Mendes, Metcalf Jump into Record Books
PROVO -- Senior jumper Rodrigo Mendes set a new Mountain West Conference record in the triple jump with the No. 2 mark in the nation this year at 54 feet 5.5 inches during the final day of competition at the Clarence Robison Invitational on Saturday.
Mendes also landed the second-best jump in school history, trailing only Pertti Pousi. Pousi posted the mark of 55 feet 9.25 inches. Pousi's mark is the oldest track record at BYU.
"He was phenomenal," BYU men's track coach Mark Robison said. "That was about as much fun as you can have."
Robison also said Mendes's jumps weren't his best, that he can still improve.
Mendes actually broke the mark on his final attempt, but the wind was blowing harder than allowed by the NCAA. Mendes wind-aided jump was 56 feet, but won't count on the records or national rankings.
If Mendes's mark had stood, he also would have earned a spot in the World Championships to compete for Brazil by surpassing the "A" standard mark of 55 feet 7.25 inches.
David Pendergrass of BYU finished third in the event.
All-American Lindsey Metcalf cleared 6 feet in the high jump, giving her the sixth best mark in school history. She also moved into second in the MWC record book, trailing only Christine Spence of UNLV by three-quarters of an inch.
"Lindsay did awesome," BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said. "Her mark is among the best in the nation. She put her best jumps of the season together today."
While both coaches were pleased with the performances of their record-setting jumpers, they were also pleased with the rest of the team.
"Everybody did a great job, especially after getting through finals this week," Poole said. "We had a great meet, even though we got a few nicks and bruises."
Robison said he likes where his team is headed heading into conference and national competition. He said the plan right now is to get everybody healthy for those meets.
In perhaps the most exciting race of the day, BYU's Jason Dorais and Weber State's Brad Osguthorpe battled to a photo finish in the 800 meters. Osguthorpe won the race by two thousandths of a second. Both crossed the line in 1:49.71, good enough to advanced to regional competition.
The men's 4x100 meter relay team won with a time of 41.19, the women's relay team consisting of Jessica Weirich, Challis Firl, Laura Hales and Taylor Law placed third in the event with a time of 47.54.
The men's 4x400 team won the event in a time of 3:11.56, while the women's 4x400 relay team crossed the line in 3:47.86.
Mandy Kelly won the women's pole vault, clearing a personal-best 12 feet 11.5 inches, improving her regional qualifying mark. Julene Kaufusi also cleared 12 feet 11.5 inches, but missed on an earlier attempt to place second.
Freshman Chandler Goodwin won the 3,000-meter steeplechase with a time of 9:15.73, with teammate Derek Taylor finishing third at 9:32.37.
Ann Heiner placed second in the 1,500 meters, crossing the line in 4:33.36. She was followed by three more Cougars, Anne Marie Thomas, Laura Taylor and Allison Passey finishing fourth through sixth respectively.
Dusin Bybee was the runner-up in the mile, posting a time of 4:10.31. All-American Nathan Robison placed sixth.
Poland native Kamila Rywelska won the triple jump competition with a season-best leap of 41 feet 3.75 inches. Rywelska's mark qualifies her for regional competition and will move her up in the national rankings. Lindsey Sommer placed second, clearing 39 feet 9.25 inches.
In the 110 meter hurdles, Ben Gardner and Bryan Payne finished first and second. Gardner crossed the line at 14.67 with Gardner close behind at 14.90.
The men's 400-meter hurdles featured a top-3 swept by the Cougars. Ben Gardner won the event with a team-best 50.98. Payne finished second at 51.34 followed by Kansas Whitear in third at 52.21. All three had previously earned regional qualifying marks, but each improved on his previous best mark.
On the women's side, Taylor Law won the 400-meter hurdles in 1:01.65. She was followed by Julie Andersen in third (1:02.58). Nicole Nevitt placed sixth with Laura Hales finishing in eighth.
Following Robbie Pratt's big day yesterday in the pole vault, Trent Powell won the invitational pole vault, clearing 17 feet 6.5 inches.
Sophomore Bryce Bergen won the high jump with a season-best 7 feet 0.5 inches, tying David Pendergrass for the top mark on the team. Pendergrass finished fifth and Gabe Casdorph sixth.
David Chesser won the 400 meters in 46.64, earning a regional qualifying mark. The mark also places him 11th in school history. Kevin Biesinger placed eighth at 48.29.
Nate Soelberg placed second in the 100-meter dash, with a season-best mark of 10.77.
Full results from the Robison Invitational can be found here.
The Cougars will be action at home again for the Cougar Invitational on Thursday and Friday.