Most of the state's collegiate track and field athletes will gather in Provo today to compete in the annual BYU Invitational.
The meet will consist mostly of instate athletes, from Utah, Utah State, Weber State and BYU. A handful of distance runners from USU and Weber, seeking a chance to run somewhere closer to sea level, will travel to Boise for the Bob Gibb Invitational.The BYU meet will begin at 11 a.m. with the hammer throw; the running events will begin at 1.
The most promising event of the day is the 400-meter intermediate hurdles. BYU's Shaun McAlmont, Utah's two-time WAC champ Eric Chesley and teammate Jeff Brown, USU's Kyle Jensen and Weber's Dave Chowen have all run under 52 seconds in the past year and have waged several to-the-wire races.
After about a month of competition, some of the state's top performers are beginning to emerge. Five athletes have surpassed the stiff NCAA qualifying marks - BYU's Frank Fredericks (100 and 200 meters), McAlmont (400-meter hurdles), Per Karlsson (hammer) and Hui-Chen Lee (javelin) and USU's Craig Carter (hammer).
Other noteworthy performances: BYU's Russ Muir, a junior from Sandy, has run 1:48.7 for 800 meters, leaving him about one second off the NCAA qualifying mark; Weber's Kris Cary, a senior from Provo, has run 8:49.95 in the steeplechase, about two seconds short of qualifying; Scott Peterson, a two-year starter for BYU's football team, competed in his first decathlon in several years last month and scored 6,751 points.
On the women's side, Weber's Teri Okelberry, who finished sixth in the Olympic Trials javelin competition, has run 1:04.83 for the intermediate hurdles this year; Utah's Karen and Brenda Alcorn are easily the best sister jumping act in the state - Karen, a freshman, has long jumped 18-8i 3/4 and Brenda has high jumped 5-10 1/2.
For a complete list of the state's top collegiate track and field marks, please see the scoreboard page on D4.