Tracksters Take On Nation's Best at Mt. SAC Relays
WALNUT, Calif. (April 15) - Cougar Susan Taylor posted a blazing 1,500 meter time and freshman Sarah Ellett shaved five more seconds off her qualifying mark in the 10,000 meters as the BYU distance teams continued their preparation for NCAA postseason competition at the Mt. San Antonio College Relays.
Taylor, a senior from Salt Lake City, took second in the 1,500 with a time of 9:16.58, the second-fastest in the nation this season. Her time is also an NCAA automatic qualifying mark and the best by a conference athlete this year by nearly 10 seconds. Ellett, only a freshman, improved her national position in the 10,000 meters with a ninth-place, 35:10.13 finish in the event. The time is an NCAA provisional mark. Teammate Laurel Hildebrandt also provisionally qualified in the 10,000 with a 14th-place finish in 35:24.07.
In other action on the weekend, Nan Evans won her section of the 1,500 meters in 4:33.63 and Amy Curtis took third in the javelin with a toss of 149'-7". Although not officially competing for BYU at the meet, redshirts Kara Ormond and Elizabeth Jackson continued to tune-up for the Olympics in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, finishing first (10:20.66) and second (10:22.55), respectively, in the event. Jackson is the U.S. record-holder in the steeplechase.
On the men's side of things, athletes were spread among three meets on the weekend, including the Mt. SAC Relays, the Mark Faldmo Invitational at Utah State and the Sun Angel Classic at Arizona State. At Mt. SAC, Trevor Pettingill took 13th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 9:13.28 and John Hedengren finished 16th in the 10,000 meters (30:51.2). In Logan, freshman Cody Fonnesbeck placed second behind former Cougar and future Olympian Leonard Myles-Mills in both the 100- and 200 meters. Fonnesbeck ran a 10.57 in the 100, and his time of 21.42 in the 200 was the fastest on the team this season. Another former Cougar and Olympic hopeful, Alan Gulledge, won the pole vault with a height of 18'-1", followed by Jeremy Kemp in second place (16'-6"). Kyle Grossarth was the Cougars' lone representative in Tempe, competing in the 400-meter hurdles there to avoid conflict with Sunday competition at Mt. SAC. Although his third-place finish and time (52.18) were not season-bests, Grossarth is still ranked fourth nationally in the event.