Led by world-class sprinter Frank Fredericks, BYU seeks its seventh consecutive Western Athletic Conference track and field championship this weekend in San Diego.
The bulk of the meet will be held Friday and Saturday (the decathlon and heptathlon have already started; BYU's Laura Zaugg won three of four heptathlon events Wednesday but trails SDSU's Marla Runyan by 11 points)."We know UTEP is greatly improved from the indoor championships where they were abysmal and we were superb," says BYU Coach Willard Hirschi. "The critical and unknown events appear to be the 5,000 and 10,000 meters."
BYU's hopes in the 5,000 and 10,000 rest primarily on sophomore David Spence, a middle-distance runner who has not trained for these races, Brandon Rhoads and Dave Baca.
The highlight of the meet will be another showdown between Fredericks and UTEP's Olapade Adeniken in the 100 and 200. Both were ranked among the top 10 in the world last year, when they traded victories. Fredericks, the NCAA indoor 200-meter champion, defeated Adeniken in their last meeting, indoors. Fredericks will compete in the 100, 200, 4 x 100 relay and long jump.
After winning High Country Athletic Conference championships the past eight years, BYU women are favored to win this WAC title. They are led by shot putter Kartsi Leppaluoto, hurdlers/long jumpers Anu Kaljurand and Shu-Hwa Wang, javelin thrower Hui-Chen Lee and distance runners Nicole Birk and Leanne Whitesides. - Doug Robinson