Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Track and Field Finishes 10th at MPSF Championships

Amanda Mergaert earns MPSF honors for performance in the 800m.

Amanda Mergaert earns MPSF honors for performance in the 800m.

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Feb. 23, 2013

SEATTLE, Wash. - The University of Utah women's track team wrapped up action at the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Championships securing 10th place with 21.5 points. On the second day the Utes were led by senior Amanda Mergaert's third-place performance in the 800m.

"Today was a different than yesterday, there were some disappointing points that we lost," Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. "We had some good performances, but not as many as we would have liked. We had several "just misses" in gaining points. Our team ran hard, I was really pleased with the effort, but we just need to step up more in a championship meet. Several athletes competed well today, and we are very excited for Amanda and her All-MPSF performance."

The highlight of the day came in the 800m when Mergaert clocked a lifetime-best 2:06.34 finishing third. Mergaert captured third place and earned six points for the Utes. Mergaert's performance currently ranks 14th in nation and fell just shy of breaking the school record.  Finishing in the top-three, Mergaert joined Klaudia Rokossa [pole vault] earning All-MPSF honors. 

The 800m also featured Rosalie Waller clocking a personal-best 2:09.45. Waller finished first in her heat and eighth overall capturing one team point for the Utes. 

In the 4x400m relay the Utes posted a ninth-place finish. Ali Eisenbeiss, Alyssa Johnson, Stephanie Jolley and Waller recorded a combined time of 3:47.31 finishing one spot shy of earning team points. 

In the 400m, Johnson posted a season team best 56.56 seconds finishing second in her heat and 18th overall.

Senior Langley Iverson had a solid performance in the high jump. Iverson finished the day clearing a top mark of 5-5.25 feet for 15th. 

Senior Candus Ford led the surge in the shot put finishing tenth with a top-mark of 45-10.75 feet. Cynthia Sanchez and Destanae Howerton-Davis earned 19th and 20th, respectively for the Utes. 

On the first day, the Utes were led by Rokossa in the pole vault. Rokossa again had a performance near her personal-best clearing the mark of 12-11.00 feet. Falling just shy of getting over the 13-5.00 mark, Rokossa tied for third place and earned a team high 5.50 points for the Utes. Rokossa's top-three finish also grabbed All-MPSF honors for the senior. 

The distance medley relay also had a solid performance. Mergaert opened up the race for the Utes followed by Lauryn McKay, Eisenbeiss and anchored by Andrea Chavez. The Utes finished the event clocking a combined time of 11:30.70 finishing fourth overall and capturing five points for the team. 

Susannah Hurst led the charge in the 5000m clocking a personal-record 16:43.50 en-route to an eighth-place finish and tallying one team point for the Utes. Hurst fought hard the whole way and posted her best split on the final lap, but ran out of real estate to pass Long Beach State's Rosa Del Toro who finished seventh with a 16:43.29. 

In the 60m hurdles, senior Angela Kaplar had an improved performance, but still struggled to reach the finals. Kaplar finished the preliminary round 14th overall with a time of 8.98 seconds falling just shy of reaching the final round on Saturday. 

In the weight throw, Utah was one of only two schools to have three athletes finish in the top-10 overall. Senior Anneli Stahl posted a sixth-place throw of 60-4.50 feet earning three points for the team. Sanchez was not far behind; finishing ninth with a mark of 57-9.00 feet followed by upcoming sophomore Aoife Hickey in 10th with a personal-best throw of 57-2.25 feet.

The Utes finished the MPSF Championships in 10th place with a combined total of 21.5 points. The overall winner was Oregon capturing 112 team points followed by Arizona State (96 points) and Arizona (92 points). 

Over the next week, the Utes will find out which athletes earn automatic qualifying bids to the NCAA Championships based on national rankings. Currently Mergaert is ranked 10th in the mile and 16th in the 800m. She would currently qualify for both events as of Saturday.




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