SOFTBALL: BYU catcher Jessica Fitu has been named Mountain West Softball Player of the Week, while BYU senior Paige Affleck has been named Pitcher of the Week, for games played from April 25-May 1. BYU was 3-0 on the week, including 2-0 in conference play. It is the third weekly honor for Fitu and the sixth of her career, while it is the second time this season Affleck has been honored and the fifth time in her career.
BASEBALL: A three-game series starting Thursday with Seattle University marks the final weekend home stand for BYU's baseball team.
The Cougars, now 21-21, host Seattle for three games, then closes the home season with a pair of games on Monday and Tuesday against Gonzaga University.
"Every game is important for us to get back on track and build on the confidence we gained at Arizona State," said BYU coach Vance Law. "Seattle has some good pitching, they are a good challenge and are a program you can never take lightly."
Seattle took a 17-21 record into Wednesday night's game at Utah Valley University.
BYU flipped its starting rotation against the Redhawks with Chris Capper (3-3, 3.72) taking the mound on Thursday and Taylor Cole (3-4, 3.18) as the starting pitcher for Friday. Saturday's BYU starter is yet to be named.
Saturday will be Senior Day, honoring Cougars Ryan Bernal, Alex Hancock, Andrew Law, David McKnight, Jared Miller, Matthew Neil, Dane Nielsen, Justin Shutt, and Blake Torgerson.
All three games will be televised live by BYUtv at 6 p.m., 6 p.m., and 1 p.m., Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will also be broadcast live by Radio 960 AM.
MEN'S TENNIS: BYU's Georgy Batrakov and Patrick Kawkwa have been selected as the Mountain West co-men's tennis players of the week, while Utah's Anastasia Putilina has been named the MWC Women's Tennis Player of the Week.
Batrakov, from Yaroslavi, Russia, went a combined 3-1 in singles and doubles action at the 2011 MW Men's Tennis Championship to propel the 35th-ranked Cougars to their second Conference tournament title. In singles action, Batrakov began his week in Fort Collins, Colo., by downing San Diego State's Javier Pulgar in straight sets (6-2, 6-0) at No. 2 singles to help BYU notch a 4-1 win over the Aztecs. The following day, the junior standout netted a 6-2, 6-1 win over TCU's Zach Nichols at the second singles spot, helping the Cougars earn the league's automatic big to the 2011 NCAA Championships with a 4-2 win over the Horned Frogs. At the top of the doubles lineup, Batrakov and teammate Thomas Shubert secured the first point of the match for BYU against SDSU, defeating the tandem of Pulgar and Tim Schulz van Endert, 9-8 (6).
Kawka, who hails from Las Vegas, went a combined 3-1 in singles and doubles action at the 2011 MW Tennis Championship, while also earning the championship-clinching point for BYU in Saturday afternoon's 4-2 win over TCU. With the Cougars ahead 3-2 in the dual, Kawka, the MW Freshman of the Year award recipient, downed Slah Mbarek, 6-1, 6-2, at the No. 4 singles position to secure the team title for his squad. In Friday's 4-1 victory over San Diego State, Kawkwa teamed with Evan Urbina to defeat the duo of Andre Feliz and Shiva Sangwan, 8-5, at the No. 2 doubles spot, before netting a straight-sets victory over Schulz van Endert (6-3, 6-2) at the fourth singles position.
MEN'S TRACK: In the final weeks before the Mountain West Conference Championships, the No. 17 BYU men's track team hosted the BYU Twilight Meet on Wednesday at the Clarence F. Robison Track in Provo.
The Cougars won the meet with a total score of 298.5 to defeat teams from Utah State, Weber State, Utah Valley, Southern Utah and Idaho State. With great weather for the meet, the best in several weeks of competition, coaches and athletes were very pleased with their performances.
Many of the athletes finished in the top two or three spots to contribute to the scoring, including several sweeps of the top three finishes.
Senior Reagan Frey (9:31.53) and freshman Benjamin Johnston (9:36.95) went one and two in the 3000m steeplechase while sophomores Travis Fuller and Jared Rohatinsky took first and third, respectively, in the mile run with times of 4:06.99 and 4:09.37.
In the 5000m it was sophomore Alden Bahr taking the top spot with a time of 14:28.34. Freshman Taylor Farnsworth took third place with a time of 14:59..52. Junior Miles Batty won the 800m with a time of 1:49.22 and seniors Nathan Ogden (1:52.64) and James Heiner (1:53.26) finished in third and fourth place.
BYU took the top four places in the 400m with Cade Lindahl leading the way with a time of 46.90. Sophomore James Derek McAllister was right behind him with a 47:30 and juniors Steven Hart and Justin Hedin rounded out the top four with a 48.16 and 48.36, respectively.
McAllister also took second in the 200m, clocking a 21.46 while junior James Ghormley took second in the 100m dash with a time of 10.66.
In the 400m hurdles junior Chris Carter won with a time of 52.58 and senior Rob Skidmore grabbed a second place finish in 53.01. The relays also showed well for the Cougars with BYU winning the 4x100 in a time of 41.57.
Sophomore Victor Weirich and senior Chris Little continued to dominate the pole vault, finishing first and second with marks of 5.25m (17-02.75) each. In the high jump, freshman Zachary Blackham (2.07, 6-09.50), senior Trevor Heiner (2.07m, 6-09.50) and freshman Dakota John (1.97m, 6-05.50) took the second through fourth places.
The long jump featured freshman Drew Tingey picking up a win, jumping 7.16m (23-06.00). Teammate, junior Kyle Mills also won the triple jump with a mark of 14.52m (47-07.75).
Freshman Mitchell Swensen (15.68m, 51-05.25) won the shot put with junior Colby Barber picking up a third place finish and a mark of 15.49m (50-09.75)..
In more of the throws BYU continued to perform well. Freshman Zachary Stetler won the discus with a throw of 48.56m (159-03.75) and senior Oliver Whaley won the hammer throw with a toss of 64.32m (211-00.25). Junior Chris Reno also won the javelin with a throw of 64.55m (211-09.25).
The Cougars will now prepare for the MWC Championships on May 11-14.
WOMEN'S TRACK: In the final meet of the 2011 outdoor season, the BYU women's track and field team finished the BYU Twilight Meet with 13 event wins and several personal and season best performances.
"We had a lot of great performances today," head coach Patrick Shane said. "We finally had some warm weather and that helped our sprinters and power people really step up. We had plenty of personal and season bests today."
Senior Porshe Giddings used the warm weather to run her best 100m time of the season, winning the event in 11.60, tied for the third-fastest time in BYU history. Just behind Giddings in second was teammate Aubrey Hale, finishing in personal best time of 11.76.
Giddings and Hale also competed in the 200m dash, with Giddings winning her second race of the day in a season best time of 24.09. Hale again finished second to Giddings, crossing the line in 24.86.
In the 400m, BYU runner Natalie Stewart competed unattached, finishing in 53.05, the second fastest 400m time in school history. Juniors Lacey Bleazard and Katie Palmer also competed in the race, finishing second and third, respectively.
Bleazard and Palmer also ran on the winning 4x400m team alongside Sarah Edwards and Nicole Clark. The four combined to finish first in 3:53.54.
The Cougars also performed well in the 1500m run, taking four of the top five spots. Sophomore Candace Eddy crossed the line in first in 4:34.28 and Lisa Drury followed closely behind in 4:37.93 to take second. Michaelanne Laurent and Katie Swanson placed third and fifth, respectively.
Another BYU runner that nabbed first in her event was junior Fatima Makakala. Makakala placed first in the 100m hurdles in 13.59, a personal best, and also took second in the long jump with a leap of 5.72m (18-9.25).
In the field, junior Ada Robinson cleared a season best 1.81m (5-11.25) in the high jump to win the event. Teammate Diana Blauer took second in the event by clearing 1.76m (5-9.25), a personal best for outdoor competition.Comment on this story
The pole vault also featured a pair of Cougars at the top, with Kelli Ehardt taking first with a height of 4.10m (13-5.50), a season best, and Christen Botteron snagging second by clearing 4.00 (13-1.50).
Amber Freeman led four BYU athletes in the javelin, taking first with a toss of 44.16m (144-10). Cougars Allyson Wardell (second), Julie Larson (third) and Erin Wells (fourth) took the next three spots.
"This meet gave us a good idea of what we can accomplish at the MWC meet," Shane said. "We finally had an opportunity to compete in some great weather and set some great marks before the conference meet."
BYU will compete in the MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships for the final time next week beginning with the multi-events on May 11. The meet will continue through May 14.