PROVO -- Running against several of the top teams in the country, BYU recorded 12 top-ten finishes in eight different events at the Tyson Invitational, held Friday and Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark. on the campus of the University of Arkansas. Cougar tracksters also recorded five first-place finishes at the Wildcat Invitational in Ogden, Utah Saturday.
The Arkansas meet featured many of the top collegiate athletes from around the country as seven of the top ten women's teams and six of the top ten men's teams were represetnte. The meet also hosted some of the top runners in the United States as the second stop on the USA Track and Field's Golden Spike Tour.
Senior All-American Jim Roberts was the lone event winner for the BYU men's team, recording a first-place finish with a toss of 65'06.25" (19.97m) in the shot put. Senior All-American Kenneth Andam finished second in the finals of the 60-meters with a time of 6.71 seconds. The men's distance medley team, which had hoped to qualify for the NCAA Championships, finished fifth in 9:50.54.
The talented distance squad paced the BYU women's team, taking four of the top five places in the mile run. Senior All-American Melanie Steere won the race with a time of 4:48.37, just edging out teammate , who crossed the line in 4:48.86 for second place. Both times meet the provisional qualifying standard for the NCAA meet. Sharolyn Shields-Thayer (4:50.19) and Jolee Gillespie (4:54.26) finished in fourth and fifth place, respectively, for the Cougars. Redshirt freshman Katie Martin won the 3,000-meters in 9:59.83 to record the only other event win for BYU. Other top-five finishers were Jeana Bingham (2nd, 5'09.75") and Analee Carter (5th, 5'06") in the high jump, Kirsten Bolm (4th, 8.38) in the 60-meter hurdles, and Sarah Ellett (4th, 17:00.01) in the 5,000-meters.
On Saturday the BYU teams sent several athletes to compete in the Wildcat Invitational. The Cougars combined to record five first-place finishes at the meet. The sprinters started strong for BYU, with freshman Rod Wilkerson picking up the win in the men's 55-meters with a time of 6.52 seconds and sophomore Misty Jorgensen taking the women's 55-meters in 7.12. The Cougar distance squads made impressive showings as well, taking many of the top places in both sections of the 3,000-meters. On the men's side, freshman Brett Andrus took first place with a time of 8:51.89, and teammates Ammon Larsen (8:54.86), Tyler Bushnell (8:55.16), and Andy Carman (8:58.23) finished in the 3rd through 5th spots. BYU finished seven runners in the top ten of the men's race, taking the 7th, 8th and 10th positions as well. In the women's race, Sarah Ellis recorded a first-place finish in 10:22.50 to lead three Cougars in the top five. Melody Sheppard finished third in 10:32.57, and Amy Bair ran 10:38.89 for fifth place. The other BYU victory came in the field events, where freshman Maret Komarova turned in a first-place with a leap of 18'08.25" in the long jump.
For complete results of the Wildcat Invitational, go to www.weber.edu/athletics
For results from the Arkansas competition, go to www.flashresults.com
PROVO -- In their final weekend of competition before the Mountain West Conference Championships, the BYU men's and women's track teams are concentrating solely on qualifying as many athletes as possible for the NCAA Championships, which are now just a month away.
The Cougars will send 32 athletes--16 from each team--to the Tyson Invitational in Fayatteville, Arkansas, which will feature some of the top-ranked teams in the country in the 21-team field. The rest of the team will compete in the Wildcat Invitational hosted by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah.
At the Arkansas meet, the men's team will be running most of its sprinters and hurdlers, as well as a pair of 800-meter runners and two relay teams. The Cougars hope to qualify both thier 4x400-meter and their distance medly relay team for the national championship meet. BYU will also send two field events competitors in long jumper Clifford Andam and shot putter Jim Roberts. The shot put will likely be one of the most highly contested events of the meet, as the No. 1 and No. 2 throwers in the nation square off. SMU's Janus Robberts holds the top mark in the country this year with a put of 20.56 meters. BYU's Roberts is coming off a career best of 66'10.00" (20.37) last weekend.
The BYU women's team will send a solid group of middle distance runners, with six entries in the mile run, and several field events competitors to the Tyson Invitational. Senior All-American Kirsten Bolm set a meet record in the 60-meter hurdles at the Minnesota Invitational earlier this year. Her time of 8.34 currently ranks No. 14, and is less than two tenths of a second from the No. 1 time.
The Wildcat Invitational will be held on Saturday, and the Tyson Invitational will be run on Friday and Saturday.