Men, Women Pick Up Track Titles at UTEP Invitational
EL PASO, Texas (April 1) - BYU took home team wins on both sides of the four-team competition, as the Cougars battled cold, windy conditions in El Paso.
"Although the weather wasn't ideal by any means, the team showed a lot of promise," said women's head coach Craig Poole. "For the most part, everyone competed well. I was especially pleased with our relay teams. Their timing has been off in recent weeks, but they really seem to be coming together."
BYU's women scored 185 points to finish ahead of Oklahoma (151), UTEP (141), and New Mexico (129). The order of finish on the men's side was the same, with BYU on top (191 points), followed by Oklahoma (149), UTEP (148), and New Mexico (99).
Jeana Bingham picked up the first event title for the women with a season-best 5'-9.75" effort in the high jump. Other event winners were Becky Beachler in the shot put (47'-10"), Laurel Hildebrandt in the 5,000 meters (17:42.94), and Jolee Gillespie in the 1,500 meters (4:42.06). Sprinter Danna Rast-Barker took another step regaining her 1999 form by posting a season-best 12.08 in the 100-meter dash, good for fourth place. Sara Higham made up for a disqualification in the pole vault by competing in her first-ever 400-meter race, scoring one team point with an eighth-place finish.
The men had four event wins, led by senior Kyle Grossarth's victory in the 400-meter hurdles in 51.18. Grossarth currently has the best time in the nation in that event, a 50.42-second performance last week at Arizona State. Also taking first for the Cougars were Jim Roberts, improving on his NCAA provisional mark in the shot put (61'-5.75"), Marc Chenn in the high jump (7'-0.5"), and the 4x400 meter relay team (3:22.81).
Next week the Cougars will have entries in four meets, beginning with the Texas Relays Apr. 5-8, and finishing with three Saturday meets: the UNLV Invitational, the Weber State Invitational, and the prestigious Hayward Relays, held at the Universiy of Oregon.