At the NCAA West Track and Field Regionals, college athletes from local universities excelled once again Saturday, and for the second straight day Brigham Young University claimed a first-place finisher.

In the women's 3,000-meter steeplechase, BYU freshman Angela Wagner crossed the finish line in 9 minutes, 58.68 seconds to win the event. Sariah Long of Weber State was just over eight seconds behind Wager, which put her in third place. Utah State's Stacie Lifferth-Dorius finished in sixth place in the steeplechase as well.

Local men also fared well in the steeplechase. BYU's Chandler Goodwin took third place with a time of 8:47.81 and teammate Derek Taylor was just .02 seconds behind to finish fourth, but Goodwin edged Taylor at the line to record his season best time. Cougar sophomore Richard Nelson finished eighth, and Utah State sophomore Steve Strickland rounded out the top 10.

In the pole vault, BYU's Bob Low earned a trip to the NCAA National Championships by finishing second, clearing 17 feet, 5 inches. Matt Weirich of BYU finished in seventh place at 17-1.

Utah's Chelsea Shapard is also heading to nationals with her third-place finish in the 400-meter hurdles. Her time was 59.12. BYU's Sandra Mazan came in seventh place in the same event.

In the women's 800-meter run, BYU's Carlee Clark-Platt was clocked at 2:04.89, which was good enough for a fourth-place finish. Her teammate Stacy Slight finished in seventh place in the finals.

The Weber State 4x400-meter relay team of Tyler McBee, Eric Bailey, Taylor Pebley and Mike Phillips had a fifth-place finish with their time of 3:09.20

Utah State's Silas Pimentel was busy running in two finals Saturday. Pimentel faced stiff competition in the 100- and 200-meter dash events but came away with a sixth-place finish in the 100 with a time of 10.60. Pimentel ran the 200 in 21.30, which put him in seventh place.

The Utes had a pair of runners in the women's 1,500-meter run, and both Alyssa Abbott and Chelsea DiGrazia had successful days finishing in ninth and 11th place, respectively. BYU's Tyrel Jensen was in the finals of the men's 1,500-meter run and came in 12th place.

Top-five finishers in all the events are considered automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Championships, which will take place on June 11-14 in Des Moines, Iowa.


E-mail: ethomas@desnews.com