By MELANIE BRIDGE
The BYU women’s indoor track and field team finished 10th at the NCAA Championships this weekend. Six Cougars also earned individual All-American honors.
Earning All-American status were Amy Palmer, who finished second in the shot put and third in the weight throw; Becky Jackson, who finished eighth in the pole vault; Tara Haynes, who came in eighth in the mile run; and the sixth place distance medley team of Lindsay Jones, Dixie Williams, Treva Bryant and Haynes.
“We could have been second if we had been there with our full team,” said head coach Craig Poole.
Poole said he is still pleased with the team’s finish. He said he set a goal to finish in the top 10 and the team achieved it.
Absent from the meet were world record holder Tiffany Lott, and distance runner Caisa Monahan. Melinda Hale injured her knee while high jumping and had to withdraw from the competition.
Thursday at the awards dinner, BYU was named the national indoor-dual meet champions. The Cougars won with a score of 270.77 points in meet competition. Second place went to Nebraska with 254.15 points.
A dual meet championship means two athlete’s performances in each event are scored and points are awarded on a table system. The scoring reflects team depth instead of individual star performances.
“We really did a good job and that is really indicative of what our strength will be in the outdoor season,” Poole said of the award.
Poole was also named the National Coach-of-the-Year and Region VII Coach-of-the-Year.
“He really deserved it, he’s done so much to make this program big,” Jones said.
Most of the big schools have really good sprint programs, and Poole has made a sprint program here when most of the northern schools don’t have one, Jones said.
Other competitors for BYU were Kristel Berendsen, Marsha Mark, Jeana McDowell and Windy Jorgensen. Berendsen finished ninth in the triple jump. Niether she or Mark advanced to the finals in the long jump. McDowell and Jorgensen also did not advance to the finals in the high jump or 55-meter dash respectively.
The BYU men’s team also attended the NCAA Championships. Felix Andam had a poor start in the 55-meters, but still finished fourth and earned All-American honors. Men’s track head coach Willard Hirschi was named Region VII men’s Coach-of-the-Year.