Wet Conditions Slow Track Teams
PALO ALTO -- With wind and rain in their faces, athletes from the BYU track teams gave their best efforts at the Stanford Invitational on Saturday.
“We competed well but didn’t have the best performances,” men’s coach Mark Robison said. “The weather was ridiculous and made it tough. We did okay as far as places but not the best marks we wanted.”
Top field performances were by senior Chris Little in the pole vault and junior Colby Barber in the shot put. Little won the invitational section by clearing 5.20m (17-00.75). Barber finished second in his section of the shot put with a throw of 15.70m (51-06.25).
Freshman Jared Ward finished sixth in his section of the 5,000 meters in a time of 14:10.06. Sophomore Rex Shield (14:24.15)came in 15th and junior Alden Bahr (14:32.74) in 18th. In separate sections, seniors Brandon Hebbert (14:35.36) finished 17th and Nathan Ogden (14:05.94) grabbed a 15th place finish.
In the 800-meter, junior Justin Hedin took sixth with a time of 1:51.40 and senior Brian Weirich finished in 13th with a 1:52.10. Over in the 200-meter, sophomore James Derek McAllister took 17th in a competitive field, finishing in a time of 22.11.
Junior Katie Palmer paced the Cougars women's team with a great performance in the 800-meter, winning the race in 2:05.11. Palmer was followed closely by reigning indoor National Champion Lacey Bleazard who took second in 2:05.83.
"We had some great performances today despite the rainy weather," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "Katie (Palmer) ran really well in the 800m and Lacey really paced most of the race. Overall I am pleased with our results based on the conditions."
Another winner for the Cougars on Saturday was senior Tipaleli Fotu. Fotu took first in the hammer throw with a toss of 55.95m (183-07), nearly five feet further than the second place finisher.
Also competing in the throws was Megan Tyler, who took sixth in the discus with a throw of 44.20m (145-00).
Elizabeth Wilson posted a career best leap in the triple jump, placing second with a mark of 12.01m (39-05.00). Melissa Keltner placed eighth in the event with a jump of 11.01m (36-01.50).
In the sprint events, the 4x100m team ran a season best 46.98 to place sixth in the event. Fatima Makakala, who advanced to the finals of the 100m hurdles on Friday, placed ninth in the event Saturday in 14.23.
The track teams will be back in action next weekend as they split between the Utah Valley Invitational, Texas Relays and USC Invitational.
Track Heads to Stanford
PROVO -- BYU's No. 11 men's and No. 17 women's track teams will be back in action this week as athletes head to Palo Alto, Calif. for the Stanford Invitational on Friday and Saturday.
The Stanford Invitational is one of the largest and most competitive meets of the year. Several quality teams will be in attendance, including No. 7 Stanford, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 21 Washington and No. 25 California.
“It’s a big meet and there is great competition,” men's coach Mark Robison said. “My expectation is to improve dramatically over last week. For a lot of guys its their first meet and we can solidify some depth.”
In the 800-meter, three members of the Cougar’s indoor national championship distance medley relay team will compete. Juniors Chris Carter, Justin Hedin and senior Brian Weirich will look to pick up where they left off at the conclusion of the indoor season.
The pole vault should be a strong event for BYU with senior TJ Emrich earning good marks last week and sophomore Victor Weirich looking to improve upon his indoor season. Senior Aaron Powell will be strong in the long jump and will be joined by junior Kyle Mills and freshman Drew Tingey.
BYU will have athletes competing in the javelin for the first time this year. Junior Chris Reno and senior Sean Richardson will both compete in the event. Both athletes competed at the NCAA Outdoor National Championships last year.
On the women’s side, National Champion Lacey Bleazard will open up her 2011 outdoor campaign at Stanford with the 800-meter race. Bleazard will also compete in the 1500m for the first time this season, alongside Katie Palmer and Nicole Clark.
"This will be the strongest competition we face all year, including Nationals," women's head coach Patrick Shane said. "There will be several top teams and a lot of professionals there. The competition will be great."
Junior Nachelle Mackie, an All-American for her performance on the distance medley relay team in 2009, planned on competing for the first time on Saturday but will redshirt the outdoor season due to injury.
In the field events sophomore Rachel Fisher will also redshirt. Christen Botteron will lead the pole vault squad as they compete for the first time during outdoor season this weekend.
The Stanford Invitational will begin at 10 a.m. MT Friday and conclude Saturday at 6 p.m. MT at Cobb Track and Angel Field in Palo Alto, Calif. To view live results CLICK HERE.