Ilse Kaaja had the best throw of any freshman in the hammer
May 31, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Utah track and field completed competition at the NCAA West Regional Preliminary Meet this evening.
"I'm proud of everyone," head coach Kyle Kepler stated. "We have a lot of talent on this team and the people who fell just short of advancing are coming back next season."
Aoife Hickey narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals in Eugene, placing 13th with a second throw of 57.09 meters. Hickey also finished in the top 20 last season in this event with a throw of 58.05 meters. Two weeks ago, Hickey placed fifth at the Pac-12 Championships with a toss of 59.57 meters.
Ilse Kaaja, who placed sixth at the Pac-12 Championships with a personal-best throw of 59.46 meters, finished 15th in the hammer. Her toss of 57.05 meters was tops of any freshman during the preliminary meet.
"I think there are some mixed emotions," Kepler said. "They're happy that they made the finals but to narrowly miss out like they did, it's tough. Another foot further on their tosses and they're both headed to Eugene, but they performed well at a championship meet and that's obviously a positive they can take away."
Susannah Hurst, the school record holder in the 5k, finished 15th in her heat with a time of 16:54.17. The junior was 12th at the Pac-12 Championships with a time of 16:51.00. Teammate Rebekah Winterton was unable to finish the event
"Rebekah was a little under the weather and I had her come off when I saw her struggling," Kepler added. "Susannah was in the race for a long time and then the pace picked up. She was probably a little weary from the 10k the other day and fell off a little bit."