Go Utes!
Go Utes!
Utah Track and Field Has a Breakout Weekend

Amanda Mergaert clocks fastest time in the NCAA.

Amanda Mergaert clocks fastest time in the NCAA.

March 30, 2013

PALO ALTO, Calif. – Competing at three invitational meets on Friday, the University of Utah women’s track and field team had several top performances. The Utes broke one school record and posted another performance that currently is top in the NCAA. 

“Wow what a break-out weekend for us,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “I am really excited and ecstatic about how things went today. I am very proud of this group and the way they came out and performed today. I feel like the kids got excited for each other and that helped spur them on to some great performances. Just a great job by everybody today.”

Making her first appearance since an All-American performance in the indoor season, senior Amanda Mergaert picked up right where she left off. In the 1500m at the Stanford Invitational, Mergaert won the title clocking a season-debut best time of 4:17.22, which ranks as the fastest time in the NCAA this season following Friday’s action. 

Also at the Stanford Invitational, sophomore Susannah Hurst won section four of the 5,000m recording an 11 second personal-best time of 16:34.17. In section five, Rebekah Winterton finished ninth with a four-second personal record 17:15.84. 

Three of Utah’s distance runners also competed at the San Francisco State Invitational.  Katelyn Stringfellow led the group with a 16th-place performance. Stringfellow clocked a 50-second personal record of 17:20.05.

At the Utah Valley Invitational, senior Klaudia Rokossa highlighted the day as she broke the school record in the pole vault. Rokossa won the event title clearing a best mark of 13-1.5 feet (4 meters) and securing a place in the Utah record books. Her performance may have punched an automatic bid into the NCAA Championships. In previous seasons, the four-meter mark has earned an automatic qualifying bid for the NCAA Outdoor Championships.



In the discus throw, junior Destanae Howerton-Davis made history of her own. Howerton-Davis captured first place with a career-best toss of 162-2.75 feet, which fell just four centimeters shy of breaking the school record. Her performance ranks second all-time for the Utes. Howerton-Davis followed up that performance by winning the shot put with a mark of 46-7.00 feet. 

Sophomore Aoife Hickey also left her mark in the hammer throw. Hickey posted a lifetime-best throw of 191-11.50 feet for second place, followed by Anneli Stahl in third with 186-2.25 feet. Hickey, an Ireland native, established herself as the third best hammer thrower in Ireland’s history. Her performance marked the third-best of any female hammer thrower ever in country’s history. 

The relays also posted a great outing on Friday. The 4x100m relay featuring Kia Wilson, Alyssa Johnson, Lauryn McKay, and Stephanie Jolley stamping their name in the school records clocking the third top time in school history. The relay crossed the line in 46.52 seconds, edging out in-state rival BYU (46.75 seconds) to win the event. 

The 4x400 relay of Allison Aafedt, Ali Eisenbeiss, Lisa Palomaki and Sarah Thayne finished second overall. The relay finished in a time of 3:54.29 just behind UVU who crossed in 3:53.45. 

Regularly an 800m runner, junior Rosalie Waller competed in her first 400m-hurdle race in over a year. With only a couple practices under her belt, Waller showcased her ability finishing fourth clocking a time of 1:01.49, which is ninth best in school history. 

In the 800m finals, Eisenbeiss crossed the line first with a 2:14.10 capturing the event for the Utes. 

“We opened big in the first couple meets of the season, so this was a chance for us to stay close to home and fine-tune some things,” Utah associate head coach Burke Bockman said. “We are very pleased with how things went today. Our group competed hard and did everything we expected them to do. We will now go back and work on a few things before competing in front of our home crowd at the Utah Spring Classic.” 

The distance runners will compete again on Saturday at the Stanford Invitational in the 800m races. The event will begin at 1:30 p.m. PT at Cobb Track in Palo Alto, Calif.


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