COLORADO SPRINGS -- In a repeat performance of last year's championship meet, the BYU men's and women's track teams recorded first-place finishes at the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships, held Thursday through Saturday at Cadet Field House. The Cougar women scored 203 points to outdistance second-place Colorado State (141), while the men won with a team score of 214 points to CSU's 132.50.
In the first day of competition, Thursday, BYU got out to a good start in the pentathlon. Freshman Maret Komarova won the women's competition with 3892 points to give BYU ten team points. On the men's side, seniors Chris Kemp and Dan Parkinson took second and fifth, respectively, to score 12 team points for the Cougars. Kemp recorded 3669 points in the five events, and Parkinson scored 3434 points in the competition. Colorado State's Doug Crumb won the men's division with 3820 points.
On Friday, while most events were just getting under way with preliminary competitions, the BYU women's team showcased some of its talented distance sqaud. Sophomores Lindsey Thomsen (17:39.20) and Tara Northcutt (17:56.75) went one-two in the 5,000 meters, and teammates Katie Martin and Sarah Ellett finished in fifth and sixth place, respectively, to give BYU 25 points in one race. In addition, senior All-American Kirsten Bolm took first in the long jump (20'02.25") to give BYU ten more points, and junior Cathy Fuailemma finished second in the weight throw (58'10.25") to improve on her season-best and add eight team points. The men's team, meanwhile, got some help from several freshmen. Josh Rohatinsky (15:24.17) recorded a second-place finish in his first race at 5,000 meters this season, and teammates Curtis Pugsley (6'10.75") and Gabe Casdorph (6"08.75) took the top two spots in the high jump. Pugsley took fourth in the long jump (22'08.50"), and BYU also got second-place finishes from both the men's and women's teams in the distance medley relay.
The Cougars continued their winning ways on Saturday, as the two teams combined for wins in 13 different events. The BYU women's distance team continued to shine, as the Cougars finished one-two-three in the 3,000 meters. Sharolyn Shields-Thayer (9:47.61) led the way, breaking her own conference championship meet record of 9:51.70 from a year ago. Courtney Meldrum (10:06.17) and Elizabeth Jackson (10:10.32) rounded out the 24-point race for the Cougars. Senior All-American Melanie Steere (4:55.56) set another conference championship meet record in the 1 mile race, while teammate Tara Haynes (5:08.37) took third. Senior All-American Jeana Bingham (5'11.25") tied her conference championship meet record in the high jump. Other event winners included sophomore Jamie Philburn (2:14.39) in the 800 meters, and Kirsten Bolm (8.36 seconds)in the 60-meter hurdles. Senior M.E. Clayton (39'11.50") took second in the triple jump, and junior Becky Beachler (49'05.00") finished second in the shot put.
Leading the way for the men's team, senior All-American Kenneth Andam swept the sprint races, winning conference championships in both the 60 meters (6.62) and 200 meters 21.15). Cougars battled it out amongst themselves for the titles in the 400 meters and the 800 meters, as BYU took the top three spots in both races. Sophomore Greg Flint (48.42) won the quarter-mile race, just edging out teammates Kish Beverly (48.56) and Matt Nielsen (49.43). In the half mile, sophomore Jeffrey Hopkinson (1:53.04) took the top spot, ahead of Drew Ostler (1:53.23) and Jason Dorais (1:54.34). Both Hopkinson and Ostler beat the previous conference championship meet record of 1:53.78. Senior All-American Jim Roberts (64'03.25") won the shot put, and sophomore Jeremy Kemp (16'04.75") took first in the pole vault. BYU also got ten points from its mile relay team that turned in a conference championship meet record time of 3:12.36 to take the win.
"Aside from a few minor setbacks, we really had a good meet," said BYU men's coach Mark Robison. "The kids did everything we asked them to. They came out and performed well and we're very happy with the win."
Several Cougars also took home additional conference awards for their performances at the championships. Curtis Pugsley won the award for the highest point total by an individual in the men's competition, and he took home the award for the outstanding male freshman as well. Pugsley tallied a total of 22 points competing in the 60-meter hurdles (8th), high jump (1st), pole vault (3rd) and long jump (4th). Maret Komarova won the award for outstanding female freshman.
The Cougars now have two weeks to prepare for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will be held March 9-10 in Fayatteville, Ark.
For complete results of the MWC championship meet, go to www.mountainwestconf.com
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
INDOOR TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
Saturday, February 24, 2001
SCORES FOR WOMEN
Rank School Score
==== ================= =======
1 BYU 203
2 CSU 141
3 UNLV 98
4 NEW MEXICO 57
5 WYOMING 56
6 UTAH 49
7 AIR FORCE 47
8 SAN DIEGO ST 8
SCORES FOR MEN
Rank School Score
==== ================= =======
1 BYU 214
2 CSU 132.50
3 AIR FORCE 130
4 WYOMING 127.50
5 NEW MEXICO 29
6 UTAH 16
Women's Coach Of The Year- Mike Jones, Utah
Men's Coach of the Year- Ralph Lindeman, Air Force
High Point Female Athlete Of The Meet- Michele Davis, UNLV
High Point Male Athlete- Curtis Pugsley, BYU, Mervin Swaby, Wyo.
Outstanding Female Athlete Performance- Michele Davis, UNLV
Outstanding Male Athlete Performance- Jason Gervais, Wyoming
Outstanding Female Freshman- Maret Komarova, BYU
Outstanding Male Freshman- Curtis Pugsley, BYU
PROVO -- Heading into this weekend's Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships with many of the top times in the conference, the BYU men's and women's track teams will look to defend their titles from a year ago. In the inaugural season of MWC competition, the Cougar men recorded a 50-point victory with 193 points, while the women dusted the competition, scoring 229 points to the second place team score of 91.50.
This year, the women's team will be lead by its outstanding distance core. While the high altitude in Colorado Springs, Colorado will likely take its toll in the longer races, the BYU team is still looking to qualify several athletes for the NCAA Championships, and the conference meet is the last chance to do so. Cougar runners hold four of the top five times in the 800 meters, with senior All-American Melanie Steere leading the way at 2:10.41. Steere also holds the top spot in the mile, with a seed time of 4:47.40, and the Cougars claim seven of the top eight times in that event. In the 3,000 meters, BYU holds eight of the top 12 times, with senior All-American Elizabeth Jackson in the number one spot with a seed time of 9:30.19. Jackson has the best time in the 5,000 meters as well, at 16:27.72, and the Cougars go 1-2-3 in that event. (seed times reflect adjustments for altitude and track conditions)
"We're going to put our best team out there this weekend," said women's coach Craig Poole. "Everybody is healthy right now and we're ready to go. This will be a good opportunity for several of our athletes to record personal bests."
In addition to its distance squad, the BYU team will have several strong competitors in the field events. Senior All-American Kirsten Bolm set a meet record in the long at last weekend's Air Force Open with a leap of 20'09.00" (6.32m). That mark puts her at the top of the conference list, and she also has the top time in the 60-meter hurdles at 8.34. Senior All-American Jeana Bingham is coming off a strong showing last weekend as well. Bingham cleared six feet in the high jump (6'00.75", 1.85m) for the first time this season to improve her top ranking in the conference and take over the No. 2 spot in the country. Junior Cathy Fuailemaa is ranked second in the conference in the weight throw, with a toss of 58'08.75" (17.90m)
The BYU men's team will rely on the strength of its sprinters and field events. Senior All-American Jim Roberts has been impressive all year in the shot put. His personal best of 66'10.00" (20.37m) leads the conference by an amazing seven and one-half feet. His throw is the top American mark this year, and puts him third on the current NCAA list. All-American Curtis Pugsley holds the top spot on the conference list in the indoor pentathlon with 3852 points, and teammates Chris Kemp (3576) and Dan Parkinson (3517) hold the No. 3 and 4 spots, respectively. Pugsley also holds the top mark in the high jump, at 6'08.75" (2.05m). Sophomore Jeremy Kemp is at the top of the conference rankings in the pole vault with a mark of 16'07.00" (5.05m). BYU also holds a top spot with its 4x400-meter relay time, with a seed time of 3:12.23, and its distance medley team, with a time of 9:50.54, is just five-tenths of a second behind first-place Air Force.
Possibly the strongest event for the BYU men's team is the 60-meter hurdles. Cougar runners hold six of the top 11 times in that event, with junior Russ Elggren ranked No. 2 in the event with a time of 8.11 seconds, and senior All-American Slade Combs right behind him in the No. 3 spot with a time of 8.12. Senior All-American Kenneth Andam has the top seed times in both the 60-meters (6.66) and the 200-meters (21.12), and sophomore Greg Flint is in the No. 1 position in the 400-meters with a time of 47.52.
The Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships will be held over three days, Feb. 22-24, at Cadet Field House in Colorado Springs, Colorado. For complete meet results, go to www.mountainwestconf.com