By Russell Murdock
Despite several members of both the men?s and women?s track and field teams being left in Provo to rest and train, the Cougars performed well at the Mountain State Games, warming themselves up for their competitions in the upcoming weeks.
BYU men?s head coach Mark Robison said the meet gave him a chance to look at some other members of his team.
?This meet was good because it gave lots of kids a chance to compete and gave them the chance to contribute,? Robison said. ?We had some kids sit because they were either injured or needed a week of training, but we accomplished what we needed to.?
One event in which the men?s team did particularly well in was the weight throw, in which brothers Leif and Niklas Arrhenius received first and second place, respectively. Leif?s winning and personal-best throw of 66 feet, 8 1/2 inches improved his previous NCAA provisionally qualifying mark.
Robison said he was particularly impressed with Niklas? throw because it was the first time he had competed in the weight throw the entire year.
In addition to the Arrhenius brothers, Robison said there were other athletes that had impressive performances.
?Trent Powell opened at the pole vault, and he looked incredible,? Robison said. ?Jake Garlick [also] ran pretty well in the 400. The kids did well and gave everything they had.?
Several members of the women?s track team also did well with many Cougars having their personal bests. Kirstin Hirst had the best performance of her young career in the high jump with a first-place finish.
BYU women?s head track coach Craig Poole said he was happy with his team?s performance and by the number of athletes who had personal or season bests.
?We had a very good meet,? Poole said ?Our athletes stepped forward, and we?re very pleased with the level our team is rising to.?
While both coaches said they were happy with their team?s performances at the games this weekend, both said they were looking forward to next week when their teams travel to Washington to compete.
While the most important thing his team is hoping to do is to qualify as many as possible for the NCAA championship, Robison said he is still looking forward to next weekend?s invitational. In Washington, the Cougars will get a first look at many of the schools they will compete against in the Mountain West Conference Indoor Championship.
?The competition will be incredible,? Robison said. ?It?ll be really good for us to see how we stack up against the conference, to see how we stack up head to head.?