Senior Nikkie Rudder wins the shot put and weight throw events at the Mountain State Games.
Feb. 1, 2014
POCATELLO, Idaho- Senior Nikkie Rudderwon the weight throw and several distance runners had personal best times as the Utah track and field team competed at the Mountain State Games and the Washington Invitational.
The Utes were impressive in the weight throw with three athletes finishing in the top ten. Capturing the event title was senior Nikkie Rudder posting a mark of 57-04.2 feet after coming off a win in the shot put the day before. Aoife Hickey finished third overall with a throw measuring 56-05.5 feet. True freshman Kassie Nagel(48-09.4) finished ninth for the Utes.
"All of them threw really well," assistant coach Burke Bockmansaid. "That group was excellent and really led the way for us."
In senior Theresa Waybright'ssecond meet of the year she was able to record a new personal best in the pole vault. Her mark of 3.80 meters (12-5.6 feet) was good enough to capture the third-place spot.
"This is a big jump for her this early," Bockman stated. "She was seeing some bars that she has never seen before which is nice."
In the 60-meter dash, sophomore Jameela Hayesplaced third with a time of 7.94.
In Seattle, all five of the Utah distance runners competing in the 3,000 recorded personal records.
"I thought they ran great races," head coach Kyle Keplersaid. "It is definitely a great way to start for them."
Leading the Utes was junior Rebekah Winterton in the invitational race, who surpassed her personal best by 15 seconds. Winterton's time of 9:37.59 for an 18th-place finish is third on the all-time Utah list. Junior Susannah Hurstfinished just a second behind Winterton to secure 19th and is fourth on the all-time Utah list. Hurst's time of 9:38.82 was a six-second improvement from her previous personal best.
Junior AuraLea Fain captured fourth in the 3,000 open race with a time of 10:04.25, followed by Jessica Sams (10:17.53) in ninth and Lauren Mills(10:32.84) in 14th. Mill's time surpassed her previous personal record by 24 seconds.
In the open mile, junior Nikki Rietz ran a lifetime best with a time of 4:59.39 and finished sixth. This meet marks the first time that Rietz has been able to break the five-minute mark.
"I'm really proud of her for that effort." Kepler said of Rietz.
"I think that we were able to get all that we wanted to get done with our opening meet of the season for the distance runners," Kepler said. "We still have some work to do but I definitely know where we are at now. We will go home and get some work done."
Utah travels to the Bronco Invitational, hosted by Boise State, on Saturday, Feb. 8.