Domination on Home Turf
PROVO -- Despite the Provo wind, the BYU men and women's track teams dominated their own Cougar Invitational Friday at the BYU Track and Field Complex.
Opening the meet was the women's hammer throw where BYU senior, Malita Bingham improved on three consecutive throws to finish at 176-09.00 (53.88m) giving her a regional qualifying mark.
Following Bingham's qualifying performance, the women swept the 1500m Steeplechase taking first through fourth place. Easily dominating the entire race was last years NCAA Steeplechase Champion, Kassi Andersen, who finished the race in 4:53.33.
"It really feels good to be back again in the Steeplechase," junior Kassi Andersen said. "This wasn't the full 3000m Steeplechase we usually do and so it was a good wake up call for me."
Following Andersen was All-American Lisa Antonelli in second place (5:02.25), freshman Amber Harper in third (5:04.62) and Kristy Barrus in fourth (5:18.92).
"Kassi looked very good," women's coach Patrick Shane said. "She looks better this year than she did last year at this time. To add to that we have Amber [Harper] in her first race and Lisa [Antonelli] and Kristy Barrus who look way ahead of schedule for this years training."
On the men's side many of the athletes had their personal best performances including Josh McAdams in the 1500-meter who with a time of 3:55.30 completely dominated the entire race and Matt Anderson in the long jump who won the event with an improved jump of 23-10.75 (7.28m) edging closer to a regional qualifying mark.
"I felt like that was just a good day for competition," Anderson said. "The first three jumps weren't into the wind and so that was good. But I was really hoping the wind wouldn't have come up because I was looking for a regional qualifying mark. However, I felt like my approach was really good today."
Closing the meet for the Cougars was All-American Rodrigo Mendes, who in his season opener jumped 50-4.25 (15.35m) to win the triple jump.
"I feel really good and think that this is a good start to the outdoor season," Mendes said.
Overall the Cougars had a strong day on their home track.
"For the most part we really did ok," men's head coach Mark Robison said. "All the athletes really did a good job in this incredible weather. We are looking forward to future competition and to be able to come back and compete here on our home track later this month at the Robison Invitational."
The USTFCCCA recognized 27 BYU men's track and field athletes with All-Academic honors on July 13.