Despite entering the final day of the Mountain West Conference Outdoor Track and Field Championships in third place, the BYU women were able to dominate on the final day to secure their second consecutive MWC title, and their eighth outdoor title this decade.
The 800m was a strong event for BYU, with six Cougars finishing in the top eight. Sophomore All-American Lacey Cramer successfully defended her title in 2:04.67, narrowly edging teammate Angela Wagner, who finished second in 2:04.94.
Led by Mark Robison, BYU men’s track and field team continued to pile on points on the final day of the MWC Outdoor Track and Field Championships and came away with a dominating victory for their 12th consecutive MWC Outdoor title.
“We really came out today and did what we needed to do,” BYU head coach Craig Poole said. “We had great performances all around, from Mindy (McClurkin) taking both the sprints to our two high jumpers (Ada Robinson and Ashley Dziendziel) finishing one – two. It was just a great day.”
“I am very, very pleased with the results from today,” Robison said. “We still have not lost an MWC outdoor championship, and it feels great. We had some great performances today from a number of people, but also had to deal with more adversity than we did yesterday, but we battled through it and came away with a win.”
BYU women scored 204 points, followed by TCU (121)and Colorado St. (101). The BYU men scored 211 points, head of New Mexico (153) and TCU (149).
Lacy Cramer is above average-height at 5-7, runs with reckless abandonment and is good at making the lives of competitors difficult.
But as the reigning indoor 800m NCAA champion, Cramer has proven herself to be a smart racer. She took the inside lane in the final meter of last years indoor NCAA 800m race to claim her first individual title.
Cramer is ranked seventh nationally in the 800 meters with a time of 2:04.85, less than one week before the indoor national championships.
The last several NCAA indoor finals of the 800m races have been physical with jostling and elbowing. BYU runner Lacy Cramer couldn’t hide her glee thinking about running in the NCAA 800m indoor final in Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 15 to 15.
“Oh, I expect it for sure I expect a physical race,” Cramer said. “I got spiked four times last year and expect this year to be even more rough because I am not going to come from last place like last year. I want to be up in all the action.”
Cramer spoke exclusively with PreRaceJitters:
PRJ: What clicked in the 800 meter final at the NCAA national championship 800-meter race, when you passed Phoebe Wright in lane 1 with less than 10 meters to win?
LC: I was just at the right place at the right time. I could hear my coach just as the inside lane open up. You just can’t think - just act, so I passed her on the inside.
PRJ: What thoughts were going through your mind as soon as you crossed the finish line to win the NCAA women’s indoor 800m title last year?
LC: It was almost unreal. It really did not even sink in for a while. It was just an amazing dream that I never thought was possible. It was probably the greatest moments of my life. Even as I watch the videos now I can still feel that magical feeling.
PRJ: Last year you appeared composed in the 800 meters at the indoor NCAAs race. Were you nervous? Was it intimidating running against the likes of Geena Gall, Latavia Thomas, Heather Dorniden, and Phoebe Wright?
LC: I was more nervous for the trials. I was ranked 13th or something going into nationals and just wanted to make all american. As for the finals I was just happy to be in the race and to be an all american. I did not know who any of those girls were till after the race. My coach just told me to be by Tennessee and LSU. I don’t remember girls until we talk to each other.
PRJ: How many miles per week do you run in the fall and spring?
LC: I usually get up to around 45 but it all depends on that week.
PRJ: How competitive is training on the same team with 800 meter runner Nachelle Stewart (2:05:27)?
LC: We do not work out together. She works out with the sprinters and I usually work out with Angela Wagner.
PRJ: You come into the season with a season’s best of 2:05.19, have you been able to handle more in terms of your training work load this season.
LC: My coach told me I will and I think I have. We are doing the same work outs as last year and I think I am just feeling stronger which is good.
PRJ: How has this season differed from last year?
LC: Well I feel more confident this year. Even though I am not training with Katie Palmer who I really miss, I have Angela there who works so hard. So I am glad that I have someone who pushes me every day.
PRJ: In big races, do you prefer to lead wire-to-wire or running in the pack?
LC: I usually like to run in the pack, but lately I have had to lead some races which I am starting to like better.
PRJ: What were your goals this year at the beginning of the season?
LC: I just want to get faster every year and I will be happy.
PRJ: Last years team included eight All-Americans, two nationals champions, and 15 Mountain West Conference champions while winning indoor and outdoor conference titles. What is this year’s squad capable of producing with both national champions and all eight All-Americans returning?
LC: I think this year is going to be even better. There are so many good girls on the team and I can not wait to see what we can do as a team.
PRJ: Will you do anything different to prepare for conference and indoor NCAAs?
LC: No just the same as last year. I might go to cafe rio a few more times more than last year just so I feel extra good.
PRJ: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from coach Patrick Shane?
LC: He taught me what is most important in life. School and religion and how I am doing come before we even talk about running. He truly knows what is important and really cares about everyone. He taught me how to work hard and how to have fun at the same time. I love Coach Shane and am so lucky to not only be his athlete, but his friend.
PRJ: What influenced your decision to sign with BYU?
LC: Umm…it was always something that I wanted to do. My brother and sister went there and there was never really other place that I really thought about going to. I still remember my dad making me go to the indoor track while we saw all the athletes working out there. My dad told me that I could run here one day. I thought it was a cool idea, but never thought it possible.
PRJ: What do you think of this talented BYU squad? Do you and teammate Katie Palmer ever train together?
LC: This is one of the most talented teams. Katie has been sick lately so I have been lucky to run with Angela.
PRJ: There is a lot of excitement surrounding the third ranked BYU women’s team, can you give me a sense of what the environment is like in the program?
LC: It is just a fun environment. Every day is so fun because all the girls are awesome.
PRJ: What motivates you?
LC: I guess it the feeling after you are done with a race. The satisfaction that everyone thinks that the 800 is a hard race and I love the feeling of accomplishing something that I never thought I could do.
PRJ: How did you get started running?
LC: My family has always been very active and just being around my brother and sister as they ran I guess I just have always thought I was going to be a runner as well.
PRJ: Who are your role models and why?
LC: I think it has always been my sister. She is the most amazing person ever. She taught me who I wanted to be and how to treat people. We are best friends even though we are four years apart. She always done what is right and will always be my biggest role models.
PRJ: How do you balance your academic workload with your running and social life?
LC: It is really hard to balance all three. I really am trying to do good in school right now so I spend a lot of my nights in the library. I am also getting married in two months which causes a little more stress in my life. What fun would I life be if it was easy though.
PRJ: What are your career goals if running doesn’t work out?
LC: I will go into coaching and teaching. I really want to pass on everything that I have learned to kids. I think I could help them love to work hard.
PRJ: Do you get prerace jitters?
LC: Just a little bit. You always need to be a little nervous before any race.
PRJ: Good luck this season and we’ll certainly be watching.