Track teams excel at nationals

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    By Keeper Christensen

    The BYU women?s track team ended its 2005 indoor season with a sixth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor National Championships on Saturday in Fayetteville, Ark.

    The Cougars finished with 26 points, missing fifth place by just one point and fourth by three points. Tennessee, who had 18 athletes participating, compared to BYU?s six, won the meet.

    BYU head coach Craig Poole said his team did everything he expected to do plus a little more.

    ?I think they did an outstanding job,? Poole said. ?They jumped at or better than their personal bests.?

    Amy Menlove led the charge for the Cougars, contributing 14 of the team?s 26 total points. The sophomore finished second in the pentathlon with a score of 4,312, just fifteen points behind winner Ashley Selig of Nebraska. Menlove came in third in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet, 3.25 inches.

    Poole said Menlove?s performance, particularly in the pentathlon, puts her among the elite in women?s track.

    ?Amy had the second-best [mark] of her life in the long jump,? he said. ?She had a lifetime-best pentathlon score. That puts her right up there with the likes of Jackie Joyner-Kersee.?

    Menlove wasn?t the only Cougar who performed well in Arkansas. Liis Berendsen produced an eleventh-place finish in the pentathlon.

    ?To finish 11th, that is doing awesome,? Poole said of Berendsen.

    Lindsey Metcalf claimed fifth in the high jump, nailing down a height of six feet even. Kamila Rywelska also took fifth in the triple jump with a distance of 44 feet, 2.5 inches. While Laura Turner? time of 16:10.85 in the 5,000-meter race was good enough for eighth, Heidi Magill finished sixth in the mile at 4:43.46.

    The women garnered five All-American citations for their efforts in the meet. Menlove received the honor in the long jump and pentathlon, while Magill, Metcalf and Rywelska were given it in their respective events.

    With the indoor season out of the way, the women now look toward gearing up for the outdoor competitions. Poole said that the athletes he took to nationals will spend their time between training and recuperating.

    ?They?ll be training two or three weeks before competing again,? he said. ?We want to give our younger people some chances.?

    The younger athletes will get their first crack at the outdoor season when the Cougars head to Tucson, Ariz., to compete in the University of Arizona Invitational.

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