Rosalie Griffin qualifies for final round in the 800m.
May 12, 2012
EUGENE, Ore.- Becoming the first Utah athlete to compete in a running event at the Pac-12 Conference Championships, junior Amanda Mergaert had the day off to a great start as she qualified for the final round in the 1500m.
“It was a very productive day and our kids handled themselves very well,” Utah head coach Kyle Kepler said. “I thought we did a good job. Our kids showed that they belong and can run, jump and throw with the other teams. We will have a chance to compete again tomorrow and hopefully will put more points on the board. With a good night’s rest, we are looking forward to going out and having some good performances tomorrow.”
Mergaert had the Utes off to a great start with the women’s 1500m in the first event of the day. Competing in the first heat, Mergaert finished third in the group and seventh overall with a time of 4:22.97. Her performance qualifies for the final round, which will be ran on Sunday.
In the 800m, Rosalie Griffin qualified for the final round on Sunday with a sixth-place performance. Griffin earned second in her heat setting a personal-best time of 2:08.98. Freshmen Andrea Chavez (2:11.58) and Ali Eisenbeiss (2:11.93) finished 15th and 16th places respectively for the Utes.
The 100m hurdles featured junior Angela Kaplar getting off to a good start. Kaplar fired out of the blocks and looked very solid over the first four hurdles, however she clipped the fifth hurdle costing valuable time. She would end up finishing with a time of 14.06 seconds for 13th, falling shy of qualifying for the final round.
Stephanie Jolley has continued to impress this season as she has improved in every race throughout the second half of the outdoor season. Saturday was no exception; Jolley clocked a new career-best 400m hurdles time of 58.73 seconds finishing third in her heat. Jolley’s performance earned seventh overall and qualified her for the finals on Sunday.
In the shot put, two Utah athletes qualified for the final round. Nikkie Rudder finished first for the Utes and seventh overall with a throw of 46-2.50 feet earning two team points. Candus Aiello posted an eighth-place performance with a mark of 45-8.50 feet capturing one team point. Rudder and Aiello become the first Utah athletes to score team points in throwing events.
The 400m dash showcased Lauryn McKay earning fourth in her heat and 20th overall with a time of 56.17 seconds.
Freshman Kaitlin Urmston led the team in the javelin throw. Urmston posted her top mark on the first attempt with a throw of 135-2 feet. Her mark earned 11th overall. Struggling last week in the javelin throw during the heptathlon, Senior Brianna LeRoy improved by seven feet on Saturday recording a throw of 115-8 feet for 19th place.
LeRoy also led the team in the women’s long jump. Qualifying for the final round, LeRoy finished the day in eighth with a jump of 19-7 feet on her third attempt. With her performance, LeRoy earned one team point, bringing her total to three team points thus far at the Pac-12 Conference Championships.
At the end of competition on Saturday, the Utes are in 10th place with six team points. Leading the pack is the University of Oregon with 46 points.
The Utes will wrap up action at the Pac-12 Conference Championships on Sunday beginning at 11:45 a.m. with the women’s discus throw.
Live results will be available at http://www.pac-12.org/portals/7/Championships/track/2012/index.htm