OGDEN, Utah (Jan. 12, 2002) The indoor track season got underway with some solid early season performances for both the men's and women's teams that included three women making qualifying marks for the NCAA Indoor Championships.
Nikki Hughes set a new arena record in the long jump by leaping a distance of 20-4, giving her a provisional qualifying mark in that event. Hughes also claimed the 55-meter hurdle title by clocking a time of 8.19.
The other two national qualifiers for BYU came from the long jump, with Candace Clifford and Lindsey Steele both clearing a height of 5-11 to earn provisional qualifying marks. The two tied for the top mark in the event at the meet.
"We had three athletes do very well and we are really pleased with the result," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "I have never had the jumpers do that well in their first meet since I have been coaching. Usually they take a few meets to warm up so the future is looking very bright."
On the men's side, David Pendergrass cleared a personal best 6-11 in the high jump for a second-place finish. Dan Arrhenius also performed well in his first time competing for nearly four years. Arrhenius threw a distance of 54-3.75 to win the shot put title
BYU men's head coach Mark Robison chose to spread his athletes in several different events to give him a chance to take a look at the team's progression at this point in the season
"This was a good tune-up meet for us," Robison said. "We had people run different races to see where they are at. Next week we will be at full strength and that will help us."
Both Cougar squads will be traveling to Pocatello, Idaho to compete in the Snake River Open next week.
PROVO -- The BYU men's and women's track teams will see their first action of the 2002 season in Ogden at the Wildcat Invitational.
The early season meet gives the athletes a chance to see how they perform in a competitive setting against other collegiate athletes.
"This meet will give the kids a chance to get to know competition," BYU women's head coach Craig Poole said. "It will give us a chance to see where we are outside of training."
The meet will also provide the coaches an opportunity to evaluate their talent and see what needs to be worked on as the season continues on.
"This weekend is a tune-up for the team," BYU men's head coach Mark Robison said. "We won't have everybody participating this weekend but it gives us a chance to see what's taking place in each event."
In addition to the Wildcat Invitational, the vaulters from the men's and women's squads will spend the weekend in Reno, Nev. at the 2002 Pole Vault Summit.
The summit gives the vaulters an opportunity to get instruction from some of the top vaulters and coaches in the world of pole vault. The summit will also feature a vault competition, giving the vaulters their first competition of the season.