SAN LUIS OBISPO -- The BYU men's and women's track teams got their first taste of outdoor competition as they began the second leg of the 2001 season at the Cal Poly Invitational Saturday. The two teams combined for a total of 12 wins in the 38 events contested at the meet.
On the women's side, junior Nikki Hughes captured the first Cougar victory in the long jump with a leap of 6.12 meters. Senior Analee Carter picked up another BYU win in the field events, clearing 1.75m to take first in the high jump. On the track, the Cougars recorded solid performances in the middle distance races. Sophomore Nan Evans won the 1500m in a time of 4:35.10, and BYU took three of the top four places in the 800m, as junior Holly Haguewood won the race in 2:13.14, followed by teammates Jamie Philburn (2:13.97) in second and Anika Smith (2:16.29) in fourth. Senior Vickie Kern recorded a first-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles in a time of 1:02.14.
The men's team tallied seven victories on the day. Senior All-American Jim Roberts took first in the shot put with a toss of 18.67m, and recorded an NCAA provisional qualifying mark in the discus with a throw of 56.58m. In his first pole vault competition of the year, senior All-American Jeff Hansen cleared the bar at 5.15m to take first place in the event. On the track, freshman Josh Rohatinsky got things started with a win in the 5,000m in a time of 14:24.24, while teammate John Hedengren (14:33.93) recorded a third-place finish in the event. Senior All-American Slade Combs won the 110-meter hurdles in 14.20 seconds, and junior Kish Beverley took first in the 400m in 47.49. In his first race in over a year, junior Mao Tjiroze turned in a time of 1:51.74 in the 800m. Tjiroze's time was less than two-tenths of a second off the winning time of Utah State's Brick Bergeson (1:51.56) and just ahead of teammate Jeff Hopkinson, who finished third in 1:52.41. The men's team also won the 4x100 (40.94) and 4x400 (3:14.33) relays.
The Cougars next meet will be Arizona State's Baldy Castillo Invitational, which will be held in Tempe Mar. 23-24. For complete results of the Cal Poly meet, go to www.GoPoly.com
PROVO -- The Cougar men's and women's track teams will begin the outdoor season this weekend as they travel to San Luis Obispo, Calif., to compete in the Cal Poly Invitational. The meet will mark the first competition this year for several of BYU's top athletes who sat out the indoor season.
The BYU women's squad will lose senior All-American Melanie Steere, who finished her collegiate eligibility with the NCAA Indoor Championships. Steere recorded a 5th-place finish with a time of 4:43.76 in the mile.
On the positive side, the women's team will have strength in numbers in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. The 2001 outdoor season marks the first official season for the event in women's competition, and BYU has as many as ten women who will compete in the steeplechase. Current American Record holder Elizabeth Jackson, former record holder Courtney Meldrum, and senior All-American Tara Haynes all redshirted last season in anticipation of the new event. The trio finished first, fourth and fifth, respectively, at the U.S. Olympic Trials last summer., where the steeplechase was run as an exhibition.
The men's team will also benefit from the addition of several athletes who have yet to compete this year. Junior All-American Jeff Hansen, the BYU record holder in the pole vault (17'11"), returns to action after sitting out last season. Junior Mao Tjiroze, who has run 1:48 in the 800 meters, will be back as well. He suffered nerve damage to his leg during the 2000 indoor season and has been absent from the Cougar lineup since the injury. Sophomore Curtis Pugsley will be competing in the decathlon. Pugsley recorded a 5th-place finish at the recent USA Track and Field Championships.
The Cal Poly meet will begin Friday at 4:00 p.m. with the men's and women's hammer throw competition. The rest of the running and field events will be held on Saturday, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with the women's pole vault. The last event of the day, the 1600-meter relay, is scheduled for a 3:15 p.m. start.
For complete results go to www.GoPoly.com