Men & Women Run Away with MWC Titles
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COLORADO SPRINGS -- BYU track and field teams swept the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championships Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The BYU women's team extended its consecutive indoor conference championships to nine by scoring 179.5 points. Colorado State scored 115 to take second, and Utah placed third with 58 points.
In typical BYU fashion, the distance runners matched Friday's performance in the 5,000-meter run by claiming the first four spots in the 3,000-meter run. Senior Lindsey Thomsen won with an altitude-adjusted time of 9:46.76. Thomsen, who also won the 5,000 meter, was followed by Katie Martin, Breanne Sandberg and Lisa Antonelli. Sophomore jumper Lindsey Sommer captured a conference title in the triple jump (39-01.75) to compliment her second-place finish in the long jump.
BYU junior Michaela Mannova won the mile run and set a new Mountain West Conference Championships record with an NCAA automatic qualifying time of 4:50.83 (altitude adjusted time of 4:40.85). The women's team also placed first in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
Sophomore Jennifer Rockwell placed fourth in both the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, and junior Aneta Lemiesz placed second in the 800-meter run with at time of 2:13.21.
Referring to his athletes, women's head coach Craig Poole said, "They know we own this conference, they were going to maintain ownership of it and that's the way they performed."
"It is a real difficult place to perform," added Poole, who was named MWC Female Coach of the Year. "The way it's set up is tough and the altitude is tough. There were some good marks all the way around from all teams, but our kids consistently put the marks down where they needed to have them."
The men came back from a sluggish second day and reclaimed the indoor conference title scoring by 190 points. Air Force was second with 135 and New Mexico third with 49 points.
"The athletes really stepped up because we didn't have a very good meet yesterday," said men's head coach Mark Robison. "The guys really came together and did a heck of a job. It was really fun."
Matt Rowe (48.40) and Matt Nielsen (48.84) finished one and two in the 400-meter dash. Sophomore Kip Kangogo was awarded the Male Outstanding Performance Award for his victories in the mile run and the 3,000-meter run. Kangogo ran altitude-adjusted times of 4:04.55 in the mile and 8:19.39 in the 3,000-meter run.
Senior Jeremy Kemp claimed his second men's pole vault title in three years with a height of 17-07. The Cougars finished first, second and third in the event, with sophomore Trent Powell (17-07) and junior Erik Rasmussen (17-02) following Kemp. The tie for first place was broken by a flip of a coin, as neither Kemp nor Powell wished to continue to break the tie. In addition, the men's team captured titles in the 4x400-meter relay and the distance medley relay.
Freshman Paul Smith placed second in the 200-meter dash and Sophomore Nathan Robison placed second in the mile run.
Next week, a few BYU athletes will participate in the Last Chance Meet in Pocatello, Idaho, and the NCAA National Championships will be March 14-15 in Fayetteville, Ark.