Cougars Flex In-State Muscle at Utah Collegiate Track and Field Championships
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 10) - In a meet designed to determine the best track teams in the state, the BYU women claimed victory and the men finished second Wednesday night at the Utah Collegiate Championships. Kenneth Andam emerged with the best mark of the night, winning the 100-meter dash in a personal-best 10.13 seconds.
The women scored 65 team points to outdistance second-place Utah State (46), and Weber State (43) and Utah (34) rounded out the four-team field. Weber State dominated the men's distance events to surprise the BYU men's team with a 58-54 win. Utah State took third with 50 points, and Utah placed fourth with 12. It was the first time in the five-year history of the championship that BYU did not win both men's and women's team titles.
"Well, you can't win everything all of the time," said men's coach Willard Hirschi. "The scoring was set up so that only one athlete from each school could score in each event. It kept things close, but Weber State had some outstanding individuals who gave their team the edge. At this point, we're just not running that well, but we hope to be performing much better by the conference meet."
Andam's time in the 100 meters was the highlight of the men's competition, moving the sprinter into third on the all-time BYU list, behind NCAA champions Frank Fredericks and Leonard Myles-Mills. The time was the fifth-best in the nation this season, but an altitude adjustment of +.06 seconds moves him into the No. 15 spot in the rankings and a high provisional-qualifying mark. Freshman Cody Fonnesbeck, who is also a wide receiver on the football team, took second place with a personal-best 10.37 in the race. Randy Himes also set a new season-best with a time of 14.11 in the 110-meter hurdles, good for second. Event winners included Jim Roberts in the shot put (54'-11.5"), Thobias Akwenye in the 200 meters (21.15), and a first-place tie in the high jump by Marc Chenn (7'-0.5").
On the women's side of things, Cougars claimed eight event wins on their way to the team victory. Freshman Anna-Lee Walcott took the long jump with a leap of 18'-4.5", and Kathy Sorenson followed up with a win in the triple jump, reaching 38'-10.5". For the second time this week, Melanie Steere won the 800 meters (2:09.24) and teammate Sharolyn Shields took the 1500-meter title (4:29.68). Also winning events were Aimee Nichols in the discus (133'-11"), Amy Curtis in the javelin (139'-4.5"), Marty Hernandez in the 3000 meters (9:47.98), and Danna Rast-Barker in the 200 meters (24.28). Holly Gibbons set a new personal best in the 100-meters, finishing second in a time of 14.19.
The women are back in action this weekend in a pair of California meets, the Cardinal Invitational May 12 and the Modesto Relays May 13. The men will take the weekend off to prepare for the Mountain West Conference Championship meet, in Provo May 17-20.
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.