By Jay Dresser
A healthy men”s track and field team looks to raise the bar and quicken its pace at the Snake River Open in Pocatello on Jan. 19.
The team returns to competition after a successful debut last weekend at the Weber Invitational. Several Cougars went on to win their events and post good early season times.
“Last week”s meet had more of a warm-up type of feel to it,” said assistant coach Ed Eyestone. “I would like to see my guys improve their time and set the tone for the remainder of the season.”
Several of the Cougars top athletes did not take part in the Weber Invitational last week due to nagging injuries.
“Last week the training was more important than to have competition,” said head coach Mark Robison. “So some of the kids were not ready. This week will be exciting in the single fact that we”ll be at full strength.”
The Snake River Open gives BYU the opportunity to compete against all of the local schools.
Weber State, The University of Utah, Idaho State and The University of Montana are among the list of schools that will be competing.
Both the athletes and the coaches realize the importance of Saturday”s meet.
“The thing about track is that each meet gets a little bit more important,” Robison said. “Each meet is especially important for those who could qualify for nationals. They only have about four opportunities to get a standard good enough to go to the NCAA meet.”
Drew Ostler, a sophomore 800-meter runner from Freemont, Calif. is one of the athletes who will be competing for the first time this year. He said there is a lot of pressure for athletes to perform well in their first meet.
“For a lot of the guys on the team, it is going to be our first meet,” Ostler said. “When you have a bad first race, mentally you get down and so quickly you can lose your confidence.”
The Cougars are very optimistic going into this weekend”s event.
“The indoor track up in Pocatello is one of the better venues,” Eyestone said. “It”s a nice wood track with banked turns. It is one of the faster tracks.”
“It should give us a good idea where we”re at,” Robison said. “We”ve got the personnel. We can be very good. We just have to fine tune and finish where we”re at and keep healthy.”