By Russell Murdock
After last season?s 10th place finish at indoor nationals, the BYU men?s track and field team had high hopes coming into the season and has risen to all the challenges placed before them.
Despite their best effort, the Cougars found themselves outmatched by their tough competition at the NCAA Indoor National Championships despite having some top individual efforts.
?[The] competition was incredible,? BYU head coach Mark Robison said. ?I was very pleased with our effort. We did end up 15th but we hoped to be at least in the top-10.?
Despite a disappointing final ranking, 10 Cougars received All-American honors incluing four from the distance relay team and six for their marks in their individual events. Josh McAdams, Lars Kjerengtroen, David Chesser and Jason Dorais made up the distance relay team, which finished seventh.
Other All-Americans included pole vaulters Trent Powell and Robbie Pratt and distance runner Bryan Lindsay, who was the only Cougar to compete in two separate events over the weekend. Lindsay finished eighth in the mile, and 13th in the 3000 meter.
Rodrigo Mendes? mark of 16.61 meters in the triple jump earned him second place, giving him the highest finish among all Cougars who competed at nationals. Robison said Mendes was the only athlete from his team over the weekend that exceeded his expectations.
?He had a phenomenal competition,? Robison said. ?He was amazing. His jump was the second best in school history.?
Robison said he feels the several distance competitions took their toll, making it harder for them to achieve their best times. The lack of rest during the indoor season also serves as a reason why he is looking forward to the outdoor track season.
?We?ll be better outdoor than indoor,? he said. ?[The] Season is twice is as long, so there will be more time to rest.?
Robison also said another reason he has high expectations for the outdoor season is that there are more events than the indoor season, and Robison said he feels the Cougars have good talent in these events.
The outdoor season begins March 18, when the Cougars travel to Arizona to compete in the University of Arizona Invitational.