Cougars Qualify 11 at Washington Invite
SEATTLE -- The BYU men's and women's track team received 11 qualifying marks, including two automatic marks in the men's 3,000 meters, at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational on Saturday.
Junior Josh Rohatinsky and senior Bryan Lindsay both received automatic NCAA qualifying marks in the 3,000m. Rohatinsky finished second with a time of 7:51.28, nearly five seconds faster than the automatic mark and Lindsay was right behind in third place at 7:53.90.
"The kids did really well today," BYU women's track coach Craig Poole said. "We worked them very hard this week, so they were a bit tired. But we'll still get better."
The women finished the Invitational with seven qualifying marks, including marks from Amy Menlove and Lindsay Metcalf, both of whom already have received qualifying marks.
But five other women received their first qualifying marks of the season.
"We improved on our marks both in quantity and quality," Poole said. "We had a lot of mid-provisional marks."
Heidi Magill finished fourth in the 800m with a time of 2:07.66 to qualify, while Kamila Rywelska qualified in the triple jump. Junior Liis Berendsen won the women's pentathlon on Thursday on the strength of her victory in the 800m and received a provisional mark with 3,848 points.
Two Cougars received qualifying marks in the 5,000m. Cross country star Laura Turner and newcomer Chelsea Smith finished one-two in the race to earn mid-level marks.
Outside of Rohatinsky and Lindsay, the men received two other provisional marks.
Senior All-American Trent Powell cleared 17'7" in the pole vault to earn his qualifying spot and Rodrigo Mendes won the triple jump by leaping 51'11.75" on the way to earn his provisional mark.
While the men had no other qualifying marks, they managed to win two other events. Freshman Leif Arrhenius won the 35-pound weight throw and Kevin Keys won the men's heptathlon, with teammate Chris Weirich finishing third.
For full meet results, visit www.gohuskies.com.
Cougars Face Top Competition in Washington
PROVO -- The No. 9 BYU men's track team and No.14 BYU women's team will compete against athletes from 11 of the nation's top-25 teams this weekend at the University of Washington Indoor Invitational.
"This meet will be a lot better," BYU women's coach Craig Poole said. "There are a lot of good teams. The competition will be much better."
The Cougars will be face challenges from Stanford, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Cal Poly and Colorado. The Stanford and Oregon women's teams are ranked in the top-10 nationally, while the BYU is the top ranked men's team in the meet.
Poole said he expects the team to get some better marks with the increased competition. He said the team has worked very hard this week, but should be rested in time for the meet.
Sophomore Liis Berendsen will lead the Cougars in the women's heptathlon during Friday's competition. Poole said Berendsen has looked good in practice and should make some good marks during the competition.
The men's team will look to add to its total of NCAA qualifying marks.
Several of the men's jumpers were just shy of receiving qualifying marks last week, but should be able to get the needed marks in Seattle.
High jumper David Pendergrass cleared a personal best six feet 10.75 inches, which was just shy of a provisional mark, while triple jumper Rodrigo Mendes, pole vaulter Trent Powell and thrower Leif Arrhenius all received provisional qualifying marks. BYU men's coach Mark Robison said he expects more of the same this week.
"We've looked very sharp this last week," he said. "With a faster track this week, we should see some of the best marks of the season."
Robison also said the men's team should also qualify a few more individuals in the distance events.
The women's team will be bolstered by the return of senior Lisa Pratt. Pratt will be making her first appearance of the indoor season. The distance specialist from Alpine, Utah, finished third in both the 3,000 and 5,000m at last year's Mountain West Conference Indoor Championship.
With the return of Pratt, the talent of the freshman trio of Heidi Magill, Julie Cameron and Ann Marie Thomas and the experience of sophomore Chelsea Smith and Laura Turner, the women's team should post some good times in the distance events.
"I expect our distance numbers to be much better in this meet," Poole said. "Our distance runners will see the most improvement in times."
The meet begins Friday at 4 p.m. PT in UW's Dempsey Indoor with the women's pentathlon and the men's heptathlon followed by the hotly contested distance medley relays.
The meet resumes Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. with all the remaining track and field events.