BYU track: women’s track to face top competition at Trojan Invitational

By Steven Tew

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, March 20 2013 5:43 p.m. MDT

PROVO, Utah – The BYU women’s track and field team heads to southern California this weekend for the annual Trojan Invitational where it will face off against some of the top schools in the country, including No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 18 Washington and No. 23 USC.

“The competition at this meet is as good as we’ll find all year,” said BYU coach Patrick Shane of the Trojan Invitational. “Our goal with this meet is to qualify for the West Regionals. Many of our athletes have a chance to do that. This will be an opportunity for our athletes in every event to be challenged.”

Other schools attending the meet include Michigan and Washington State.

Several BYU athletes will compete for the first time this outdoor season, including Laura Young, Lindsey Sowards Nielson and Candace Eddy Carlisle in the 3,000 meters and 1,500 meters. Also competing for the first time are Nicole Nielsen and Katie Swanson in the 5,000 meters, and Maren Hanson Fassmann, Andrea Nelson Harrison and Jennica Redd in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Last week during the Aztec Invitational, Sarah Yingling led the Cougars with two first-place finishes, one in the 800 meters (2:09.45) and the other in the 1,500 meters (4:28.87). During both races, Yingling edged out a UCLA runner to claim first place. Yingling will take this week off before returning to competition next week at the Stanford Invitational.

Natalie Stewart also had a standout performance during the last day of the Aztec Invitational with a second-place finish in the 400 meters. She finished with a time of 53.85 seconds, just .46 seconds off her personal best. She currently ranks second on the Division I West Region Outdoor Qualifying list and fourth in the nation in the 400. Stewart is set to compete in the 400 and the 4x400-meter relays this weekend.

The Trojan Invitational begins Friday with the women’s hammer throw at West L.A. College at 2 p.m. in Los Angeles. The meet will continue later that night at USC’s Loker Stadium with the women’s javelin at 6 p.m. and the women’s 5,000 meters at 6:45 p.m.

A full schedule of events can be found at USCTrojans.com.

Steven Tew is an SID at BYU Athletic Communications. He can be contacted at wtrack_sid@byu.edu.

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