Soon after the Clarence Robison Invitational concluded Saturday afternoon, blue sky could be seen and the sun was actually shining. Most of the track meet's finals were held in a downpour, however.
Craig Poole, the BYU women's track and field coach, shook his head. "If we ever have a drought and really need rain, all we have to do is schedule a track meet," said Poole.Both the BYU men's and women's teams came away with the team titles during the rainy afternoon. The Cougar women finished with a total of 118 points with Colorado State second (93), Illinois third (70) followed by Weber State (32), Wyoming (27), Ricks (18) and Southern Utah (2).
The BYU men's team was an overwhelming winner, scoring 178.5 points to second place Colorado State's 71.5. Wyoming placed third (47) followed by Ricks (46.5), Adams State (40), Weber State (32), Southern Utah (14.5), the Cheetahs (14) and Utah (6).
Overall, Cougar men's coach Willard Hirschi was pleased with his team's performance. "We got through the meet without any injuries, which is the most important thing," Hirschi said. "The conditions weren't very good yesterday or today, but we performed well under the circumstances. Competing in weather like this makes you mentally tough."
With a steady rain falling, Hirschi said it was "like high jumping into ice." But BYU's Mark Chenn recorded a personal-best 7-0 jump and teammates Erik Lundmark and Lance Greer tied for second at 6-61/2.
BYU's men had the top four pole vaulters, led by Matt McCauley and Eric Kopp who both vaulted 16-0. Cougar sprinter Felix Andam won the 100 meters with a 10.49, while Michael Jones won the 400-meter hurdles with a 53.68 time. Other Cougar men to win their events included Iain Hunter (800 meters; 1:52.97), Sam St. Clair (3000-meter steeplechase; 9:33.40) and Mark Harisay, shot put (55-111/4).
While Poole was disappointed with the weather, he was pleased with several of the individual performances by his athletes. Melinda Boice won the high jump by five inches over her nearest competitor with a 5-103/4 leap. Tiffany Lott placed second in the 100 hurdles with a 13.72 time, while Melissa Teemant was first in the 800 meters (2:11.54) and third in the 3,000 meters (10:25.23). Marty Aparicio was first in the 3,000 meters (10:23.61).
"This was good preparation for the WAC Championships," said Poole, referring to the league track meet that will be held May 17-20 in Provo. "I just hope we order better weather."