NCAA track highlights will air on June 10 on CBS


    By Michael Christensen

    BYU track and field athletes don”t normally get to show off their talents on television. However, on Sunday, June 10th they get their chance to step into the network spotlight.

    CBS will air a two-hour tape-delayed version of this year”s NCAA Track and Field Championships from Noon until 2 p.m.

    The championships took place on May 29th and ended on June 2nd in Eugene, Oregon.

    Nine Cougars earned All-American honors at the event including senior Elizabeth Jackson and junior Jeff Hansen.

    Jackson earned dual honors, setting a new American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and finishing fifth in the 5,000 meters.

    Hansen took second place in the pole vault setting a new personal best.

    Heading into the meet, Hansen new he would be challenged.

    “The competition is going to be very, very stiff,” Hansen said.

    His second place finish was higher than expected.

    The women finished 11th in the nation overall, with USC taking the national title. Tennessee took first place on the men”s side, while BYU tied for 19th.

    Both teams expected better finishes at the meet, but injuries and other circumstances limited the Cougars” performances.

    “Our finishing place may not be indicative of how good we really are,” said Craig Poole, women”s track coach.

    Two Cougars didn”t even make it to the meet. Senior Kristen Bolm went home to Germany to be with her ill grandfather and freshman Josh Rohatinsky suffered a stress fracture in his left leg prior to the meet.

    Many of the men, including Jim Roberts and Curtis Pugsley competed with injuries that hindered their efforts.

    “We would have liked to have had a better day and score more points,” said Mark Robison, men”s track coach .

    The women suffered from similar trials. Senior Tara Northcutt was unable to defend her 10,000-meter title due to asthma symptoms. Senior Tara Haynes was unable to compete in the steeplechase final after spraining her ankle during the second semifinal.

    Still, the Cougars weren”t totally disappointed.

    “We had a successful meet with lots of bright points,” Poole said.

    Coach Robison found bright spots for the men as well.

    “We came out and finished with four All-Americans and felt good about that,” he said.

    Although the CBS broadcast will be edited down to meet highlights, Jackson, Hansen and other Cougars will be featured.

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