TRACK & FIELD: Sixteen BYU athletes have qualified to compete in a total of 18 events at the 2001 NCAA Track & Field Championships next week at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
With four athletes qualified to compete in the 3,000-meter steeplechase, the Cougars will look to score major points in the event. Leading the way for BYU will be American record-holder Elizabeth Jackson, who is ranked first entering the event. The senior from Salt Lake City broke her own American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on May 18 at the Mountain West Conference Championships in San Diego, Calif., running the event in 9:55.63.
Jackson, one of two BYU athletes competing in multiple events, will also compete in the 5,000 meters. The seven-time All-American is ranked third entering the event with a season-best time of 15:50.52. Senior All-American Courtney Meldrum, who sat out the 1999 season after having a baby, has also qualified in two events, including the 5,000 meters and 3,000-meter steeplechase. Freshman Maret Komarova, a native of Viljandi, Estonia, will compete in the heptathlon, entering the event as the highest-ranked freshman in the country with 5,414 points. Junior Jeana Bingham, who finished fourth in the high jump at the NCAA Championships last season, qualified again this year, ranked third with a season-best mark of 6-00.75. Defending national champion Tara Northcutt will defend her title in the 10,000 meters, having qualified with a second-ranked time of 33:27.59 in the event.
On the men's side, senior Kenneth Andam will represent the Cougars in the 100 meters, ranked eighth in the event with a season-best time of 10.14. Junior Mao Tjiroze, a native of Windhook, Nambia, will be making his first-ever appearance at the NCAA Outdoor championships. Tjiroze automatically qualified in the 800 meters and is ranked seventh in the event after turning in a life-time best 1:47.28 at the Mountain West Conference Championships in San Diego.All-American Jeff Hansen will look to improve on his ninth-place finish in the pole vault at last year's NCAA Outdoor Championships. Hansen will enter the event ranked 6th with a mark of 18-00.50. Senior All-American Jim Roberts will be making his third appearance at the NCAA Championships in the shot put, enter the competition ranked 10th with a distance of 63-01.25. Despite a nagging lower abdominal strain, All-American Curtis Pugsley will return for his second straight NCAA Outdoor Championship meet, ranked eighth in the decathlon with a season-best 7,519 points. Pugsley finished sixth at last year's NCAA Championships with a personal best 7,531 points.
MEN'S TENNIS: A successful season for Gert Vilms and Carlos Lozano came to an end at the NCAA tournament in Athens, Ga. They put a scare into the third-ranked doubles team in the nation, Johan Brunstrom and Jon Wallmark of Southern Methodist University, before losing in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-1.Vilms and Lozano looked good in the second set, dominating the set 6-3 and tying the match at a set apiece. But a hard-fought game in the third set won by Brunstrom and Wallmark turned the tide, and the team rode that momentum on to win the set 6-1 and pull out the victory over Vilms and Lozano.
BASEBALL HONOR: Utah catcher Chris Shelton was named to the Louisville Slugger TPX All-America Team. The junior made the second team after leading the Utes with a .374 batting average, 19 home runs, 66 RBIs and 22 doubles. He also scored 53 runs.
BASKETBALL: Coach Tommy Connor signed three more players to NAIA national letters of intent to play hoops at Westminster College next season. Joining the Griffins will be Weber High's Ty Sparrow, BYU transfer Nick Taggart and Pine View High's Jeff Madsen, the 3A MVP. Madsen had signed with Dixie State College but opted to instead attend Westminster for the 2001-02 season.