Eleven Cougars confident in abilities as they prepare for NCAA championship


    By Russell Murdock

    With the taste of victory from the conference championship still fresh in their mouths, 11 members of the men?s track team head to Fayetteville, Arkansas to represent BYU in the NCAA Indoor Championship.

    Of the 11, eight qualified in individual events, while the remaining the rest will comprise the distance medley relay team.

    After last year?s 10th place finish, head coach Mark Robison said he expects his team to do well, but that with nationals, it is almost impossible to predict how you will fare against the competition.

    ?When you come to nationals, there are so many variables you can?t control, you got to be a little lucky,? Robison said. ?The good thing is besides Leif [Arrhenius] everyone has been here before.?

    Arrhenius, a freshman, will be competing in the weight throw and is the only freshman Cougar this year to have qualified for nationals. Robison said Arrhenius qualifying for nationals less than one year after graduating from high school was very impressive.

    Other qualifying Cougars in the field events include Rodrigo Mendes in the triple jump and Robbie Pratt and Trent Powell in the pole vault.

    Of the Cougars on the running side of the team, Nathan Robison and Bryan Lindsay both qualified for the mile. Lindsay also qualified for the 3000-meter run, alongside Josh Rohatinsky. While he won?t run with the distance medley team during nationals, Lindsay was also a member of the relay team that ran the qualifying time allowing them to compete this weekend.

    Robison said Lindsay qualifying for three different events is incredible.

    ?In the 20 years I?ve been coaching here, we?ve never had a distance runner ever able to qualify for more than two events,? Robison said. ?That?s impressive.?

    Josh McAdams, Lars Kjerengtroen, David Chesser, Jason Dorais will round out BYU?s distance squad and distance medley relay team.

    While this weekend offers several Cougars the opportunity to showcase their talents and compete on the national level, several members of the team will be left home after not qualifying for nationals. Chief among them is sophomore Niklas Arrhenius who competes in the shot put. Arrhenius? marks in the shot put are good enough for 15th in the nation, but the administrators decided to take only 14 athletes in the shot put, leaving Arrhenius one rank shy of qualifying.

    ?I?m just sick he did not get in,? Robison said. ?I?ve seen him in big meets, I?m confident he would?ve placed.?

    Aside from a few disappointments, Robison said he feels good about his group of athletes, and he feels confident the Cougars will perform well this weekend. The meet, which will mark the end of the Cougars? indoor season, will begin Friday and continue through Saturday.

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