FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (March 11) - The Cougar women scored a total of 28 team points to finish sixth overall in Fayetteville, equaling the best indoor finish in school history, set last season. The men failed to score additional points Saturday, and ended the competition in 34th place.
UCLA won the women's competition with a total of 51 points, followed by South Carolina (41), Arkansas (37), LSU (36), Villanova (31), and BYU (26). Arkansas used home field advantage to secure the men's title with 69.5 points. They were followed by Stanford (52), SMU (38), TCU (34), and Florida (29).
Women's coach Craig Poole had nothing but good to say about his athletes following the meet. "We're very pleased with our finish. It's as good as we've ever done indoors. I can't complain at all about the effort our girls showed this weekend. We're very proud of our kids."
Sophomore Sherida Rogers provided Saturday's highlight, taking third in the mile in a time of 4:46.03. Rogers became an All-American for the first time and the ninth BYU athlete to earn the honor this weekend. Her six points were the only points scored by any Cougar on the second day of competition. Laura Heiner finished 10th in the 3000m with a time of 9:29.20, while Jeana Bingham performed well but was unable to score in the high jump.
Pole vaulters Jeff Hansen and Alan Gulledge were unable to add to Jim Roberts' five shot put points, as the pair finished ninth and tenth, respectively, in the pole vault Saturday. Hansen nearly became the first Cougar to clear 18 feet, as he narrowly missed some impressive vaults, but still managed to earn his second All-American letter with a 17'-8.5" performance. Gulledge cleared 17'-4.5" to secure 10th place.
"We had some very good competition this weekend and emerged with valuable experience," said men's coach Willard Hirschi. "Now it's on to outdoors."
The Cougars won't waste much time getting into the outdoor season, as they get things started next weekend in San Luis Obispo, Calif., at the Cal Poly Invitational March 17-18.
WOMEN'S FINAL TEAM SCORES
1. UCLA 51
2. South Carolina 41
3. Arkansas 37
4. LSU 36
5. Villanova 31
6. BYU 28
7. Kansas State 25
8. Texas 23
9. Auburn 18
10. SMU 16
MEN'S FINAL TEAM SCORES
1. Arkansas 69.5
2. Stanford 52
3. SMU 38
4. TCU 34
5. Florida 29
5. Alabama 29
7. LSU 28
8. South Alabama 20
8. South Carolina 20
10. Arizona State 16
10. Clemson 16
34. BYU 5
PROVO, Utah (March 7) - The No. 7-ranked women and No. 16-ranked men head to Fayetteville for nationals Friday and Saturday, hoping to improve on last years' sixth- and thirtieth-place finishes.
Both teams are in similar positions to those they faced in 1999. The men only qualified a handful
of athletes and are shoring up for the outdoor season. The women field a tough team with athletes
from a variety of events, headed by an always-tough distance squad.
Leading the way for the women is Kirsten Bolm, recently announced as the 2000 Mountain Region Athlete of the Year. Bolm is the only athlete who will compete in two events: the 60-meter hurdles and the long jump. She is currently ranked second in the nation in the long jump and fourth in the hurdles. Other nationally ranked BYU representatives are Jeana Bingham (4th, high jump), Elizabeth Jackson (3rd, 5000m), Sherida Rogers (12th, mile), and Laura Heiner (16th, 3000m). Rounding out the NCAA team is the ninth-ranked distance medley team: Jolee Gillespie, Holly Gibbons, Lindsay Nadauld, and Susan Taylor.
"We should have a very respectable showing, and we have a very good chance of finishing in the top 10," said women's coach Craig Poole. "Unfortunately we were cut out of about six spots where we thought we would qualify because the NCAA rearranged the number of qualifiers in several events. We should be able to do quite well, however, and should come home with four or five All-Americans."
Jim Roberts heads the national field in the shot put after his throw of 64'-10.5" put him in the top spot on the season. Roberts will be joined by pole vaulters Alan Gulledge and Jeff Hansen, ranked No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. The Cougars' team chances were hurt when Kenneth Andam, who had provisionally qualified in both the 60 meters and 200 meters, suffered an ankle injury in January.