle ran a provisional-qualifying mark of 2:09.49 to win the 800 meter for the lone event title for the Cougar women. Holly Haguewood finished third in the 800 with a time of 2:10.66.
"We had a good meet and were able to get more national qualifiers," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "We would have liked to score better but we are right where we want to be going into next week."
The most impressive event for the BYU women came in the 5000 meter where Tara Northcutt finished second in 16:21.87 to lead three Cougars who had provisional qualifying marks in the event. Other qualifiers in the event were Devra Vierkant, who finished fourth in 16:30.36 and Lindsey Thomsen, fifth in 16:36.49.
Michaela Manova qualified in her second event of the indoor season, finishing second in the 3000 meter with a provisional time of 9:30.40. Completing a solid meet for the Cougar distance squad was Nan Evans, who finished second in the mile with a time of 4:56.71.
The other Cougar woman with a top two finish at the meet was Nikki Hughes in the long jump with a leap of 19-08.00 (5.99m) for second place. The 4x400 relay team finished second behind Washington State in a time of 3:49.16.
The BYU men's team will not be in action next week as the team prepares for the Mountain West Conference championships in two weeks while the BYU women will compete in the Air Force Open next weekend to give the team a chance to get to know the facility that will host the conference meet.
PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's tracksters will face some of their stiffest competition of the weekend as the teams travel to Lincoln, Neb. for the Husker Invitational.
The No. 20 BYU women's team will go up against five teams ranked in the Trackwire top 25 this week. Ranked teams featured at the meet include No. 2 Arizona, No. 4 UCLA, No. 12 Washington State, No. 16 Colorado and No. 25 Nebraska.
"The meet is going to feature some great competition," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "So whenever you face strong competition you expect to see great performances from your team."
The meet will provide one of the few opportunities of the indoor season for the Cougars to compete at a non-altitude location, which should help the team in several events.
"Not being at altitude will help us in our distance events for sure," Poole said. "We should get some national qualifiers in distance out of this meet."
The BYU men's team will be pitted against No. 11 Nebraska, along with Arizona, Colorado, Oregon and Washington State as they look to make a mark in their final regular season competition of the indoor season.
"We will be facing the best competition we have all year," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "We are taking most of our best athletes on the trip so we have high expectations for how we will perform."
The trip will be the last opportunity for the men's team to get qualifying marks for the conference meet in two weeks.
"This will be an excellent trip facing great competition at a marvelous facility," Robison said. "Hopefully that will be the right combination for us and we will be able to accomplish our goals coming in."