Oval Qualifier Puts Teams in Good Spot
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KEARNS -- The BYU men's and women's track and field teams posted solid performances at the Oval Qualifier Meet Thursday and Friday. Several more athletes qualified for nationals, many personal bests were achieved and no serious injuries were sustained.
The men's team had seven first-place finishes, six second-place finishes and three athletes provisionally qualify for nationals. In the 800-meter run, BYU had six runners finish within the first seven spots and all in 1:51.87 or better. Scott Adams led the charge with a time of 1:49.11. Chad Simkins and Jeff Taylor joined Adams as provisional qualifiers for nationals.
The men also dominated the pole vault with Erik Rasmussen, Mark Barry and Trent Powell all jumping 17-01 to finish first, second and third. Freshmen Matt Anderson and Montrell Dunn finished first and second in the triple jump. Anderson jumped a personal best of 47-07.
Russell Elggren placed first in the 60mH with a time of 8.04, and he was followed by Daymon Visser in third (8.22) and Erik Rasmussen in fourth (8.40). Cody Fonnesbeck won the 60-meter dash, with a blazing time of 6.69 and provisionally qualified for nationals. He was closely followed by Paul Smith in second and Matt Nielsen in third. Also in the sprints, Paul Smith ran the 200-meter dash in 21.30, taking first place. He was followed by Matt Rowe (21.56), Cody Fonnesbeck (21.67) and David Chesser (21.75).
Throwers Dan Arrhenius and Matt Holcomb each posted personal bests in the shot put and weight throw, respectively. Arrhenius placed first in the shot put, with a toss of 56-06.75, and Holcomb threw 59-06.25 to take second in the weight throw
The BYU women's team had several strong performances and women's head coach Craig Poole was pleased with the results.
"We competed very well, and we obtained the objective of what we wanted to do for this particular meet," he said. "It was not intended to be a great meet, as much as it was to have a very strong stimulus in preparation for next week."
The highlight for the women was the 800-meter run, with Aneta Lemiesz finishing first in 2:08.60. Lemiesz provisionally qualified for nationals and set a new BYU record in the 800 meter. In the mile, Kassi Andersen placed first in 4:51.44, and Lindsey Sommer won the triple jump with a leap of 38-02. Freshman Kristen McGregor posted a BYU season best in the pole vault of 11-09.75, and freshman Maret Komarova threw the shot put 46-06.25 for a BYU season best.
Both the men's and women's coaches feel their teams are well prepared for the Mountain West Conference Championships next week.
"We're positioned very good going into the conference meet," Poole said.
Men's head coach Mark Robison said his team is healthy and has a great attitude as they get ready for the conference championships in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.