FORT WORTH, Texas The BYU men's team withstood an expected charge by meet host TCU on the final day to win the 2008 Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday.
The victory marks a BYU-record 11th straight league title, including nine straight MWC championships.
"Each year is a little different it never gets old," BYU head men's coach Mark Robison said. "There are always new challenges to overcome, and there's always something different, but it's always nice to win the conference championship. We have a great group of young men. I'm really proud of them for coming out here and competing."
The BYU men won five individual events, equalling last year's total. Sophomore Leif Arrhenius was named the meet's top athlete, winning both the shot put and discus and finishing second in the hammer throw. Arrhenius picked up 28 of the Cougars' 210 points.
TCU finished second with 192 points and Air Force was third with 135, followed by Colorado State with 126, New Mexico with 87 and Wyoming with 53.
Robison, now in his eighth year as BYU's coach, has never lost a MWC championship meet. He was named the MWC Men's Coach of the Year.
The BYU women took second place behind a senior-laden squad from Colorado State. The Cougars finished 46 points behind the Rams and 15 points ahead of third-place San Diego State. TCU finished fourth in the women's competition with 122 points, followed by New Mexico with 78, Utah with 58, Wyoming 46, UNLV 35 points and Air Force with 26.
"We're really pleased with our performance," BYU women's coach Craig Poole said. "Coming in to the meet we knew we would have to perform well in order to take second or third. In some cases, I think we exceeded those expectations. We had a lot of freshman perform very well for us throughout the meet, and I think you can say our future looks bright."
The BYU women finished with three individual champions, including freshman Katie Palmer in the 800 meters, junior Angela Wagner in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.
Utah's Chelsea Shapard won her second straight 400-meter hurdles title with a time of 58.51, winning by 3/100ths of a second.
WAC CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Boise, Idaho, Utah State University finished second and the Aggie women finished fourth at the Western Athletic Conference Track And Field Championships.
The Aggies had three event winners on the day, sweeping both the men's and women's 400-meter hurdles events and the men's 5,000 meter run.
USU, the defending men's champion, wound up in second place with 135 points, finishing seven points behind Boise State with 142.
In the 400 hurdles, senior Katie Thatcher won the women's race in a career-best time of 59.47, the fourth-fastest time in school history. Junior Keith Williams won the men's race in 51.87, a personal-best and an NCAA regional qualifying time.
In the men's 5,000 meters, USU freshman Chio Lopez won it in 15:25.64 while sophomore Steve Strickland was second in 15:26.25.
BIG SKY CHAMPIONSHIPS: At Sacramento, Calif., Weber State placed third and fourth, respectively, in the Big Sky Conference men's and women's track and field meets.
Northern Arizona won the men's team title, while Sacramento State captured the women's crown.
Weber State won four men's events, with freshman Eric Bailey winning the 400-meter hurdles with a career-best time of 51.62. Senior Brian Lindquist won the men's discus with a throw of 171 feet. And the Wildcats also won the 1,600-meter relay. Senior Seth Pilkington won the 10,000 meters with a time of 30:19.33 on Friday.
WSU's women won four events in the meet Morgan Haws in the 5,000 meters and the 10,000 meters, sophomore Haley Reeves in the 800 meters, and senior Sariah Long in the steeplechase.
SUMMIT LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Southern Utah recorded eight more individual and relay titles during the final day of the Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships on Saturday. The Thunderbirds finished second in the men's team title chase and fifth in the women's.
Freshman Christina Day turned in the best performance on the women's side during the day with a first-place finish in the women's 400-meter dash with a time of 54.80. Her finishing time was .04 off her school-record mark ran earlier this season.
In the field events, sophomore Jacki Stoddard finished fifth in the high jump (5 feet 5 inches) and second in the javelin (132 feet 11 inches) to round out her championship after an individual title in the women's heptathlon yesterday. As a team, the women finished with a total of 89.75 points with more than 50 points separating fifth and sixth place.
Southern Utah was almost able to catch North Dakota State on the men's side, finishing in second place by only 12 points. The title run was propelled by first-place finishes in the 100 meters, 5,000 meters, 110-meter hurdles, 400-meter hurdles, discus and both the 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay.
Senior DeWayne Lewis defended his individual title in the men's 100 meters with a finishing time of 10.47 in the event. Teammate Shaka Richardson was just behind in second place, crossing the line in 10.67. The duo pulled off another back-to-back finish with a second and third-place showing in the 200-meter dash with Lewis recording a 21.51 and Richardson a 21.60.
Senior Mark Currell claimed his second individual title of the championships with a first-place finish in the men's 5,000-meters (14:45.91) to couple with his title in the men's 10,000 meters during the first day of competition.
Dontae Florial also double dipped into the individual title bowl with first-place finishing times of 14.45 in the 110-meter hurdles and 52.74 in the 400-meter hurdles. The sophomore's time in the 110-meter hurdles marked the second-fastest time in school history.
Florial was also featured on the men's 4x100-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay team that each blazed to first-place times of 41.00 and 3:14.88. Florial ran the second leg in the 4x100-meter relay and was preceded by Shaka Richardson and followed by Nick Miller and DeWayne Lewis as the group turned in a school-record time. Florial also ran the second leg in the 4x400-meter relay and was preceded by Demetrius Whitehair and followed by Kelly VanArsdol and Austin Hill.
Off the track, sophomore Carlos Valle threw the only regional qualifying mark in the men's discus en route to the gold medal with a mark of 174 feet two inches.
Southern Utah track and field will continue its season in two weeks when qualified athletes travel to Northridge, Calif. to take part in the NCAA Regional meet May 30 - 31.