Women’s track team off to a running start

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    By MELANIE BRIDGE

    The BYU women’s track and field team is off to a great start at the 1998 Texas Relays, hosted by the University of Texas.

    This early in the season there are few athletes who are really ready to qualify for the nationals, but those who are are in Texas.

    “You’re going (to Texas) to win trophies, medals and to qualify,” Poole said.

    In the heptathlon, Shauna Rohbock, Marsha Mark, Kristin McQuade and Tiffany Lott are expected to qualify, and so far Mark is doing just that with her best heptathlon start ever. She leads the heptathlon after the first day of competition with 3212 points. Rohbock is in third, McQuade in fifth and Lott rounds out the top eight.

    Lott is coming off an injury to her hamstring, but she is back and ready to compete, she said.

    She is physically ready, but maybe not as ready with the competitive mental sharpness, Poole said.

    Based on past competitions in Texas, Lott said BYU had the talent needed to take the top four places in the heptathlon. So far things are on course.

    “All we have to do is not think too much and just let things go,” Lott said.

    If the athletes can qualify in Texas, they will not have to worry about the heptathlon again until the WAC Championships in May. This way they can be free to concentrate more on improving in the individual events and they’ll be ready to put it on the line at the national championships, Lott said.

    Other areas Poole expects to qualify in are the long jump, hurdles, throwing events and distance events. In the distance events, Courtney Pugmire Meldrum already automatically qualified at Stanford in the 5,000 meters, but she hopes to improve on her time.

    Along with running in their regular events, the Cougars are also entering some fun events.

    “There is no open 800 so we’re running a distance medley relay and a 4×800 relay,” Poole said.

    Last year the weather was really bad in Texas, which made it difficult for the team to preform well.

    “You can go, you can run, and you can have good workouts, but it’s frustrating running in bad conditions,” said sprinter Dixie Williams. “If the conditions are bad you can’t get a good time.”

    BYU is ranked No. 5 by Trackwire Magazine, but should improve with a good performance this weekend.

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