POCATELLO, Idaho (February 5) - Cougar athletes impressed in virtually every event at the Mountain States Games Friday and Saturday in Pocatello, as BYU placed in the top five in 23 of 33 events in the nine-team invitational.
The shot-putters were especially dominant for BYU, each placing first among collegians. All-American Jim Roberts threw a career-best 64'-10.5", winning the competition by over three feet and exceeding the automatic NCAA qualifying mark by over two feet. Becky Beachler, who was also an indoor All-American last year, produced a 49'-7.5", season-high effort, improving on her NCAA provisional mark.
In women's action, freshman Misty Jorgenson showed huge promise with a second-place finish in the 60 meters (7.72 seconds) and a fifth-place finish in the 200 meters (25.62). Fellow freshman Anna-Lee Walcott, a native of Trinidad, continued her steady progress, finishing third in the 60-meter hurdles (8.82) and third in the long jump (19'-1"). Event champions included Susan Taylor in the mile (4:52.13), Jeana McDowell in the high jump (5'-10"), and the distance medley team, who provisionally qualified with a 11:32.75 performance.
Kenneth Andam continued his season-long domination of the sprints, taking home the 60-meter title in 6.76 seconds. Andam has consistently won at 60 and 200 meters and appears headed for a spot in the NCAA indoor championships in both events. Although Andam did not participate in the 200 meter final in Pocatello, fellow African Thobias Akwenye gave BYU the title with a 21.70 second finish. Senior Marc Chenn added another high jump win to his season total, clearing seven feet.
The Cougars' next meet is Thursday through Saturday, February 10-12 at the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Nebraska.
PROVO, Utah (February 1) - After tuning up in a number of meets in past weeks, both men's and women's track teams will send full squads to Pocatello this Friday and Saturday to compete in the Mountain States Classic on the campus of Idaho State University.
The meet will serve as the first major tuneup of the season for the Cougars, as they prepare for the prestigious Husker Invitational in Nebraska next week. Both coaches plan to have entries in nearly every event, giving athletes a chance to qualify for the NCAA Indoor Championships March 10-11 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
"We will be sending a lot of people in virtually all areas," said women's coach Craig Poole. "This will be the first meet where we will compete with real intensity as a team. It's our last chance to prepare for Nebraska, our biggest meet of the regular season."
Men's coach Willard Hirschi is applying a similar philosophy with his team for this weekend. "Everyone's going this weekend. Half the university is going to be running for us. It will be a good test for us to see where we are and what kind of progress we are making," said Hirschi. Shot putter Jim Roberts, who was an indoor All-American for BYU in 1999, will not make the trip to Pocatello. Roberts recently decided to remain in Provo to attend classes and spend time on academic responsibilities.