Several Utes made history in great weekend for the track and field team.
March 30, 2013
PALO ALTO, Calif. – On the second day of competition at the Stanford Invitation, the Utah women’s track team had only two athletes compete in the 800m race.
Headlining the second day was sophomore Andrea Chavez’s 23rd-place finish in the 800m, clocking a time of 2:10.85. Senior Lucy Yates also competed in the event, but 450m into the race she dropped out due to an aggravated leg injury.
“Andrea improved on last week’s performance, she is moving in the right direction and good about that,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “Yates was struggling with a knee injury that we thought was better. We had her drop out just as a precautionary measure, especially since it is still early in the season. We also decided not to have Amanda Mergaert run today. She ran very well yesterday in the 1500m, and we did not want to push our luck. Again we still have many races to go this season and I knew that she is fit and we have other goals in mind much later in the season and not over race her now.”
“Overall the weekend is one of the best we have had as a collective group in my time as coach here,” Kepler continued. “Very proud of our group and everyone involved. The kids came and competed hard, no matter which meet they were at. That is great to see and something we are going to need as we go to tougher meets later this season.”
Recap of Friday’s action
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.
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.
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.
The Utes will compete next on April 12 as they host the Utah Spring Classic at the McCarthy Family Track and Field in Salt Lake City, Utah.