Amanda Mergaert breaks the school record in the mile.
Feb. 9, 2013
SEATTLE, Wash. - Finishing up action on the final day of the Husky Classic, the University of Utah women's track and field team displayed some great effort and several new personal records. Capturing the spotlight for the Utes was senior Amanda Mergaert's record-performance in the mile.
"Overall I am really pleased with the effort we showed this weekend," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said following the meet. "Of course we are very excited for Amanda. She used her experience to run a really smooth and smart race."
Mergaert competed in the invitational mile for the Utes. In section two, the fifth thru seventh spots came down to the wire as Mergaert was head to head with Oregon's Anne Kesselring and Becca Friday. In the end Kesselring captured fifth with a 4:35.33, followed by Friday (4:35.34) and in seventh was Mergaert at 4:35.35. Mergaert finished seventh in the heat and eighth overall. Mergaert's time is a new school record, beating her own previous school record by four seconds. Her time also ranks eighth in the country and likely will earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships.
Getting the second day underway were the 3000m runners. In her second race of the season, Rebekah Winterton led the team with a 26th-place finish clocking a 15 second personal-record time of 9:52.73. Susannah Hurst finished 37th with a time of 10:04.29 followed by Alyssa Stetler who earned 54th with a lifetime-best 10:32.08 in only her second collegiate race. Katelyn Stringfellow rounded out the Utah runners finishing 56th with a 10:35.97) respectively for the Utes.
The 400m featured two Utah runners. Senior Alyssa Johnson finished third in her heat and 11th overall posting a time of 57.42 seconds. In just her second meet back since returning from injury, Lauryn McKay clocked a 33rd-place time of 58.53 seconds.
In the 800m, Rosalie Waller posted a top-10 finish. Running in the final heat, Waller finished second with a time of 2:10.75. Waller's performance was good enough to earn sixth-place overall for the Utes. Sophomore Ali Eisenbeiss was the second Utah finisher. Eisenbeiss captured 14th recording a time of 2:12.74. Kendahl Melvin finished third in her heat and 29th overall with a lifetime-best 2:15.80. Freshmen Allison Aafedt (2:19.98) and Charlotte Kuzminsky (2:20.85) earned 46th and 47th respectively for the Utes.
In the open mile, Nikki Reitz represented the Utes, crossing the line 30th in a personal-best time of 5:06.21.
Senior Angela Kaplar ran in the 60m hurdles for the Utes. In the preliminary round, Kaplar finished second in her heat with a time of 9.09 seconds. However, Kaplar's time fell shy of qualifying for the finals, but earned her 21st overall.
The high jump was led by senior Langley Iverson's seventh-place performance. Since returning from an injury that sidelined her in 2012, Iverson has continued to improve at every meet this year. Iverson continued that streak clearing a season-best mark of 5-6.00 feet. Iverson cleared the bar on her third attempt and came up just short of jumping 5-8.00 feet in three attempts. Freshman Kailey Hansen cleared the bar on her first two jumps, posting a high mark of 5-2.25 feet, but could not clear the 5-6.00 barrier. Hansen's performance tied for 16th place.
In the shot put, Destanae Howerton-Davis continued to lead the Utes. Howerton-Davis got things off to a quick start posting a top mark on her first throw. Howerton-Davis's throw of 44-10.75 was good enough to claim sixth place. Candus Ford also tallied up a top-10 finish. Ford recorded a top throw of 43-10.00 feet for 10th. Alanna Nulph continues to improve after returning from an arm injury. Nulph earned 14th posting a top-mark of 41-11.50 feet.
The 4x400m relay competed in the invite section and closed out the day for the team. Johnson led off the race for the Utes followed by Eisenbeiss on the second leg, McKay split and Waller running as the anchor leg. The group finished with a combined time of 3:46.37 [less than a second shy of the school record] for second place behind hometown Washington's 3:45.63.
On Friday, in the 5000m, Hurst led the Utes finishing 28th. Hurst battled hard throughout the entire race continually alternating being at the front of the lead pack to the middle and back to the front. Hurst ultimately finished four seconds faster than a year ago clocking with a time of 16:49.44 just missing a personal record by five seconds. Katelyn Stringfellow finished second for the Utes and 71st overall. Stringfellow also displayed great effort as she clocked a new personal-best time of 17:59.83.
In the first section of the pole vault, Theresa Waybright finished the day tied for tenth place. Waybright cleared the mark of 11-4.50 feet on her third attempt. She would go onto the next round and came close to clearing the bar, but fell just short on her final attempt.
The weight throw featured Stahl posting another performance above 60 feet. Stahl led the Utes earning sixth place with a throw of 60-6.75 feet on her final attempt. Cynthia Sanchez was second for the Utes finishing ninth overall. Sanchez got things off with a rough start, fouling on her first two attempts. She fought through it and recorded a throw of 56-8.75 feet to secure ninth place. Aoife Hickey rounded out the top-three finishers for the team with an 11th-place mark of 54-8.25 feet.
"This was a typical track meet when you take 25 athletes," Kepler said. "Some athletes are going to perform at a high level and others will struggle. But the key for those who struggled is to learn and bounce back for our next meet. I really liked the effort. That was not a problem. We need to get back to practice and work out a few things to get ready for our next meet."
The Utes will compete next on Feb. 14 at the Wildcat Tune-Up in Ogden, Utah.