By Jeff Reynolds, BYU Athletic Media Relations
16 BYU athletes, including five men and 11 women, have qualified to compete in a total of 18 events at the 2001 NCAA Track & Field Championships, beginning Wednesday May 30 through Saturday, June 2 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 broker her own American record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase on Friday, 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 8th 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 7th 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 t 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 8th 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.
Senior Kirsten Bolm, who was a provisional qualifier in both the 100-meter hurdles and long jump will not compete at the NCAA Championships after returning to Germany to be with her grandfather who is recovering from a stroke. Super freshman Josh Rohatinsky, who would have qualified in the 10,000 meters, will not participate due to a stress fracture in his left leg.
2001 NCAA Track & Field Championships Participant List Women Rank Event Qualifying Time/Dist. Jeana Bingham 3rd High Jump 6'00.75" Nan Evans 6th 3,000 M Steeplechase 10:08.85 Holly Haguewood 18th 800 M 2:06.22 Tara Haynes 13th 3,000 M Steeplechase 10:17.39 Elizabeth Jackson 3rd 5,000 M 15:50.56 1st 3,000 M Steeplechase 9:55.63 Maret Komarova 20th Heptathlon 5,414 pts. Courtney Meldrum 19th 5,000 M 16:12.45 10th 3,000 M 10:13.81 Tara Northcutt 2nd 10,000 M 33:27.59 Sharolyn Shields 12th 1,500 M 4:20.52 Lindsey Thomsen 11th 10,000 M 34:10.50 Missy Wood 18th Javelin 157"08.00" Men Rank Event Qualifying Time/Dist. Kenneth Andam 8th 100 M 10.14 Jeff Hansen 6th Pole Vault 18'00.50" Curtis Pugsley 8th Decathlon 7,519 pts. Jim Roberts 10th Shot Put 63"01.25" Mao Tjiroze 7th 800 M 1:47.28