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Cougars start strong at NCAA meet

Medley team finishes in 2nd, sets record

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The BYU men's and women's track and field teams showed a strong start at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Ark.

The women's distance medley team ran to a second-place finish and set a school record with a time of 11:06.81. Jennifer Rockwell ran the 400-meter split in 54.5, Aneta Lemiesz ran the 800-meter split in 2:06.5, Michaela Mannova ran the mile split in 4:40 and Kassi Andersen ran the 1,200-meter split in 3:25. The previous school record of 11:10.4 was set at last year's indoor nationals.

In the women's mile, senior Jamie Cottle had the ninth fastest time in the preliminary heats of mile run, and she will advance to the finals.

Senior Lindsey Thomsen finished 13th in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 16:26.1. Also in the 5,000-meter run, junior Katie Martin finished 15th in 16:37.33. Senior Nikki Hughes, who has nursed an injured hamstring for the last couple of weeks, hurt her hamstring again on her first jump. After scratching on her final two jumps, Hughes finished with a distance of 18-03.25. Women's head coach Craig Poole said he was proud of Hughes for sticking in to the end.

"We still have a couple opportunities to score, and we will score," said Poole of tomorrow's competition.

The men ended the first day of competition with six team points.

Junior Trent Powell placed third in the pole vault with a height of 17-08. Powell entered the competition tied for 11th place.

Men's head coach Mark Robison said, "To go from 11th to 3rd, that's great. We pole vaulted better than I thought we would."

Sophomore Nate Robison will advance to the finals in the men's mile run Saturday. In the preliminary race Robison was in third place just after the half-mile mark, but then was tripped up and fell. Robison finished the race with a time of 4:20, which was 14th out of 15, but BYU petitioned the officials and Robison was admitted into the finals.

For BYU, competition will continue Saturday at 6:05 p.m. with the women's mile and then the men's mile. Kip Kangogo and Michaela Mannova will compete in the men's and women's 3,000-meter run, respectively.