Women’s track makes its presence known



    The BYU women’s track team traveled to three states, making its presence known last weekend.

    “We did quite well,” head coach Craig Poole said.

    Well indeed.

    In Illinois, five athletes ran and jumped to their personal bests.

    These marks also potentially qualify them for nationals.

    Sherida Rogers placed second in the mile with a personal-best time of 4:45.82. Teammate Sharolyn Shields followed with a time of 4:48.80, another personal best.

    Jolee Gillespie joined Rogers and Shields in potentially qualifying in the mile.

    Elizabeth Jackson marked her best time at 9:33.4 in the 3000-meter run.

    Kirstin Bolm flew over the hurdles in the 60-meter in 8.28 seconds.

    In the high jump, Jeana McDowell Bingham soared higher than before to a potentially qualifying height of five-feet, 10-inches.

    Holly Gibbons may be close to an indoor record for BYU with her timing of 55.45 in the 400-meter dash.

    While they competed in Illinois, their teammates ran around closer to home. Friday afternoon several Cougars participated at Idaho State University’s meet and Saturday at Utah State.

    “We’re improving,” coach Richard Legas said.

    Their opponents feel it. At ISU, each event had a Cougar present in the top 10.

    Vickie Tams made her presence known in the 400-meter with a time of 58.14 seconds. She also placed in the 200-meter and the 60-meter hurdles.

    Becky Beachler threw 51’09” in the 20-lb. weight throw. In only two competitive throws she has already moved to third place on BYU’s all-time 20-lb. weight throw list.

    Salote O’Reilly is now fourth on BYU’s list with her throw of 51’08.25″ at ISU.

    Tara Haynes ran the 800-meter in 2:13.83, placing second. Amy Bair took third place in the 3000-meter with a time of 10:11.07. Laurel Hildebrant was on Bair’s heels finishing the race in 10:12.12.

    “The experience (of competition) is good; it’s what makes you better,” Gale Tanner said.

    Each of BYU’s competitive experiences helps them, as do their coaches in practice.

    “We’re working them hard, but not peaking them for the meets,” Legas said.

    Not yet, anyway.

    Nebraska’s invitational Feb. 10, 11 and 12 will see the Cougars on the prowl for their sixth-consecutive conference championship and first national title.

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